I’m Bringing Something New To Nollywood – American-Trained Movie Maker Linda Obasi
Linda Obasi is an American-trained Nigerian moviemaker who has returned to the country to contribute her quota in bringing quality and professionalism to the movie industry.
Obasi, who spoke to THE WHISTLER, lauded the growing movie industry but admitted a lot still needs to be done if the country is to meet up with Hollywood in terms of quality and management.
She founded Enyi Media Company in 2007 in The Bronx, New York, in the United States.
She has acted in several movies including the highly rated movie Overseas, alongside legends like Patience Ozokwor (Mama G), Nonso Diobi, O’Fia Mbaka, Susan Obi, and others.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Film from Cornell University and a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from The Theatre School (DePaul University).
The movie star is currently in post-production of a wellness docuseries.
Nigeria’s Film Industry Fastest Growing In The World
Obasi said Nigeria’s film industry is highly regarded and it’s the fastest-growing film industry in the world.
She explained that after her university education in the US, where she studied filmmaking, she developed the inspiration to join the industry and contribute to its development.
“Nigeria’s film industry is the most dynamic and fastest growing in the world.
“Black people from many different countries and cultures love Nigerian movies.
“I grew up in New York watching Aki and Paw Paw and Mama G.
“My friends from Jamaica and Senegal know the Nollywood celebrities and play the movies in their shops and homes.
“After studying film, I knew I had to be a part of this industry. My family left Nigeria when I was a child, but when I heard the calling to be a filmmaker and at the same time my home country has a burgeoning industry, this was the inspiration,” she stated.
I Developed EnyiCast To Bring The Industry At Per With The Rest Of The World
She revealed that she’s developed a special app to bring both casting and talent together.
She said, “I earned a Master’s Degree in Acting from the Theatre School at DePaul University after the Bachelor’s in filmmaking from Cornell University.
“Acting is my main focus and I entered Nigeria’s film industry as an actor.
“I audition like everyone else and I’ve played a few roles in films on Africa Magic, RokTV, Netflix, and Amazon.
“Yes, I am bringing something new to the table. In 2005, before social media and smartphones were launched, I had an idea to help streamline casting by creating a website or software that contained a database of talent, a newsfeed for job posts, and direct messaging functionality.”
Going down memory lane, she pointed out that, “By 2007, I had designed EnyiCast as a website and it was built by an Abuja-based IT Specialist, but at the time, I didn’t have the ability to stay in Nigeria and market it.
“In 2022, EnyiCast was rebuilt as a mobile app and launched in August of that year.
“This time there are more structures in place that aid in marketing, such as social media and this app is really going to revolutionise the film industry in Nigeria.
“Casting apps have already become the standard internationally and Nollywood is seeing just how easy it makes casting,” she added.
Obasi further explained that the app would revolutionise the industry noting that its interface is simple and could be the game changer in the country’s movie industry.
“EnyiCast is very user-friendly. It takes five to seven minutes to sign up and create a profile.
“Casting people can post jobs and browse talent.
“Talent can browse the jobs and apply for them by contacting the casting people who posted the jobs and auditions.
“It’s nationwide and jobs are posted daily from Lagos to Abuja and all the busy production hubs in Nigeria.
“Currently, casting happens by word of mouth and people who know each other,” adding that the app when used would be the game changer.
She added that “Sometimes casting briefs are shared in WhatsApp groups and this method is widely used, but the casting people have to wait for responses from talent and hope people who match the roles will reach out.
“It’s a tedious and time-consuming task to sort through the entries. EnyiCast’s database and search functions cut down the time spent casting to a mere fraction because it’s digital and very user-friendly.
“EnyiCast will save everyone time and time is money. It will also give more actors a chance to be seen, actors who might otherwise have few if any options to showcase themselves on a professional platform.
“The current state of casting in Nollywood is working but can be convoluted, unfair, and time-consuming.
“EnyiCast benefits everyone involved and in no time it will be a household name and the industry standard for casting and production staffing,” the movie maker said.