‘Losing Daylight’ intends to uncover the film industry’s lost history and make it known.
On October 1, 2023, industry leaders, filmmakers, academics, diplomats, and avid film enthusiasts got to see the evolution of Nollywood up close.
The inaugural film history exhibition, titled ‘Losing Daylight,’ featured rare footage, classic movie screenings, movie scripts, historical news publications, iconic posters, video cassettes, and other significant artifacts from the 1930s to present-day Nollywood.
Supported by BoxxCulture, EcoBank Nigeria, change.org and Zikoko, the two-day exhibition allowed the attendees to step into the past and learn how filmmaking started in the country, survived colonisation, found its name and became the force that it is today.
The exhibition focused on the colonial era of the 19th century, the golden age of Nigerian cinema, the era of home video films, and the new Nollywood era.
Speaking exclusively with Pulse, Taiwo Adeyemi, the curator emphasised the importance of the exhibition and the ‘Losing Daylight’ movement.
In his words, “Nollywood presently ranks as the world’s second-largest film industry in terms of output, significantly influencing the perspectives, beliefs, and cultural values of millions of Nigerians and Africans. Despite these glossy statistics, its evolution, spanning over a century, remains largely undocumented. As the days go by without addressing this matter, the potential of the Nigerian film industry becomes even more stunted, and a piece of history is lost, quite literally. That’s what we are solving for.”
The guests visiting the exhibition included the Consul-General of the Netherlands, Michel Deleen, filmmaker Ema Dosio Deleen, Ifeyinwa Ighodalo, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at WIMBIZ; Wale Ajiboye, Country Director of Change.org; and Femi Banwo, Founding Partner of Banwo & Ighodalo;
Falz the Bahd Guy; internet sensation Layi Wasabi; screenwriter Dami Elebe as well as Nollywood actors Tomi Ojo, Omowunmi Dada, Mike Afolarin, Gbubemi Ejeye, Genoveva Umeh, Folu Storms, Demi Banwo, Koye Kekere-Ekun, and Seun Ajayi were also in attendance.
The curator tells Pulse that this is just the beginning, as the exhibition will return from December 10–15, 2023, this time as a multi-dimensional film history festival.
Set to take place at the EcoBank Pan African Centre in Victoria Island, Lagos, this festival will feature classic film screenings, a vintage Nollywood fashion showcase, captivating stage plays, engaging panel sessions, a soundtrack concert, and more.