Nolly 2025 & Nollywood Hustlers

Nollywood Hustlers is a documentary about the megalomanic directors Rut Karin and Sonia who try their luck in the notorious Nigerian movie industry. They have come to Lagos to realize their visionary film Nolly 2025. The style of the documentary is inspired by the lighthearted form of the behind-the-scenes-genre. Nolly 2025 is recorded in i Lagos according to the Nollywood model, with domestic actors and team. The film is an ethno-fiction that takes place in the year 2025, when Nollywood dominates world cinema while American and European film industry is calling for protectionist measures. The Nigerian cultural imperialism is spreading across the world...

Trailer Nollywood Hustlers
Nolly 2025


Our vision

The US's and Europe’s economic power is decreasing rapidly right now. How will Africa’s growing economy create, develop and disseminate new filmic expressions like Nollywood? What happens when there are cut backs on cultural budgets in Europe, while there is a huge market for English-speaking African film? As Swedish video artists and filmmakers we have worked for many years with low budgets for our adventurous projects in different parts of the world. With Nollywood Hustlers and Nolly 2025 we examine a new system of working in between video art, fiction and documentary films in Nollywood. We are inspired by Nollywoods methods, both in terms of production conditions, narrative structures, visual form and distribution.

Our driving force is to analyze and portray how the fast changes taking place in global capitalism at this moment affects the cultural industry. Specifically how Nigeria’s oil industry and rapid growth through Nollywood is pushing a Nigerian cultural imperialism in Africa. In our film this trend has been accelerated even further, a scenario where Nigeria in 10 years from now is the global hub for movie making.



Since independence in 1960, the megacity of Lagos, Nigeria, is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the world, and the richest city in Africa. The UN estimates that by 2015 the city will be the world’s third largest, after Tokyo and Mumbai. Nigeria has only been a democracy for 20 years, 85 percent of the country’s revenue comes from oil exports. Its economy is currently one of the fastest growing in the world. The largest employer in the country after the oil industry goes by the name of Nollywood. Nollywood was born in 1991 with the film Living in Bondage, and grew rapidly in the mid-90s, like the Swedish video art and documentary-film scene, Thanks to the new digital technology. In 2009, Nollywood passed Hollywood in terms of number of films produced per year, making the Nigerian film industry to the world’s second largest, after Bollywood. Here a movie is produced in a week or two, with an average budget of 10 000 euro, and is spread in hundreds of thousands of copies across Africa and the African Diaspora.

Nollywood films are not recorded in studio, but on location in apartments, offices or restaurants that are rented for a few hours. Dialogue is partially improvised. Focus is on dramatic stories, strong scripts and theatrical acting. The style comes from earlier decades of television dramas produced with theater actors. These in turn have their roots in the country’s rich oral narrative traditions, which has also been expressed through many famous writers like Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The fact that black Nollywood actors in recent years has become great celebrities and role models throughout Africa and the African Diaspora implies a cultural shift from the past, when white American stars dominated global imagery. We are interested in this change in pictorial prerogative. And we are inspired by the innovative thinking found in Nollywoods young film industry, which is comparable to Hollywood in the 1910’s and 20’s, when talented women and other fortune-hunters took chances and risks in an environment not yet controlled by a few huge and dominant production companies.

Background information on Nollywood

Synopsis/ form Nolly 2025

Nolly 2025 is a film about Nollywood in 10 years from now, inspired by Nollywood aesthetics and methods. We adapt in part to the local style, but the film also differs from the norm, as it not only takes place in middle-class environments but portrays Lagos separate worlds. Characters that appear in the film is an extremely wealthy film producer and his beautiful son who lives in a marble palace in the oligarchic environment of Victoria Island, a diva superstar and her male groupies, poor illegal immigrants from Europe seeking success in the dream factory. As well as an art film guerrilla who kidnap wealthy male film producers and oil billionaires and take them by canoe to the floating ghetto out on the Lagos Lagoon, where they practice voodoo on them, as well as sending out kidnapping videos to blackmail them for huge amounts of naira which they will use to make art films. The plot becomes more complicated when one of the guerrilla girls fall in love with the handsome upper class boy. Must she choose between love and art?

To develop our script and lines we worked closely together with actors Naomi Diamond,  Patience Yisa, Maryjane Ugochukwu Nwaeze, Jumoke Olayemi, Kamoru Oloyede, Ahmed Yusuf och Emmanuel Opeoluwa Adekanbi. In the Nigerian acting tradition, improvisation and theatricality are strong elements.

A collection of Nollywood film trailers








  The project has received support from: Kulturbryggan, Helge Ax:son Johnsons Stiftelse, Filmbasen and Gertrude och Ivar Philipsons Stiftelse.