Culture Diaries: Abba T Makama explains why "Green White Green" didn't find an audience in Nigeria

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Despite its international success and critical acclaim, Abaa T Makama’s “Green White Green” wasn’t accepted by Nigerian cinemas.

“Green White Green” was one of the best Nollywood movies of 2016.

The screened at several international  film festivals, and for the first time in Nigeria at the opening ceremony of the Lights, Camera, Africa!!! Film Festival.

It was positively received by Nigerians in attendance, yet, the movie never made it to the cinema

The movie was described as unfit for cinema by a Filmone Distribution representative at the 2017 VEXPO Creative Content Conference, which held on Friday, August 4, 2017.

Speaking with Wana Udobang in a new episode of Culture Diaries, Abba Makama, who directed the movie spoke about its commercial success and finding an audience in Nigeria.

“It's what it is. The way the industry is structured right now is at a place where they are not willing to take certain risk. And I completely understand it,” he said.

“They feel like the audience has not evolved to a degree where they would assimilate this type of work. But, it's all about risk taking.”

 

To Makama, he made a film which should be accessible to every kind of person.

“I had that in mind while we were making the film. To me, I made a film that is accessible to any kind of person. It doesn't matter  whether the person is from Nigeria or any part of the world,”

 

Is it insulting that film distributors think Nigerians can't comprehend certain genre of films?

“I don't know whether it's an insult. It's business, you know,” Makama explained.

“They have spent billions of naira setting up this infrastructure to make money back.

“To now say 'we are going to test with this art film,' t's business. I clearly understand where the powers that be are coming from.”

 

However, Makama explains that the cinema isn't the only existing distribution platform.

“Green White Green” is a commercial success.  We have done well at festivals, but we have also penned a lucrative deal with Netflix, and it's going to be on several international airlines.”

“We are making our money back, and then some. So, there isn't just one distribution portal in the planet. There are several.

 

The movie tells the story of a group of young bohemian artists, who hang out and search for direction in their lives in the stagnant months leading up to the beginning of their university studies.

“Green White Green” was one of the eight Nollywood movies that screened at the Toronto International Film Festival as part of its Spotlight City to City programme.

The movie enjoyed positive reviews from Variety, Indiewire and Vice.

 

During his chat with Wana, Makama revealed his plans to make a commercial movie that would cater to cinema goers in Nigeria.

His other upcoming projects include “Shaitan,” one of the anthology of short films titled “Visions,” which is being made by three young filmmakers under the collective “Surreal 16.”

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