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Unformatted text preview: Artists and Their Art 31 WORLD POLICY JOURNAL • FALL 2010 30 chaotic and unstructured. Its end product feels authentic and spontaneous. Without a doubt, these are reasons why, in spite of all their technical shortcomings, Nigerian movies resonate so deeply across Africa, and with millions of Africans in the Diaspora. The Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie observed that poverty and exoticism are “the single story” of Africa. Stereotypes are not necessarily untrue, she says, but they are incomplete. When the West looks at Africa it seems incapable of going beyond stories of war, AIDS and safaris. Relying solely on this reality to describe an entire continent robs people of their dignity. In Nollywood films, the protagonists often have regular office jobs, they go to parties and suffer jealousies and deal with everyday problems. In the midst of all this, Nollywood is able to portray police corruption, domestic violence, the trauma of urban displacement—all of the complex issues that characterize modern society across Africa. In Nollywood films there is a sense of familiarity to African audiences. Many times I heard Nigerians saying that when they watch Nollywood films they can finally relax. THE FILMMAKER: Franco Sacchi Franco Sacchi is a journalist and documentary film- maker. Born in Zambia and Italian by nationality, he currently lives in Boston, where he is a filmmaker- in-residence at the Center of Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University. In 2007, he directed and co- produced a documentary about Nollywood. “This Is Nollywood” won the Audience Award at the Abuja International Film Festival in Nigeria. Since then he has launched the Nollywood Workshops to help African filmmakers improve their craft and connect with others from around the world through webinars and workshops conducted in Lagos. The 18 year-old, $250 million Nigerian flm industry produces some 2,000 movies a year—a number that puts Lagos in a league with Mumbai and Los Angeles. But in Nol- lywood, unlike Bollywood or Hollywood, movies can cost as little as $10,000 to make and take barely a week to shoot. The films are straight-to-VCR, VCD or DVD and cost around $1.60 a piece, though they can be rented for a fifth of that price and are also shown on satellite television. While their quality of acting and production may appear lacking when compared to the products of other film industries, Nollywood movies are avidly consumed throughout Nigeria, across Africa and beyond....
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- Fall '11
- NOLLYWOOD, Cinema of Nigeria