History of Film in Nigeria – Cinema Film Industry in Nigeria

We shall be discussing on the emergency of the History of Film in Nigeria. This encompasses the Boom of Home video in Nigeria, Golden age of Nigerian cinema and entertainment industry as a reference.

The development of Nigeria film in Nigeria which is also known as the motion picture now Nolly wood is developed in video film era and now new Nigerian cinema.

History of Film in Nigeria

Film Making in Colonial Era

It may interest you to note that film started in form of peephole viewing of motion device.

Also, early documentary films exhibited in Nigeria were produced in United Kingdom. The film’s shows the stories of Queens birthday and Queen’s opening speech at the British parliament.


It actuallyshows the life of secondary school their uniforms and many more.

In the World war II, the colonial government established the colonial film unit (CFU). The unit was charged with making films for the colonies that the objectives of the film’s were first to show the colonies that they and the English had a common enemy in the German ; to this end about a quarter of all the film’s made by the CFU were war related.


Colonial filmmakers actually started producing films for local audiences within Nigeria in the 1920s mostly employing the mobile cinema as a means of exhibition. The earliest feature film made in Nigeria is “palaver”  produced in 1926, by Geoffrey Barkas ; film was also the first film ever to feature Nigerian actors in a speaking role. Nigerian film actor film actors featured in palaver include Dawiya and Yikuba.


Meanwhile, the film was shot amongst the sura and Angas people of the present day Bauchi and pleateau state in Northern Nigeria, and narates the rivalry between a British District Officer and a tin miner which leads to a war.


The first government in Nigeria pass the cinematography law of 1963 the law recognized the value of film not only in 1972, the government promulgated the Nigeria enterprises and promotion Degree.


In 1976, the 5000 capacity National Arts Theatre Iganum was constructed in Lagos. The theatre was incorporated with two Cinemas each having a capacity of over 700 people.


Achievement of Film in Nigeria

One of the achievements made by the government in establishing the National films archives was the National films coorpration was able to retrieve all the films of historical importance previously stored in Britain.

It also retrieve the store of films produced in Nigeria and outside Nigeria and also in achieves in Jos.


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CEO, Blogger & Content Creator who loves exploring and researching. He bagged BSc in Mass Communication. He's currently a MSc Student of New Media Communication. (NICT) NAU.

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