As a number of the African nations gear up for celebrations of 50 years of independence in the next few weeks, with the first being Nigeria on the 1 October, it is surprising to learn that this October also sees the first ever Nigerian film festival in the UK. Entitled Nollywood Now! It takes place in Lewisham, London, from 6-12 October. Full details here: Nollywood Now!
If you don’t know anything about the Nigerian films or the film industry there – the third biggest in the world as it happens, producing over 1000 films a year for the home video market - then the launch event on Wednesday 6 October is the place to begin. This will be an introductory talk around the documentary film Nollywood Babylon, which is about the industry in Nigeria. The organisers have billed it as a great beginners guide.
If you prefer your words and pictures in book form - even about films… then check out South African Pieter Hugo’s book Nollywood, which is a series photographic portraits of Nigerian actors in costumes as they prepare for their starring roles in the latest films. The book includes a short story from the author Chris Abani and an essay about the Nigerian film industry and what Nigerians think about it by the writer and filmmaker Zina Saro Wiwa