Hooray for Nollywood!

Intrepid reader Ben Hartman alerted me to a fine, if all too short, article in Wired about the third largest film industry in the world. Where is that, you ask? Nigeria.

The article is really a tease — and an effective one at that — for two recent US-produced documentaries, Welcome to Nollywood and This is Nollywood.

Until I can get my hands on those documentaries, and some actual Nollywood movies, here are some articles that I enjoyed reading today as I educated myself about the Nigerian film industry.

Cinema of Nigeria page on Wikipedia.

Welcome to Nollywood. An extensive article from The Guardian.

Nollywood drought at Fespaco. BBC article discusses allegations of snoobery at Africa’s most prestigious film festival towards Nollywood pix.

Step Aside, L.A. and Bombay, for Nollywood. NYT article from 2002(!).

The Nollywood Phenomenom. Article found on the World Intellectual Property Association website (WIPO’s website tells me that it is a “specialized agency of the United Nations”).

3 Responses to “Hooray for Nollywood!”

  1. d-ron Says:

    Well, the Francophone bias at FESPACO aside (I think the only people happier to find English speakers than me were the Nigerians I met!)….there’s a pretty good reason there’s not a big Nollywood presence at the festival. The business model of Nigerian film seems to work much like the porn industry in the US. Cheap product, fast turn around, volume, volume, volume. You can turn a profit and please the crowd, but probably not win any prizes.

    By the way EZRA (a Nigerian co-production) won the Golden Stallion at FESPACO this year and is a really solid film. (I know California Newsreel was hoping to acquire it for distribution, but the producers were hoping for something bigger). It was a nice karma balance for Newton who, earlier in the day of the awards, had his suitcase – and airplane ticket – lifted from the Hotel Independance while he was giving an interview. C’est la Afrique!

  2. Jason Scott Says:

    According to the documentary “Good Copy, Bad Copy”, Nigeria is actually the largest film industry in the world, based on product.

  3. Brian Newman Says:

    I don’t have the link, but the Berlin Film Festival had an entire section dedicated to this with panels, film screenings and lectures back around 2001 or so. It was great, and they produced an entire catalogue for it. You could probably get a copy from them.