Beyond Nollywood Nse Ikpe-Etim discusses career, Nigerian film industry system

The conversation piece ended with Nse Ikpe-Etim stating how excited she is about the quality of films and stories coming out of Nigeria.

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Nse Ikpe-Etim in conversation play

Nse Ikpe-Etim in conversation

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A ground-breaking 3-day programme of international Nigerian Cinema took place from November 18 to November 20, 2016, at the BFI Southbank as part of BFI Black Star.

The Beyond Nollywood weekender showcased a new crop of Nigerian filmmakers who are revolutionising the industry beyond Nollywood with arthouse, documentary, animation and experimental films.

For the first time, one of Nigeria’s actresses, Nse Ikpe-Etim, was in discussion about her career and the Nollywood star system.

Nse Ikpe-Etim in conversation play

Nse Ikpe-Etim in conversation

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Delving straight into her career Ms. Ikpe-Etim stated that she never wanted to be an actress, but it was something she thought she might want to do after being captivated by Sophia Lauren’s performance in the 1961 film, "El-Cid."  Like most, her mother wanted her to study medicine, but she studied theatre arts instead.

After graduation, she worked as a banker before being cajoled back into acting by a friend who recognised her talent.  At this point in the conversation, Ms. Ikpe-Etim laughed at her own naiveté and stated that she only agreed to the role because she reckoned she would be paid a lot of money.

On how she prepares for roles, she stated that she needs preparation time because she favours Stanislavski’s method acting. This means that she tries to stay in character for the duration of filming. In a particular case, she was in character for a period of three months.

Nse Ikpe-Etim in conversation play

Nse Ikpe-Etim in conversation

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According to the actress, her role in the Akin Omotoso movie "A Hotel Called Memory" is her most memorable as it has been her most challenging because she had to communicate using only her eyes and body language.

The conversation piece ended with Ikpe-Etim stating how excited she is about the quality of films and stories coming out of Nigeria and as well as possibilities for her own steadily rising international career.

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