Let me introduce you to Nollywood, the world’s second largest film industry!
Now until this week’s lecture I had never even heard of Nollywood and as an avid cinephile of both western and foreign films, I found it quite intriguing that I knew nothing about this film industry or the films it produces.
Nollywood finds its origins in the early 1990’s through the tradition of the Yoruba travelling theatre. the Nigerian town of Lagos “quickly became the mecca of video productions, making the sites of the consumption of the cultural product of Nollywood essentially parts of that cultural landscape.” (Okome 2007,p.4)
The films of Nollywood are “films for the masses.” (Piberesima 2007). The industry releases just under 2000 titles a year, compared with Hollywood which releases on average 600 titles. The sheer amount of titles released makes Nollywood the second largest film industry in the world, just falling short of Bollywood.
Productions are extremely low-budget, shot on cheap cameras with each production costing roughly $25000-$50000 to make. What’s quite unique about this genre of film is that its productions are never professionally screened in a movie theatre, but rather are released straight to burned DVD’s.
Nollywood has elicited a “coming together” (Barber; cited in Okome 2007,p.6 ) of Nigerian communities .This can be seen in the phenomenon of “street audiences”, whereby audiences converge on the corners of streets, or pay a small fee to enter a “video parlour” (often a disused hall or cramped space) to watch Nollywood films. “In this site of spectatorship, members do not have the comfort of a cinema house” (Okome 2007, p.7)
Economically, the business has created and sustained thousands of jobs for actors, film producers and crews. Nollywood makes $590 million in revenue annually, boosting the economy tremendously.
Okome, O 2007, ‘Nollywood:Spectatorship, Audience and the Sites of Consumption’ Postcolonial Text, Vol. 3 No.2, pp 4-7.
TED 2007, A Tour of Nollywood,Nigeria’s Booming Film Industry,online video, June, viewed 19th August 2016, <https://www.ted.com/talks/franco_sacchi_on_nollywood?language=en>
Nollywood Actors and Directors,image, exclusiveafrica.net, viewed 19th August 2016, <http://exclusiveafrica.net/2013/10/12/nollywood-cleans-up-franco-sacchi-explores-the-rapid-rise-and-teething-problems-of-africas-answer-to-bollywood/>