This past spring, the New York Film Academy visited Abuja, Nigeria, to train aspiring filmmakers in a four-week film workshop. Thirty faculty members from our New York and LA locations traveled to Nigeria and, in partnership with Del-York International, spent two months giving students hands-on, practical training in film production.
Listed ahead of the United States’ in productivity, the Nigerian film industry, colloquially referred to as Nollywood, is second only to India’s Bollywood in number of films released per year and is the second-largest employer in the country. Linus Idahosa established the media communications company, Del-York International, with the intent to further develop Nigeria’s extremely active yet largely unknown film industry.
During a time of national rebranding, a modernized film industry could be a powerful unifying agent for the country of Nigeria. Idahosa believes that, through mass publication of creative expression, Nigerians can harness their cultural capital and more tangibly portray their country’s identity. If talented filmmakers were better trained and equipped to record their personal testimonies, then Nigeria’s collective story could be captured, preserved and publicized to a wider audience.
Idahosa’s ideas about the power of film are undoubtably shared by his fellow citizens, and the program was met with considerable enthusiasm. Over the course of a month, NYFA gave a passionate group of students, ages ranging from 18 to 40, instruction in directing, acting, producing and animation. Together, Del-York and NYFA were able to give roughly 370 up-and-coming Nigerian filmmakers and actors essential training to advance their craft and better communicate their message.
The New York Film Academy was honored to be invited by Linus Idahosa and Del-York International to help launch a filmmaking program in Abuja and hopes that the Nigerian film industry will continue to grow and gain recognition.