Lessons on Breaking into the movie industry- Nadine Ibrahim Films to the world.
Nollywood movies are crossing borders, exporting and importing talent and selling out in Cinemas. Who would have imagined! One of the ladies rocking the industry is Nadine Ibrahim. Let us learn from her story.
Mrsceonaija (MCN): Please, can you introduce yourself and your business?
Nadine: My name is Nadine Ibrahim. I am a filmmaker. I moved to Nigeria 4 years ago and have since been involved with a number of productions. I have directed 2 award winning short films and have Co produced and Assistant Directed the critically acclaimed feature Hakkunde. I created my own production company Naila Media last year and we have a few projects in the works.
MCN: Interesting business I must say. Yet, this is an industry that seems closed to investors, to new directors and new producers. How easy is it to break into the industry? What are the steps you took?
Nadine: Experience is beneficial in this industry, When I moved back, although I had gained experience in the UK and New york I still needed to make myself familiar with the industry here in Nigeria. Every film industry is different so it felt like a new experience entirely. My goal was to meet and introduce myself to as many industry professionals as possible, let them know about my work and what I can bring to the table. After a few years of making home grown content and building up my CV further I feel confident enough to own my production company and create content I am truly passionate about, while also creating a platform for people who are just starting out and want the same opportunities I was searching for. Once you have the experience and reputation, people are more likely to invest in you and your ideas.
MCN: Wow. Capital injection is surely required for success as a movie maker. What tactics can be used to source this? At a sustainable cost of course.
Nadine: when I first started out, my friends and family where my only choices. But as you begin to create bigger projects you need a lot more funding. That is when you need to find a good producer to come on board. They then help you find investors and see what commercial value your project may have.
MCN: What lessons did you learn with every project you worked on? Tolu, through her eyes, Hakkunde?
Nadine: Patience. A lot of the time you want to create the absolute best content and passion runs over everything. But working on films is a lot harder than you think. So many things can go wrong and you have to be patient enough to evaluate certain situations and think up resolutions. Try as much as possible to not allow your emotions to cloud your judgment.
MCN: It appears you had huge support from family and friends on funding and start up generally. How can someone with limited family support and connections start?
Nadine: Crowdfunding is something I used at the start of my career too. It is not so popular in Nigeria but you could get lucky and be spotted by investors searching for projects online. There are also some grants you find from organisations and foundations, most are free to apply to. Gaining experience and networking is also a way to find funding.
MCN: Electricity supply is a major challenge in Nigeria. How does it affect the movie and media production industry and how do you tackle it?
Nadine: Unfortunately this is a very big issue during production. It affects you financially and can also affect quality of production specifically sound when you need to use a generator. It is one of those things you have to deal with and try and tackle once they arise.
MCN: How do you protect against Piracy ? is it even possible to protect against it in Nigeria?
Nadine: Piracy is a very sensitive issue all around the world. Laws that are enforced could help the issue but unfortunately it one of those things that are very hard to deal with. Making films more accessible to the general public could potentially control piracy.
MCN: How can the government and other stakeholders support the industry better?
Nadine: Provide more opportunities financially to create new content.
MCN: What are the key ingredients for any business growth in this industry?
Nadine: keep creating content and make more connections.
MCN: Any last words of advises to SMEs in Nigeria generally? not only those in the movie/advertising business.
Nadine: Success is not a destination but a journey. Don’t rush to the finish line. Learn from your experiences and live in the moment.
MCN: Who/what inspires you? What keeps you going?
My Husband and my Mother. My passion keeps me going, I know what I want so im going all out to get it.