Nollywood Babylon: The Rise of the Nigerian Film Industry

Nollywood Babylon: The Rise of the Nigerian Film Industry
Arts & Culture
Scott Lachut, PSFK Labs
  • 30 january 2009

The location of the world’s fastest growing film industry may surprise you. Behind only Hollywood in the U.S. and Bollywood in India, Nollywood in Nigeria has experienced a meteoric rise, now producing 2,500 movies a year, most for under $10,000. As a result the films are often slapdash affairs in true B-movie style, a mix of raw creativity and homemade ingenuity that generates finished work at a stunning rate. Their movies are notable for their reflection of Nigerian life, exploring many of the issues facing the country today- poverty, AIDS, corruption, women’s rights – with a distinct vision that brings to light the collision of traditional African values with the realities of modern life.

In their new documentary Nollywood Babylon that recently screened at Sundance, filmmakers Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal, takes viewers on a journey to the colorful sets and the chaos of the urban streets, charting the rise of the industry and the popularity of the films. The two-minute trailer crackles with electricity, propelled along by the excitement of the subjects and the Fela Kuti inspired beats.

[image via Aimee Corrigan copyright 2007]

[via Josh Spear]

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