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Niyi Akinmolayan schools critics on what it takes to be a successful Nollywood filmmaker

For the director, being successful and making films that people love all the time don't go hand in hand.

Niyi Akinmolayan shares his thoughts on what it takes to be successful in Nollywood

While some of these have paid off, with The Wedding Party 2 (2017) achieving commercial success, others, like Chief Daddy 2: Going for Broke (2022), got judgedly harshly in the court of public opinion.

Ahead of the release of his latest film, The House of Secrets, Pulse caught up with the director and founder of media production company Anthill Studios.

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Responding to our question about the negative reactions he has received in the past, Akinmolayan had an interesting take.

For him, being a successful filmmaker in this industry and making movies that appeal to everyone is unrealistic.

In his words, "The Anthill motto is to keep moving forward. We never look back. We allow you guys to do that work. Here's what I like to tell people about the economics of making films in Nigeria. If you're going to be a successful filmmaker, you're going to have to make a lot of films at a time. You're going to do more than one film in a year in the capacity of a director if you want to be successful. It's gonna be very hard to always be on top of your game when you have to make all of this work, and so that's what happens. There will be productions that know people will not entirely feel strongly about but knowing that you have to do this for the economics of it, you have to know that you win some and you lose some."

Akinmolayan went on to break down what it takes to make movies and run a successful studio with regularly paid employees.

"Everybody else needs to understand that at this level, for someone like me, I'm also a businessman," he stated. "Every time we make a movie, 60 to 100 human beings get paid, they get to pay their school fees, feed their families, take care of their children, and buy themselves nice stuff."

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For him, ensuring that his employees are taken care of is more important than how people might feel about his projects.

"So, sometimes you're going to prioritise that over what some people think about the film. You're going to hope that people love your film every time you make it and that you can keep impressing them, or that if you get to do three films in a year, they will at least love two. But it's very unrealistic to think that you want to meet the economics of being a successful filmmaker in Nigeria and that people will always love your films," the filmmaker declared.

His latest movie has garnered reactions from both ends of the spectrum since it came out on June 30, 2023, on Prime Video.

The psychological thriller focuses on a woman haunted by her past. It stars Najite Dede, Efe Irele, Shawn Faqua, Kate Henshaw, Femi Jacobs and Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi.

The House of Secrets is currently available on the streamer.

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Watch the trailer:

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