Nollywood comes to UK cinemas

It was inevitable that the success of the Nigerian video film industry would eventually lead to an expansion into cinema films that are designed to appear on the multiplex screens of Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt and which will have the potential to sell in the international market. These films have started to appear on DVDs coming into the UK and now a new distributor, Talking Drum Entertainment has joined the UK Film Distributors’ Association and announced its first cinema release. Tango With Me will be released in UK cinemas on August 24. Bookings include screens at Odeon, Vue and Cineworld. The film stars Genevieve Nnaji and Joseph Benjamin as a young couple facing complex issues in their marriage. Mahmood Ali-Balogun directs and produces for his company Brickwall Communications.

Nollywood films have already had isolated London screenings – one or two screenings in around a dozen London cinemas – see the Talking Drum Entertainment Facebook page. The new UK release policy promises to bring the films to the wider African diaspora community in the UK.

Tango With Me is described as a ‘romantic drama’ – I suspect ‘melodrama’ would be a better description. Talking Drum Entertainment has its own YouTube channel and there are trailers for three more of its films there. The three span the romance-melodrama range with social issues such as immigration and African identity plus the ‘return to source’ theme which in Nollywood sometimes involves African religious/supernatural narratives.

We’ll be reviewing one of these films soon. In the meantime we’re looking forward to the opening of Tango With Me. Here’s the trail:

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