African Movies Going Global
By: Sussen Marn
The movie industry globally is a multi-billion dollar industry. Hollywood is the flagship of this industry and has been a cease pool of some of the greatest masterpieces of all time. It has some of the oldest production studios, with some having been in the business for over 75 years. Other movie markets have been producing good movies as well; such as the Bollywood movie industry of India and the Nigerian Nollywood African movie industry. The African movies however seem to exhibit the fastest growth in the industry right now.
The African movie industry is the fastest growing movie industry with statistics indicating that on any given day, an African movie is being released somewhere on the African continent. This means that Africa is producing a minimum of 366 movies a year on a conservative estimate, with countries like Nigeria alone surpassing that benchmark. Even though most movie productions in Nigeria are not of very high quality and are created specifically for the local Audience which is growing in leaps and bounds, It might therefore not attract an international Audience.
But the African movie industry has not always been like this. The industry was literally on its knees in the 80s and 90s. This was because the local media houses preferred international programs to locally produced programs. This made it impossible to get an Audience, even if the film was good. But this has rapidly changed throughout the African continent. More and more stations are taking a pro-active approach to local programs. This has in turn encouraged the African film makers to produce more films.
As the situation stands right now, the industry has still not seen its full potential. Industry players claim that we have not even scratched the surface. We have more productions being done everyday and getting the necessary exposure through local media. Having seen the potential, even international production houses now want a piece of the cake as well.
The good thing about an infant industry is that it offers some unique opportunities. There is a lot to learn about the art and craft required to make a great movie. Sometimes it is not about the budget size available for the movie, but rather what one does with the available funds and resources. Any production studio that can produce high quality movies will definitely set itself apart and quickly become a leader in the industry.
As a new and developing industry, the market presents some unique challenges as well. One of the greatest challenges to making a good African movie is getting funding. Most of the productions are done on a very small budget and as a result, the quality is compromised. There is also a lot of challenges in the area of the availability of actual technical expertise. Most of the producers of African movies are still learning the art and craft and therefore cannot yet produce very high quality work.
Another challenging portion of the industry is the distribution part of the business. Distribution is were more established industries like Hollywood have a greater advantage over all the other movie production industries. The lack of an efficient and large distribution network means that even if a good African movie is produced, it cannot reach a large number of people outside the African continent and thus it is only viewed by a few non African people.
The market for African movies is definitely growing by the day. If the current challenges in funding and distribution are addressed, the movies may be able to reach more people and have a greater impact.
Tango with me starring Genevieve to be screened in Scotland: February 15, 2013
The award winning, Mahmood Ali-Balogun Film ‘Tango
with Me’ starring Genevieve Nnaji and Joseph Benjamin is heading for Scotland. It will be screened in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee. The first screening is scheduled for the 15th February, 2013.
Belmont Picture House
49, Belmont Street
Aberdeen AB10 1JS
Tel: 0790 447 7811