‘Hollywood’ is often referred to as the capital of the entertainment industry, as hopeful individuals are seen flocking there everyday to make there dreams a reality. However despite being one of the biggest industries, with various cultures existing in the world, Hollywood may no longer reign as supreme in the entertainment industry, as the Nollywood industry is increasing becoming more popular. ‘Nollywood’ refers to the film industry of Nigeria, and is seen to be the 3rd largest film industry in the world, producing 1687 movies as of 2007, trailing the very popular Indian film industry of Bollywood.
Commencing in the 1990s ‘Nollywood’ was derived from Yoruba travelling theatre tradition. Unlike its North American counterpart, Nollywood movies are made directly to video rather than having a screening in theatres. These films are shot on tight budgets, with productions pricing varying anywhere from $10 000 to $50 000, which is a huge contrast to western produced higher budget films. Most of the content of these films relies heavily on the viewer, as most of these films and their themes are shown to cater toward Nigerian citizens
As technology is constantly evolving, the demand for quality equipment becomes very high, especially for the production of films/ television. Nowadays watching a film can be quite distracting if the quality is subpar, as the push for technology, has created viewers to expect high standards. Through ‘Nollywood’ producing films with low budgets, these Nigerian directors only purchase technology when it becomes affordable. However it is worth considering that this film industry has excellent grounds to increase the production quality of its films due to remaining on a low budget, possibly becoming the biggest film industry in the world.
This popular ‘Nollywood’ film industry has numerously been labeled as a product of globalisation, however, Onookome Okome states “While there is no doubt that Nollywood exhibits the hybrid character that is obvious in many forms of African popular arts, it is its acute notation of locality that gives it an unprecedented acceptability as the local cinematic expression in Nigeria and indeed in Africa…Yet, the form and content of Nollywood narratives reminds the casual observer of the obvious ties it has to the complicated trade in global media images even when the point has been made of its unique place in world media culture”. To sum Okome’s quote whilst there is definitely an element of global media influence, Nigerian film directors are shown intentionally incorporating popular African arts and revolving their themes around Nigerian and African focused culture.
The introduction to Netflix’s on western culture has changed the way we view our media, even having influence on the ‘Nollywood’ industry as they begin to take advantage of the Internet and social media as a means of distributing their films. Labelled the ‘Netflix’s of Africa’ iRokoTV, is a streaming service that is home most ‘Nollywood’ films. Alfred Joyner’s article ‘Exploring the future of Nollywood’, this streaming service will more people around the world to have access to ‘Nollywood’ films as they are no longer exclusively available in a hard copy.
Countries all want quality film industries that compete with Hollywood’s extremely successful industry. Our world is increasingly globalised through every aspect, and our cultures are always mixing and linking in some way.
So on a final note,
Do you believe that ‘Nollywood’ or even ‘Bollywood’ has the potential to over take the success of western industries?
Feel free to leave a comment down below.
- Joyner A, (2014), ‘New Nollywood? The Future of World’s Second Largest Film Industry’, News Article, Viewed 4th September 2015, http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/new-nollywood-future-worlds-second-largest-film-industry-1442857.
- Tolchinsky M (2015), ‘Nigeria’s Nollywood is putting Hollywood to shame’, News article, Viewed 4th September 2015,http://globalriskinsights.com/2015/01/nigerias-nollywood-putting-hollywood-shame/.
- Okome, O (2007). ‘Nollywood: spectatorship, audience and the sites of consumption’ Postcolonial Text, 3.2, pp. 1-21. Viewed 4th September
- ‘Nollywood’ Photo: Talawa Theatre Company
- iRokoTV Photo: iRokoTV Logo