Netflix Purchases Rights to Nigeria’s Nollywood Film ‘Lionheart’

Netflix

Intent on expanding its venue to include Nigeria’s Nollywood movie industry, Netflix invested $8 billion to obtain the rights for Genevieve Nnaji’s upcoming movie, “Lionheart.” Prior to the comedy’s premiere in Toronto, Netflix acquired world rights to the film, their original film from Nigeria.

In addition to being the star of ‘Lionheart,” Nnaji wrote and directed the movie, which features well-known Nollywood actors such as Nkem Owoh, Pete Edochie, and Onyeka Onwenu.

Nnaji plays a focused businesswoman by the name of Adaeze, who works alongside her father, Chief Ernest Obiagu. However, once he takes ill and is forced to step down from his position, she is left to work with her uncle, Godswill, whose eccentric ways of handling the workplace push Adaeze to her limits. Trying to keep her calm in the sexist workplace environment, things take a turn when she learns the company is practically drowning in debt. This forces her to work with Godswill to rebuild the company.

Nollywood and Netflix

Recent films reflect what really goes on in society, no longer putting a narrow perspective on what its like to live the “high life.” With the rights to “Lionheart,” Netflix understands that people have options in media choices.

Nollywood’s recent success with the local and international box office and their quality-over-quantity strategy has finally paid off. Since the production company previously struggled with the problem of a small network distribution, this new investment provides millions of dollars so that the company can expand their distribution.

Additionally, Netflix has promised to deliver more local content with shows that speak to South African audiences. In doing this they also reduced the cost of the subscription plans in South Africa. In August, they began accepting the South African Rand (ZAR) in an attempt to increase their share of the South African streaming market. The fees are, 99 ZAR or $6.97 for basic service; 139 ZAR or $9.78 for standard; and for premium, users will spend 169 ZAR or $11.89.

Netflix will soon add more content locally directed toward the South African viewership. They indicate this programming will include films, children’s content, and exclusive series.

Written by Brielle R. Buford
Edited by Cathy Milne

Sources:

My BroadBand: New South African pricing for Netflix
Quartz Africa: Netflix is starting to take Africa’s largest movie industry seriously
Vibe: Neflix Acquires It’s First Film From Nigeria ‘Lionheart’

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Phil King’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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