Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Nollywood: Africa's Hollywood

Urban professionals can be found anywhere in the world. Africa may soon be adding to that list. The film industry in Nigeria, known as Nollywood, is the third largest in the world after Hollywood in the United States and Bollywood in India. Aspiring filmmakers have a much less difficult time getting their work to viewing audiences in Nollywood compared to Hollywood because there are not as many rules and regulations in place that were established by the government.

With this being the case filmmakers are hoping to bank on American actors to be a part of their productions so that they will simultaneously bring exposure to the film industry in Nigeria and also introduce them to American audiences. Some big name movie stars have already been featured in Nollywood films like Mickey Rourke, Kim Bassinger, and Jeffrey Wright. Popular Black actresses Nia Long and Vivica A. Fox have also been in Nollywood produced films. A lot of the filmmakers there look to the example that American Tyler Perry has set with model for making movies. The movies are produced at a low price and reap the benefits greatly, sometimes earning at least ten times what it cost to make the production.

Black filmmakers may want to consider Nollywood as a viable option for them to produce their products because the film industry there has a wide distribution reach that includes the entire African continent, the Caribbean, and the United States as well. The topics or themes that are prevalent in African cinema are ones that are common to the people of the region like issues of religion, romance, hardships, and political corruption.

As with most things in life, with the benefits come the negatives. Since the film industry in Nollywood is still developing, there are some major issues that filmmakers might have to contend with like power outages and a lack of skilled and equipped people that can handle certain film equipment. Still, these problems do not deter determined filmmakers from completing their projects and making them available to the public. Nollywood just might be the perfect place for urban professionals in the film industry to make an impact.

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