In another resounding victory for Nollywood and the African movie industry, Canal+ has just announced the acquisition of a Nigerian film studio.
The studio in question, ROK film studios, which is headed by Mary Njoku and is a subsidiary of IROKO TV.
The idea is for Canal+ to strengthen its presence in Africa and Nollywood is one of the biggest exporters of entertainment in the world and certainly the largest in Africa.
ROK is Nigeria’s largest production house with more than 500 movies and 25 TV shows.
Njoku, speaking to CNN, explained just what the deal will enable the company to do: “They (Canal+) wanted an organization that could supply their studio with Nollywood content. They have some channels in Francophone Africa and wanted a supply of African content for those channels,”
With the emergence of huge companies like Netflix, Amazon and HBO, Canal+ has seen viewership decline and they have set their sights on Africa in the hopes of cornering the market with a wide array of African entertainment geared towards their choice demographic.
Canal+ said in a statement: “This acquisition represents a key stage in Canal + group’s international expansion. It allows the group to be present across the entire Nollywood value chain, and acquire unique expertise in the mass production of African fiction — films, series, and entertainment,”
Canal will be facing competition in Africa from Netflix and Startimes but believe that the acquisition of ROK will improve their chances.
“When a company as big as Canal+ acknowledges and is ready to work with us to export Nollywood, it sends out a positive signal to the movie industry. Filmmakers are assured that they are doing something right,” Mary Njoku added.
Netflix has been making giant strides in making more African content and acquiring movies, for instance, Netflix paid a significant amount for the rights to the movie Lion Heart by Genevieve Nnaji.