Earlier this year, Plan B, the Nigerian/Kenyan collaboration helmed by two female film makers Lola Adelek of LowlaDee studios Sara Hassan of Kenyan production company Alfajiri Productions, was nominated for and won best East African film at the 2020 African Magic Viewers Choice Awards. This win was unprecedented, because Lowladee productions premiered Plan B as an exclusive to Youtube, straight to open streaming project, leveraging off her massive online fanbase to push the film to profitability. As at current check, Plan B has racked an impressive 2.3 million views, and with its 10 strategically placed ads, quite a tidy sum in Youtube revenue. It seems film maker Daniel Ademinokan and his wife, actress and producer Stella Damasus were taking notice.
They just released ‘Between’, Damasus’s first feature film in a lead role in years. Stella Damasus has always been a bankable actress, and her decision to take a break from Nollywood was spurred by personal reasons. It is interesting to see her make a comeback now in her 40’s and taking on a character that is as self-possessed and independent as her role in ‘Between’.
The Coronavirus pandemic has essentially destabilized the Nigerian film industry, pushing back schedule cinema releases for months, maybe even years. Not everyone has the time or resources to sit on their projects indefinitely until the world resettles and many are going to follow LowlaDee’s visionary lead and look to streaming platforms to get their work there and begin to recoup their investments through other means. Will ‘Between’ do well? Considering both Ademinokan and Damasus are savvy with the internet and Damasus has managed to stay relevant without putting out major projects in the last few years purely by how she has been able to leverage her presence on Instagram, I have little doubt Between will be a commercial success.
Will Youtube be the next major Nollywood platform, that we will have to wait and see.
Binge on Between here.