Film: Hooray for Nollywood, African Film is Thriving!

You’ve heard of Bollywood, but what about Nollywood – the world’s third largest film industry. Go ahead, Google it.

Known for their shoestring budgets and short production schedules, these homegrown filmmakers have created a West African film industry (based in Nigeria) with annual sales estimated at $200 million.

Now it seems that African immigrants in U.S. cities are bring their film productions stateside and creating these Nollywood movies in America. Read more in this Philadelphia Inquirer article, “Philly’s Role in Nollywood”.

These films are not just entertainment but they also provide jobs for many West African people running from tragedy. The Philadelphia Inquirer articles states that “In Philadelphia, cast and crew of Nollywood-style films tend to be Liberian or Sierra Leonean, many of them refugees from brutal civil wars in both nations.”

This film industry is still young and according to figures from the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS), the number of African immigrants to the United States more than quadrupled in the last two decades; from 109,733 between 1961 and 1980 to 531,832 between 1981 and 2000. It is only a matter of time before we see Nollywood films in our Netflix and cable movie options?


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