Everyone knows Hollywood and I’d like to think that much of the cultured world knows Bollywood (Indian movies kind of like Slumdog Millionaire). But now there’s Nollywood, which is the Hollywood equivalence of the Nigerian film industry.
I ran across an article in the New York Times this week, Of Nigeria, but Casting a Wider Net, Nollywood Seeks a Hit with ‘Doctor Bello’ by Kirk Semple that talks about the booming Nigerian movie Industry, where it actually states that it’s the third largest film industry in revenues in the world. This is pretty exciting for Africa.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with real African movies, not Hollywood movies with Black actors portraying Africans, these are 100 percent African movie productions. The movies are funded, produced, directed, and edited by Africans.
Although I personally enjoy watching Nollywood movies, they’re pretty low budget. The actors are not that great, the story lines are outrageous and for the most part pretty predictable, and the shooting and editing is amateurish.
But I still can’t get enough.
I enjoy watching Africans act. They are funnier, wittier, and more animated than American actors. It may be that there is less creative direction or a complete lack of any direction. Whatever it is I like it.
Many African actors play the same type of roles. Take for example my favorite African actor Van Vicker. He is so damn sexy with nice pillow soft lips, a hot chiseled body, and a real smooth talker. Okay I digress, but you get the picture.
He always plays these romantic heartthrob roles, where he rescues a poor servant girl or gets cheated on by a heartless woman. Oh yeah, and that phrase “heartless woman” is commonly used in Africa movies. I’m sure that there are even several Nollywood movie titles with that phrase. These are the type of strange attributes of a Nollywood production. Full of bad actors and bad story lines
Still, you should try to watch an African movie, you might get hooked. Just keep an open mind, and don’t take it too seriously. It’s good entertainment for a boring Sunday afternoon. My friends and me enjoy having African movie nights. We eat, drink, chill, and watch crazy African movies, preferably something with Van Vicker.
The New York Times article caught my attention, first, because it was talking about Nollywood, and second, it announced the industry’s attempt to expand its market into the United States. The article is centered on the newly made Nollywood movie Doctor Bello, and it’s director who hopes it will become popular with American audiences.
Not to be a pessimist, but with actors like Vivica A. Fox and Jimmy Jean-Louis, who are casted as leads in the movie, good luck. When was the last time they were in any record-breaking movies?
I understand what Nollywood is trying to accomplish but I don’t think they’re going about it the right way. It’s going to take a little bit more than a bunch of C-listers to make Nollywood appealing to a broader demographic.
The article also explains how unorganized a typical Nollywood film production is. The entire production is rushed from the filming to the editing, and the budgets are extremely tight with the predicted market-crossing movie Doctor Bello estimated at $500,000.
I think everyone should try to watch an African movie. The movies are mostly in English, but some of the actors’ accents are a bit heavy. It’s best if watched with an experienced African movie enthusiast. Yes, we are out there!
Here are a few of my favorites that you can watch on Youtube:
Please leave a comment and tell me what you think.