Behind the scene | 19 October 2007 00:40 CET

A few Nigerian movies are now making a steady in-road into mainstream London cinemas

By Steve Ayorinde

Even when they are not yet mainstream by the West's definition, Nollywood is no longer restricted to the video shelves around South east London as major cinemas begin to open their theatres to digitally-projected made-in-Nigeria flicks.

The Nollywood renaissance in the United kingdom started on an academic note early in August when the Ferguson Centre of the Open University, London in collaboration with the Creative Arts Department of the University of Lagos took a few Nigerian movies by Tunde Kelani and Amaka igwe to the mainstream theatres of the British Film Institute, as part of the successful conference on Nollywood and the African Diaspora.

Then Niyi Towolawi's digital 35mm film, Twisted, got a sold-out premiere on September 14 at Odeon cinema in Surrey Quays, London, and a national distribution deal of the film across Odeon cinemas in England.

In October, Kunle Afolayan's award-winning Irapada, which already has a distributional deal with Odeon takes the new Nigerian cinema to the next level by being listed as part of this year's London Film Festival, around the same period when the National Film and Video Censors Board in partnership with the Federal Government's Heart of Africa project is storming London with a 'road show' to further popularize the industry and afford actors and directors opportunities to network with the British film industry.

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