Just a decade after “Living in Bondage”,
Nollywood films, made in some 300 languages,
were being watched in both urban and rural
areas, distributed on both the streets and online,
and finding their way into international festivals.
And since the 2000s, Nollywood films have only
continued to proliferate and spread. We recently
spoke to Witt about the cultural phenomenon, how
it’s spread, and how Nollywood films today are both
distinctively Nigerian and globally influenced.
“Inside Nollywood, the booming film industry that makes
1,500 movies a year”, Elizabeth Flock, PBS News Hour, 2017.
The majority of Nigerian films are,
due to lack of facilities and resources, informal
productions which are recorded on
video format instead of being produced for
theatrical release. Piracy plagues the Nigerian
film industry as regulations on rights and
distribution are deficient and this means that
the filmmakers, who are already working on
tight budgets, are incurring substantial
“Nollywood and Bollywood Film Industries to
Collaborate”, Emma Heffernan, Cov Africa, 2015.
Nollywood films have mostly been shot in
the Nigerian megapolis of Lagos, a city of entrepreneurial
spirit and indefatigable endeavour.
They are widely available to both rich and poor
across the continent and the African Diaspora in
Europe, the Caribbean, and North America. Nollywood
has also massively increased the role and
visibility of women in African cinema. As veteran
producer, Tunde Kelani, noted: “[…] our movies
are definitely African. Their popularity shows that
Africans have a lot in common socially, culturally,
“Nollywood as a Pan-African cultural phenomenon”,
Adekeye Adebajo, The Guardian, 2017.
You are a TV journalist. A report about Nollywood is going to be shown on your programme. Prepare and record an introduction about what Nollywood cinema is (origins, aims, status in the global film industry, future...).
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