How Nollywood Movies Can Get Mainstream Distribution In America – Jimmy Jean-Louis
Nollywood movies can get a seat at the Oscar table if they focus on the quality and storyline of their projects, Haitian-born American movie star Jimmy Jean-Louis has said.
During an Instagram Live interview with Channels Television on Thursday, the Hollywood actor listed some of the criteria required for Nigerian movies to break into the American mainstream.
“First of all the quality of the project has to be on point,” he said.
“Stay true to yourself. Tell your story from your Nigeria, from your village, wherever it is. If it’s well done it will connect to the entire world, it’s very simple. Don’t try to dilute it.
“The number one thing is, the quality has to be good. If the quality and storyline is good, it will resonate with people.”
At the 92nd Academy Awards in Los Angeles, California, earlier this year, the South Korean film Parasite bagged four awards, including the Best Picture, becoming the first film in a language other than English to win in that category.
“It’s all about how do you get emotions out of people? It doesn’t matter what language, you will get that emotion, which is what Parasite did,” Jean-Louis said.
“We don’t understand what they are saying but first of all the quality of the movie is great and the subject matter is pretty much something that most people can relate to.
“I think it’s possible… Nigeria is getting a lot of attention. Hopefully, next year we will have a proper Nigerian movie representing Nigeria, unlike the fiasco that happened last year.”
The movie star also spoke about his latest project, the Kunle Afolayan-directed Citation, a movie in which he starred alongside Gabriel Afolayan, Joke Silva, Ini Edo, Sadiq Daba, among others.
The movie shot in Nigeria, Senegal, and Cape Verde saw travel and lifestyle blogger Temi Otedola making her debut on the big screen.
Citation is a college drama that explores the sexual exploitation of university students by their lecturers.
“I found an actress that was dedicated. She was first on set, last to go, always ready to do whatever it took. And she was excellent. She was a real professional,” Jean-Louis said, recalling his experience with Temi on the set of the movie.
“I think people will be extremely surprised when they see her because she definitely worked hard speaking different languages as well within one project, which is not bad. I think people will be happily surprised by what Timi did in Citation.”
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