Ralph A. Austen is a professor emeritus of African history at the University of Chicago. He is the author of African Economic History and Trans-Saharan Africa in World History; coauthor of Middlemen of the Cameroon Rivers: The Duala and Their Hinterland, ca. 1600–ca. 1960; and editor of In Search of Sunjata: The Mande Epic as History, Literature and Performance.
Viewing African Cinema in the Twenty-first Century
Art Films and the Nollywood Video Revolution
Edited by Mahir Şaul and Ralph A. Austen
African cinema in the 1960s originated mainly from Francophone countries. It resembled the art cinema of contemporary Europe and relied on support from the French film industry and the French state. But since the early 1990s, a new phenomenon has come to dominate the African cinema world: mass-marketed films shot on less expensive video cameras. These “Nollywood” films, so named because many originate in southern Nigeria, are a thriving industry dominating the world of African cinema.