Nollywood – The Alternative Take: An Interview with Nadia Denton

Nadia Denton profile photo

Nadia Denton profile photo

 With regards to making less conventional content, Denton believes artists need to be given a chance to evolve.‘Everyone is on their own developmental trajectory,’ she adds sympathetically. ‘People in their 20s will have certain views on , she laughs. ‘Certain things happen to them, their view of themselves as a woman and of society changes.’ Nadia sees promise in a new generation of Nigerian female auteurs. She cites Adeola Osunkojo as an example.‘There was something in her dynamism. It’s like she lives and breathes to make the content. I thought “Yeah this is the future”.’ There are encouraging signs of Ava Duvernay-style female solidarity on set amongst Nigerian filmmakers. Director Bello talks about opening up opportunities to other women. Denton herself has observed ‘pockets’ of mutual support. On the other hand, female content-makers face overwhelming challenges. It appears that the Nigerian film industry is yet to have its own #MeToo/TimesUp moment. ‘The chief issue facing Nigerian female film-makers is being compromised on a number of levels; whether sexually or ethically,’ Nadia rues. ‘It can be quite intense. It becomes very difficult if you are a woman standing strong, not wanting to compromise or be paid less… The people who are trying to coerce them will say: “Well, I can get someone else who will do it”.

During the process of making Shooting Like a Woman, Denton recalls, several filmmakers expressed their concerns off-the-record. Depressing isn’t even the word.  Nevertheless, Nadia hastens to add that there are glimmers of hope.‘There are those who are not going to compromise, who are taking their time – maybe saving their own money – so they don’t have to. I wouldn’t want to give a false impression. But they need more people to support them and make their voices known’.

The I Just Dey Observe programme will feature at Encounters short film festival on 27 September 2018 in Bristol.

Catch Nadia at the Lights, Camera, Africa! film festival in Lagos over Nigerian Independence weekend (last weekend of September) and look out for Beyond Nollywood 2019.

This is an edited version of a longer interview.

Nadia Denton official website

Nadia Denton on Twitter

Nadia Denton on LinkedIn

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