Motion Pictures with Chidumga Does Nigeria really need a Calabar movie industry 'Callywood?'

From Kannywood, Nollywood to Callywood, why can't all these woods come together to build one strong recognized Nigeria film industry devoid of subsections?

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Udeme MMM play

Udeme MMM

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The Governor of Cross River state, Benedict Ayade, recently launched Callywood, the Cross River version of Nollywood.

He did not only launch this 'great' body, which he would probably support financially, he also appointed a filmmaker, Egor Efiok, to run it.

According to the filmmaker, she is currently in Cross Rivers State to help discover and make stars in the state. She further revealed that she wants Callywood’s answer to James Bond, Dracula, Samuel L Jackson, Jamie Fox, Meryl Streep, Leonardo Di Caprio, "Game Of Thrones"  among other hit movies, TV series and award winners.

Idomo poster play

Idomo poster


This thing called "Callywood" has me in a confused mood with so many questions running through my mind.

There are probably also many people like me out there who see Callywood as a very huge scam, which will fade away with time.

If the Governor is so interested in raising stars in/from his state, why did he not build a film academy? A film academy that would help grow the already established film industry.

There's nothing wrong with raising stars from Cross River State. There's nothing wrong with creating movies or content in Efik dialect. There's also nothing wrong with finding a name for it, except for the fact  that it is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard.

Nollywood is still growing, and a filmmaker who has probably been a part of this industry for over five years, with few 'international' movies to her name, suddenly thinks she can raise stars that can equal to Leonardo DiCaprio, and characters like James Bond. Is the different name going to make it any easier?

If it was announced that the Governor is supporting indigenes of his state interested in pursing a career in acting, and has appointed Effiok to oversee its success, I probably would be applauding him for such great act.

Icheke Oku play

Icheke Oku


At this point, I am beginning to think that there's no discrimination in Nollywood, as Kannywood, Yorubawood, Callywood and every other wood, are entirely different from the body called Nollywood, and are different Nigerian film industries.

An actress recently defined Nollywood as home grown Nigerian movies, a definition I totally agree with. But then, if Nollywood is supposed to mean that, what is the essence of these names; Kannywood, Callywood, and the rest.  Why can't we have one body that describes our Nigerian film industry?

Do we really need the sub-divisions? There are Tamil language films produced in India, but they are all seen and recognized as Bollywood.

Uduak Isong has produced quite a number of movies in Ibibio dialect, and we didn't get to hear "Akwawood." Nichole Banna produced an Igbo movie titled "Icheoku," which stars Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award winners like Blossom Chukwujekwu, Daniel K Daniel and other talented actors, and nobody is saying  "Igbowood."

Okon in Lagos play

Okon in Lagos


Why do we have to put up with "Callywood," because someone is going to be releasing Efik movies featuring 'stars' from Cross River State? How many states will Callywood cover? How involved would other South South states be?

I want to believe that 'Callywood' and Efiok will only release movies in Ibibio and Efik, as producing English movies won't make them any different from the industry generally known as Nollywood. If they are going to be producing English movies, then why do they need the name 'Callywood?' 

Effiok promised to collaborate with Hollywood on every Callywood film that she makes, and will ensure that the Callywood stars stand out and are recognised and acknowledged internationally.

I have a question here, would the Hollywood actors involved speak Ibibio or Efik? How huge a role would they have in an indigenous movie? Waka pass, or antagonist?

Would the Callywood actors get to feature in English movies? If yes, then why cage them in a box called Callywood.

Desmond Elliot, Ini Edo, Bishop Ime Umoh, Belinda Effah have all featured in indigenous movies, and they are still seen as Nollywood actors because nobody restricted them to an industry called 'Akwawood.' They choose to be a part of a worldwide recognized film industry called Nollywood, and feature in any movie they choose.

Akan play



"If you have watched Beast Of No Nation with Idris Elba playing a support role to the lead 12-year-old Ghanaian actor Abraham Attah, you will get my drift. This is your chance to prove that you have it in you," she said in her statement release.

Allow me to take sides with Yvonne Nelson here, "Beasts of No Nation" isn't a Ghanaian movie, which granted Abraham Attah international recognition.

"Beasts of No Nation" is an American War film, directed by American film director Cary Joji Fukunaga, produced by no Ghanaian - so we don't 'get your drift.'

"Beasts of No Nation" is an American movie that featured a talented Ghanaian actor, who did so well, and earned himself international recognition.

If I'm to rephrase the statement, Effiok is promising to get "Callywood" stars hit roles in Hollywood films, thus getting them international recognition.

Turning Point by Egor Efiok play

Turning Point by Egor Efiok


Why didn't she do this with Nollywood movies? Someone is probably going to say 'finance,' which is always the excuse for  poor quality in Nollywood.

I'm pretty sure the Governor will be supporting Callywood financially, so Nigerians should probably be ready to embrace new set of actors who would shoot the country's entertainment industry beyond expectations.

I think this thing called Callywood is a scam, but I hope they prove myself and so many others who find the idea ridiculous wrong, and proceed to become the biggest Nigerian film industry.

But then again, why can't all these woods come together to build one strong recognized film industry devoid of subsections?

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