Steve Ayorinde’s landmark book celebrates new Nigerian cinema

Celebrated Journalist, Film Critic and former Commissioner for Tourism Arts & Culture in Lagos State, Mr Steve Ayorinde, has released a new book titled 30: Three Decades Of The New Nigerian Cinema – A Bystander’s Verdict.

According to a statement, the book celebrates the landmark achievements and outstanding practitioners in the Nigerian film industry.

The book is being sold globally by Amazon in print (hardcopy and paperback) and on kindle.

In a statement released in Lagos on Friday by Patrons Media, the co-publishers, the book is also available on Smashwords and Lulu for global audiences and on Okadabooks in Nigeria.

A formal unveiling is planned for after the general elections in Nigeria, at the end of March, according to the statement. 

“In six chapters, 30: Three Decades Of The New Nigerian Cinema curates 30 each of those that the author considers outstanding among directors, actors, actresses and feature films released in Nigeria since 1992.”

Quoting from the book’s Preface, the statement highlights the author’s intention in writing about an industry that he has encountered closely as a cub reporter, editor and columnist, editor-in-chief, member of jury and as commissioner.

“This book simply seeks to celebrate and document some of the outstanding films, directors, actors and landmark events, which have in the past 30 years or thereabout, defined the industry we now celebrate today; without forgetting other legendary names that played their parts but who are no more on planet earth.”

The statement said “thirty each of such outstanding professionals and movies have been selected for special highlights in this book as exemplary representatives from a large pool of talented practitioners and outstanding films that best celebrate this phenomenal industry in the past three decades.

“This industry was built out of their sweat and labour of love. The choices contained in this publication are simply my preferences as someone who has encountered the industry and most of its key players closely for more than 30 years,” the statement quoted Ayorinde in the book’s Preface.

From classic oldies like Asewo To Re Mecca and Living In Bondage, both in 1992, to Ti Oluwa Nile, Glamour Girls, Mortal Inheritance and Igodo; up to Ije, Otober 1, Sadauki, Half of a Yellow Sun and the more recent King Of Boys, The Milkmaid and Amina, the book curates a rich spread of some of the films that redefined the new Nigerian cinema.

In his Foreword to the book, respected scholar and one of the first international academics to spread the gospel of Nollywood globally, Prof. Jonathan Haynes said Ayorinde’s journalistic work in the early and mid-1990s “were the first I found that gave some kind of handle on what this thing (Nollywood phenomenon) was and who the people were who were creating it.” 

According to Prof. Haynes, in one way or another, the film industry has always been in his (Ayorinde) bailiwick. “You don’t see a masquerade standing in one place, as the old saying has it. Ayorinde has moved round but he’s never lost sight of the movies; and the fruits of decades of steady observation and judgement are here in this new book, which I’m pleased to be able to help welcome into the world.” 

In her “Encore” (Last Word) submission in the book, the late President of the Association of Movie Producers (AMP) and founder of African Movies Academy Awards (AMAA), Peace Anyiam-Osigwe said the book is a necessary tool to goad the industry towards the right path for the next 30 years.

” The Nollywood Industry needs to find its way back to its purest beginning, where collaboration drove the energy in the room. As the industry grew, unfortunately so did its extreme need to be an Industry filled with envy and competitive spirit.

” I believe that in the next 30 years, Nollywood would have built proper film studios which would help our quality control. For us to remain relevant as the content kings, I would love to see Nollywood look deeper inside, celebrating quality, listening and responding to criticism and pushing towards quality.” 


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