In Nollywood, we must hone our skills and make films with depth – Boyo
Nwakaego Boyo is the MD/CEO of Temple Productions, and has worked extensively in the creative art industries in Nigeria for over 20 years.
She studied Theatre Arts with a focus on TV and Film and has a number of critically acclaimed feature films, documentaries and advocacy films under her belt.
Boyo is an Art Enthusiast and Collector. She is on the committee of TATE, AAC. She is the President of the International Women’s Society Nigeria, founder of Temple MAI Foundation under Temple Productions and a Global rights advocate in the campaign against Sexual Violence.
She is also a member of the Association of Movie Producers, National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practioners (NANTAP) and NEGB.
Boyo serves on the Advisory Board of Oando Foundation and is a Director at Lagos Preparatory School, Ikoyi.
I grew up in Enugu for three years and then moved to Lagos in the late 70’s. It was a wonderful idyllic childhood. My parents were very wonderful! Loving, protective and firm but we had the best childhood. We were exposed to great music, art, films, reading extensively, and travel. My father loved engaging us in brilliant conversations at dinner and our opinions even as children were never discarded.
Back then, Lagos was a safe place for a child. I rode my bike to my friend’s homes without any fear whatsoever. My parents were also professionals who instilled in us a strong work ethics, good Christian morals all of which has helped me till date even in my business and professional life.
Being in the creative art industry for 20 years
It has had its ups and downs. It has inspired major growth for me personally and professionally and has taught me a great deal about working with all kinds of people, working through challenges, having a clear focus and drive. Also, it has helped in clarifying my goals even as I daily strive to do better, and of course evolving as the industry has its self evolved.
International Women’s Society Nigeria and your involvement
As president of International Women’s Society Nigeria, my duties as president are to run and steer the affairs of the society for a year focusing on our mission which is to improve, and continue to impact positively the lives of women and children in Nigeria. This year, my goal has also been to expand our reach within Nigeria through engagements with new members, and organisations in Lagos, and other cities in Nigeria, and to create awareness of the society and its charitable projects.
Your take on sexual violence and way out
It is a scourge that has gone unchallenged for many years, too many years. I have given my support to organisations whose focus is to support victims, their health, wellbeing and rights, and I will continue to if called upon.
Professionally, my challenge includes ensuring that individuals, organisations and government start to really take the creative industry and its professionals seriously. A lot simply pay lip service to it and do not try to understand our challenges, offer or create tailor made products, services or policies to assist us in growing our businesses. Incredibly frustrating is the environment here which is so hard to operate a business successfully regardless of drive or focus. The cost of making films in Nigeria is high not only in terms of cost, but also because of the challenges one faces. Professionalism within the industry is also a huge challenge.
What is currently in your front burner and what should we be looking forward to in 2018?
The premiere of ‘A Hotel Called Memory’ and subsequent private screenings, Cinema releases in Nigeria and possibly South Africa. We also started pre production in a new film due for release in 2018, titled ‘The Ghost In The House Of Truth’, directed by Akin Omotoso and starring Genevieve Nnaji, Kate Henshaw, Fabian Olojede and Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju.
Acting and producing as a way of life
I became a producer in 1996 with the film ‘Violated’ and since then; I have been focused on producing and the business of film. If I am offered a role that challenges me then I certainly will act again. I have done some acting in two television productions and they are due for release in 2018.
Temple Productions and your involvement
Temple Productions produce feature films, advocacy films, documentaries and advertisements. We produced Keeping Faith, 30 days, A Hotel Called Memory, coming soon The Ghost In The House Of Truth. We produce documentaries and adverts for corporate clients and our foundation makes advocacy films and visual statements for NGOs. We recently collaborated on two advocacy films on sexual violence against women and another awareness for children against sexual abuse.
Do you feel women are subjected to condescending exposures in order to secure a role in any movie?
Yes! Sometimes, in this industry there are those who experience such. In recent weeks with the #metoo campaign going global, a small number of women here in Nigeria, have stepped forward and spoken up about their own experiences. I have not experienced any personally but have heard stories for years about the possibility.
How is Nigeria faring globally in the movie industry and what can be done to better improve the industry?
We are at the brink of getting our foot fully through the door. Nollywood is known to be the major producers of films, but usually mass produced films with questionable production values. In the last few years, a lot more effort has been made to ensure the production values are high. We are getting there but in my opinion the time is now, we need to focus less on high volume, and instead to hone our skills and make films with depth, choose themes that resonate but have a message, and stop focusing on making forgettable films.
Advise for anyone willing to be in Nollywood
It is completely crucial to learn how to act before participating in a movie however, learning about the discipline required and acting style is a good to have. Passion and talent can get you far but you definitely need to keep learning about your craft and investing in yourself by exploring just how much you can do with it.
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