The first Nigerian Movie On Netflix
Netflix, an American streaming service, presents a wide range of movies and TV shows globally. Nigeria’s film industry, commonly referred to as “Nollywood,” has experienced significant growth, resulting in the availability of various film genres on Netflix.
Discussing the first movie on Netflix, this milestone shows the dedicated efforts of Nigerian filmmakers who have aspired to share their stories with a worldwide audience. It paves the way for more Nigerian films and different storytelling.
This article delves into “Lion Heart,” Netflix’s first Nigerian film, which generated excitement among viewers and created a stage for Nigerian talent on the global platform.
The first Nigerian Movie On Netflix “Lionheart (2018)”
Chinny Onwugbenu produced Lionheart, a Nigerian drama film from 2018, which Genevieve Nnaji directed. The film features Pete Edochie, Genevieve Nnaji, and Nkem Owoh in starring roles.
Netflix acquired it on 7 September 2018, marking the first Netflix original film produced in Nigeria. Lionheart premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival in Canada.
Notably, this film marked Nnaji’s directorial debut, as well as the acting debut of Peter Okoye and Chibuzor Azubuike (also known as Phyno). It had a worldwide release on Netflix on 4 January 2019.
Lionheart represented Nigeria at the 92nd Academy Awards in the Best International Feature Film category, marking Nigeria’s first-ever Oscar submission.
However, on 4 November 2019, the Academy disqualified the film due to the majority of its dialogue being in English, with only about ten minutes of the film in Igbo.
Lionheart narrates Adaeze Obiagu’s desire to step in for her father, Chief Ernest Obiagu, who faces health issues and can no longer manage his company. Instead of choosing Adaeze, her father requests his brother Godswill to assume his role.
Now, Adaeze and Godswill must collaborate to rescue the company from financial debt and thwart a potential takeover by businessman Igwe Pascal.
- Genevieve Nnaji portrays Adaeze Obiagu, Chief Ernest Obiagu’s daughter, who serves as the Director of Logistics and Operations at the Lionheart company.
- Nkem Owoh plays Chief Godswill Obiagu, Chief Ernest Obiagu’s younger brother and the newly appointed head of the Lionheart company. He also holds the position of Managing Director at the company’s Owerri headquarters.
- Pete Edochie embodies Chief Ernest Obiagu, the owner of the Lionheart company and the father of Adaeze and Obiora. He is married to Abigail Obiagu.
- Onyeka Onwenu takes on the role of Abigail Obiagu, the mother of Adaeze and Obiora and the wife of Chief Ernest Obiagu.
- Kanayo O. Kanayo portrays Igwe Pascal, the proprietor of IG Motors, with a keen interest in acquiring the Lionheart company.
- Jemima Osunde plays Onyinye, the personal assistant to Adaeze Obiagu.
- Sani Muazu is Alhaji Danladi Maikano.
- Chibuzor Azubuike, also known as Phyno (, takes on the role of Obiora Obiagu, Adaeze Obiagu’s brother, and an aspiring musician.
- Ngozi Ezeonu appears as Chioma Obiagu, the wife of Godswill Obiagu.
- Yakubu Mohammed portrays Hamza Maikano.
- Peter Okoye assumes the character of Arinze.
- Chika Okpala is a member of the board of directors of Lionheart.