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ISSN : ISSN: 2516-2713 (Online)
ISBN : ISSN: 2516-2705 (Print)
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The contributions assembled in this issue, on the development of African film production within the various African Diasporas, survey some of the research published since the 1990s on the subject and offer a glimpse into the multifaceted African cinema. Coming from scholars in different research fields, they present various aspects of the African cinema set at home and in diaspora – its wealth, cultural base, creativity, growing use of electronics and reception, focusing on the global audience being reached by the various types of Nollywood films thanks to a creative marketing and circulation network, supported by diasporan communities and the use of dubbing and subtitling.
Ikenna Obumneme Aghanya’s contribution, based on three Igbo-themed movies, seeks to create more awareness on the need for filmmakers, producers, directors and all other stake-holders involved in the making of Igbo–themed Nollywood movies, to take advantage of the new possibilities offered by diasporic coproductions, including computer graphics, animations and special effects. This and audience support in the form of subtitling and dubbing are, in turn, expected to boost Nollywood diasporic audiences while enhancing the reputation of Nigerian cinema. Aghanya’s article, which includes practical advice to budding filmmakers, seeks to highlight the positive contribution of computer graphics to the industry and encourage more people to get involved in this virgin area of film production.
Acknowledging the growing number of major publications on the Nigerian cinema and Nollywood in particular, Onwubiko Agozino’s bibliographic essay, covering the last twenty years, reviews some of the key books, ebooks and special journal editions published in America and focusing on African cinema. He starts with a detailed survey of cinematographic productions from every part of the African continent, and highlights the fact that the Nigerian productions, now more than twenty years old, deserve serious scholarly attention from researchers, at a time when scores of graduate students have already established assembly lines of dissertations focusing on this industry. Structured around books on African celluloid films, books on Nollywood and other home-videofilms, articles and electronic resources on African cinema, it offers a brief comparison with publications on African Diaspora cinema, and a brief survey of syllabi on African cinema available online.
Innocent Ebere Uwah’s contribution on Nollywood impact on social issues focuses on two rather recent films: Onye Ozi (2013, directed by Obi Emelonye) and Dry (2015, directed by Stephanie Linus), critically examined to unravel the ideology and mission of Nigerian diaspora films as well as point to the ways by which they negotiate values in society. The author shows that those two films do not only highlight their makers’ efforts at connecting with Nigeria by means of depictions that involve landscapes and peoples, but also by using themes and casts that resonate with Nigerian people’s experiences. It is hoped that the findings of this study would help extend the cinematic voice of Nigerian diaspora filmmakers in challenging culturally grown ills in order to advance integral human development.
Françoise Ugochukwu’s contribution, based on the study of more than thirty films produced/directed by Igbo men and women between 1991 and 2013, seeks to throw some light into the influence of the various Nigerian cultures on the industry by using the Igbo culture as a sample. It considers the various ways in which the Igbo heritage is presented in Nollywood, highlights the relationships between television series and films, it shows how Nigerian literature can inspire filmmakers, reports on diasporic Igbo audiences’ reception, evaluates the impact of these films on the Igbo abroad, and discusses the place of Igbo language in these films.
The two book reviews which close this issue seek to cut across the linguistic barrier which so often isolates scholars to share some of the research published in French. The first book, on cinemas from the black diasporas (2016), offers an analysis of the strategies used by filmmakers from the diaspora to express the reconstruction of identities without allowing themselves to be hindered by getting tagged as ‘Africans’. The author has adopted an interdisciplinary and syncretic approach to describe the diasporic experience as a pain which necessitates a recomposition and reconstruction bringing about a new multicultural identity. Interestingly, the second part of the book launches into an aesthetic and artistic analysis of selected films, often coproductions. The second book has chosen an interdisciplinary approach to highlight the meeting points between African literatures, landscape and visual arts, bringing together nine contributions on the landscape in African literature, considering novels covering parts of the African continent from Senegal to South Africa, in order to examine the relevance of the concept of landscape to the study of African literatures.DOI: https://doi.org/10.31920/2516-2713/2018/v1n2a0