Bollywood, Nollywood… Kollywood?

With various cultures existing in the world, Hollywood isn’t the only one who reigns supreme in the entertainment industry. Despite being one of the biggest industries in the world, there are others who rival Hollywood. Two of them are Nollywood and Korean Cinema. Just like Bollywood and Hollywood, Nollywood is the film industry of Nigeria.

As of 2007, Nollywood produced 1687 movies which makes it the third largest movie industry in the world. Nollywood started around the early 1990s and it was derived from Yoruba travelling theatre tradition. Unlike its North American counterpart, Nollywood movies are made directly to video rather than having a screening in theatres. The content of Nollywood is very reliant on the viewer being a local. This is because the content is specifically catering towards Nigerian citizens. Majority of the themes within films range from Melodrama and corruption. Because of it catering towards Nigerian citizens, it’s quite popular in Nigeria and even African communities located in the west.

Although, despite being so popular, the budget for Nollywood films are almost non-existent. With films having the aesthetics of television shows. Why is this so? This is because Nigerian directors only purchase technology when it becomes affordable. Considering the budget that these shows have, they’re not going to be buying $2000 cameras any time soon. In terms of how well a film does, every shop gets 30 new titles every week. Generally speaking, they sell about 50000 copies per week.

“While there is no doubt that Nollywood exhibits the hybrid character that is obvious in many forms of African popular arts, it is its acute notation of locality that gives it an unprecedented acceptability as the local cinematic expression in Nigeria and indeed in Africa…Yet, the form and content of Nollywood narratives reminds the casual observer of the obvious ties it has to the complicated trade in global media images even when the point has been made of its unique place in world media culture” (Onookome Okome).

Now, onto Korean Cinema. ‘South Korea has become the seventh-largest film market in the world, with national film attendance totals by 2000 exceeding 70 million. In a phenomenon the Asian mass media have referred to as the Korean wave (or pronounced Hallyu in South Korean), South Korea is now a brisk exporter of music, TV programming, and films to the Asia-Pacific region’ (Ryoo, p.139). So in short, Korean Cinema is kind of a big deal.

‘South Korea, historically more concerned about fending off cultural domination by China and Japan than in spreading its own culture abroad, has nonetheless emerged as Asia’s pop culture leader. From well-packaged television dramas to slick movies, from pop music to online games, the South Korean media industry and its stars are increasingly defining what the people of East Asia see, listen to and play’ (Ryoo, p.139).

With South Korea being a leader in pop-culture rankings, why is it so popular? Well for starters, with such a high income it allows for very high production values. This makes it more appealing to a wider audience. On top of that, Korean cinema uses themes that the Asian community can relate to. With such a high population, it’s no wonder it’s popular.

References:

Okome, O (2007). ‘Nollywood: spectatorship, audience and the sites of consumption’ Postcolonial Text, 3.2, pp. 1-21.

Ryoo, W. (2009). Globalization, or the logic of cultural hybridization: the case of the Korean wave. Asian Journal of Communication, 19(2), 137-151.

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