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Nollywood arrives in London for launch of Sky channel Rok

ARRIVALS: Nollywood stars arrive in London

ROK STUDIOS, the award-winning Nigerian film studio, launches a brand new Nollywood channel on Sky TV today (Sept 29).

The channel, whose launch coincides will Nigeria's 56th Independence anniversary, will be programmed with thousands of hours of Rok Studios-produced TV shows and movies, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will be available to all Sky subscribers on channel 344.

Nollywood stars, including Mercy Aigbe-Gentry, Yvonne Jegede, Chioma Akpotha, Patience Ozokwor, Alexx Ekubo, John Dumelo and Jackie Appiah, arrived in London last night (Sept 28) to attend the launch gala.

The free-to-view channel will be fully programmed, produced and developed in-house, by Rok teams in Lagos and London.

Nigerian cinema, known colloquially as Nollywood, is the second largest film industry in the world, in terms of production output. It currently generates over $600m for Nigeria’s film industry each year, much of which comes from the African Diaspora; the UK is one of the industry’s most lucrative markets.

Nollywood is the world’s second largest film industry in terms of output, producing approximately 50 films a week and employs over one million people in Nigeria, and contributes 1.42 percent of Nigeria’s GDP. Prominent themes in Nollywood films include family, religion, love and betrayal. Producing a movie in Nigeria costs on average $25,000–$70,000.

Also in attendance at last night's gala was Rukky Sanda, Emem Isong, Mike Godson, Oge Okoye, Bolanle Ninalowo, Uche Odoputa, Ebube Nwagbo, Uduak Isong, Mary Lazarus, Padita Agu,Jennifer Eliogu, Bobby Obodo,Kelechi Ogbonna, Agu Emeka Ejikeme, Judith Bulama, Binta Bulama, Selima Bulama, Jemila Bulama and Biodun Stephen.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Rok CEO Mary Njoku, an award-winning Nollywood actress and film producer who’s spent over 12 years at the heart of Nigerian filmmaking, said: “Nollywood’s appeal is truly global; it is not just for Africans, but for film fans in general. As a production house, we have been obsessed with curating amazing African content and telling African stories our way, and with the launch of Rok on Sky, we can bring our stories to millions more. This channel is an unashamed celebration of all things Nollywood, but more than that, a celebration of African stories - in our own words, with our own characters, with our own drama”.

“In its short but busy history, Rok has become synonymous with edgy, distinct content, depicting the full gamut of Nigerian life. Compelling storytelling is at the core of everything we strive to produce at Rok, and across our movies and original TV series, we’ve showcased Africa’s most prominent actors, as well as brought to the fore many of the industry’s rising stars. Combine this with leading film production techniques and scripts from the industry’s most talented writers and we’ve built a film studio with an ever-growing global fanbase that has real momentum. Now, we are translating this creative content onto our biggest platform yet; Sky”.

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