Nollywood filmmakers

From Welcome to Nollywood

I had a real day off yesterday and took advantage of the chance to do nothing. There was nobody around, and no pressing things that needed to be done. My local cable tv carries MHz Networks that includes a channel of Nigerian news and features from NTA (website still needs some work.) I turned it on just by chance, and found a number of items that interested me. I watched an hour long report on Nigerian agriculture, discussing working towards food security. I enjoyed the pictures of farming, but don’t think there was much new information there. I can get Ghana TV online through a subscription, but it is nice to to get African TV coming in over the cable. SABC News from South Africa is also on MHz.

Back in the late 70s and early 80s I had a bunch of friends from Calabar. I still hear from a couple of them from time to time, but most went back to Nigeria and I lost touch. I’ve never been much at writing letters, though I do like email. I enjoyed reading recently about how Calabar is a model for a clean and well kept town, Nigeria: Calabar – Why so Clean?

Otherwise, I spent the time outside just taking in the view. It was not a productive day, but very pleasant.

I also spent some of the day listening online to Radio Palmwine, mostly the Igbo channel. All the channels are good, but I particularly enjoy the music on the Igbo channel and listen fairly regularly. It is one of the more user friendly internet radio stations.

AfroPop carried an entertaining documentary on PBS about Nollywood, Welcome to Nollywood which I recorded and watched. It will be shown on some other PBS stations around the US, schedule here.
WGBXW * 7/4/08 Fri 11:00 AM Boston MA
WETADT4 * 7/4/08 Fri 11:00 AM Washington DC
WQED * 7/6/08 Sun 5:00 PM Pittsburgh PA
WETADT4 * 7/6/08 Sun 11:00 PM Washington DC
WETADT4 * 7/7/08 Mon 10:00 AM Washington DC
WETADT4 * 7/7/08 Mon 4:00 PM Washington DC
KVIE7 * 7/15/08 Tue 12:00 AM Sacramento Stockton Modesto CA
KVIEDT2 * 7/15/08 Tue 12:00 AM Sacramento Stockton Modesto CA

From an interview with the filmmaker Jamie Meltzer:

The lessons of Nollywood that I took, and anyone making films — whether they’re documentary or not — can take, is that there’s really no excuse and no obstacle that you can’t overcome. They show that by building this industry in this completely inhospitable environment that’s actively against them in a lot of ways — the heat, the traffic, the lack of infrastructure. But they have managed to create a thriving industry that you don’t see all around the world, an industry that can stand up to the cultural influence of Hollywood and the larger film industries …

… Nollywood exists entirely due to the digital video revolution. Everything they shoot is on digital video cameras, edited on digital nonlinear [systems] and distributed on video CDs. It’s an entirely digital system, and in that sense it’s far ahead of what Hollywood is.