Francoise Ugochukwu abstract, Nollywood Project

Nollywood from obscurity to the limelight - a brief survey

By Fran├žoise Ugochukwu

This paper surveys the growing body of scholarly research in English and in French on Nigerian video-films published within the past fifteen years, in order to highlight its focal points. Edited books and articles give a voice to researchers and film practitioners from Nigeria while providing a meeting point between the vibrant Nigerian research culture and its European and American counterparts. They offer a kaleidoscopic view of the field, reveal a keen interest in historical reconstruction and display an effort to build critical tools adapted to the evaluation of this new audiovisual product. A number of publications present a comparative analysis of the francophone celluloid film industry and the Anglophone video-films and weigh their respective local and global impact. Languages are brought to the fore in that venture as communication tools and cultural banners, and studies on that subject reveal the huge potential of language both to divide and to unite. Masters and PhDs defended within the last ten years testify to the gradual warming up of the academic sector to this new element of popular culture, with Nigerian and African-American postgraduate studies at the forefront of this new push. The growing and now visible presence of the Nigerian film industry in film festivals is the occasion for the public to discover a different medium, while more and more African countries adopt the video-film.