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Move over Hollywood, African film industry booming

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Section: International News Geography: Africa Nigeria, South Africa Topics: film

March 9, 2006

Move over Hollywood, African film industry booming

by Gwalgen Geordie Dent

The African film industry received another boost during the Academy Awards this year with the South African film Tsotsi taking home the best foreign language film award. Although the film was not the first academy award for South Africa, it comes at a time when African-made films are a booming domestic and international industry.

    In the last five years, Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, has been churning out between 600 and 2,000 films a year, becoming the third-largest film industry behind the US and India.  "Nollywood" has become a multi-million dollar industry both in Africa and in the US, which has almost a million African-born citizens.

Most of the Nollywood films are extremely low budget, costing less than $15,000 US and usually shot with one digital camera over a two-week period.  This, however, hasn't hindered their popularity in Africa.  Nigerian actors from low-budget pulp films have become household names in Ghana and Zambia, while actors' guilds have seen a huge increase in membership.

Geordie Gwalgen Dent

New York Times

Washington Post


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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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