In 2019, Nollywood birthed new, exciting voices: Akay Mason (Elevator Baby) and Akinyemi Sebastian Akinropo (Coming From Insanity). The year also ushered in welcome trends, some of our creatives—Genevieve Nnaji and C. J. Obasi—signed with Hollywood talent agencies; big film executives gave young directors platforms to excel—Jade Osiberu with Kayode Kasum on Sugar Rush and Niyi Akinmolayan with Mason on Elevator Baby.
The industry also won big at the box office, four films—Living in Bondage, Your Excellency, Sugar Rush and Merry Men— grossed over a 150 million naira. Nollywood will be looking to build on the momentum from last year to launch more record-breakers, new voices and trends in 2020. In this post, we take a look at 10 Nigerian movies coming out in 2020 that can push Nollywood to even greater heights.
Who’s The Boss
Who’s The Boss is screen-writer and film executive Naz Onuzo’s directorial debut. The movie is centered around Liah, an overworked staff of an ad agency who invents a boss for her start-up agency to keep it a secret from her finicky boss, Hauwa. Like most of Onuzo’s scripts, Who’s The Boss has a bit of corporate battle and is flavored with romance.
King of Boys II
Kemi Adetiba’s King of Boys is currently the fourth highest-grossing Nigerian movie ever. A stellar showing from Sola Sobowale with equally as impressive performances from Toni Tones, Reminisce, Adesua Etomi-Wellington, and Illbliss propelled the political thriller to an eight-week run at number one at the box office. This year, the sequel is expected and according to suggestions from Adetiba’s social media accounts, this is where the story shall come to a close. Building on one of the Nollywood movies with the deepest plots we’ve ever seen, King of Boys II will without a doubt be one of the biggest movies to hit the cinemas this year.
The Lost Okoroshi
The Lost Okoroshi is a madcap fable about the disconnect between modern Nigeria and traditional values. The film follows a disillusioned security guard who is transformed irreversibly into an Okoroshi masquerade, and then go on a spiritual journey around Lagos.
The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and also screened at African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) and the BFI London Film Festival. The Lost Okoroshi is expected to come to cinemas this year but it might also head straight to small screens like Makama’s debut which was rejected by the cinemas in 2016.
LA Femme Anjola
Featuring Rita Dominic, Nonso Bassey, Femi Jacobs and Joke Silva, La Femme Anjola is billed as a neo-noir that tells the story of Anjola Kalu, the spouse of a businessman, who falls for a young stockbroker and sax player and shakes up what he once knew as normal.
Jade Osiberu’s sophomore Nigerian Trade is a fast-paced crime drama that explores the menace of kidnapping in the country. The film, inspired by true events, follows the high-stakes investigation into the activities of Dike Maduka aka Eric, a notorious, smart kidnapper who has evaded the authorities for over two decades.
Milkmaid tells the story of two sisters, Aisha and Zainab, who are caught up in the militant insurgency in Northern Nigeria. Aisha and Zainab have been separated due to the war and the former is forced to approach the militants who took her sister away to get her back even that means making heavy compromises.
Rattle Snake: The Ahanna Story
Charles Okpaleke recently acquired the rights to Amaka Igwe’s 1994 movie Rattle Snake. Widely regarded as the industry’s first action movie, it shall be interesting to see what direction producer Okpaleke, writer Nicole Asinugo and director Ramsey Nouah choose to go with the Ahanna Story. The movie is expected in cinemas in November or December 2020 and will be another opportunity for Okpaleke to show his pedigree in the film industry.
Ratnik marks the return of science fiction in our cinemas. Since Niyi Akinmolayan’s debut, Kajola, no one has tried their hands on the genre. But unlike the amateurish Kajola, the visual effects look appealing and believable. The film is a showdown between Iyami Osoronga (juju-fi) and advanced technologies (sci-fi).
Badamasi (The Portrait of a General)
Badamasi (The Portrait of a General) explores the life of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, from his childhood days to his time at the apex seat of power in the country. Director Obi Emelonye looks at the toughest aspects of the general’s life and tries to show the human behind the monster everyone sees. Of course, that raises questions: is the film going to whitewash the general’s actions?