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Title of Paper: - Neo-Nollywood: Gleaning the Cinema “Movement” Via a Tripartite Lens.
Conference Topic: Transnationalism
In recent years, the mainstream Nigerian film industry, Nollywood, has experienced a crop of filmmakers whose works inform a pulling away from the traditional home-video production formats to films shot via sophisticated cameras - 35mm and digital. Described as Neo-Nollywood filmmakers (Novia 2012, Okome 2015), films of this thinking also increasingly engage in transnational productions with the West. Furthermore, with Neo-Nollywood comes the resuscitation of the Nigerian theatrical box-office culture of the 1970s.
Neo-Nollywood aesthetics-conscious productions present as a revolutionary “movement” (Novia, 2012: 124) strategic for mainstream global audiences’ and revenue generations. Observing its transnational proclivity, therefore, my research studies the “movement” through the multidisciplinary lenses of post-colonialism, transnational cinema and textual-analysis. I have now identified that vestiges of colonial continuities exist in its production values. For instance, Neo-Nollywood films embody elusive vestiges of “Mimicry” (Bhabha 1994); meaning that they present some arguably inferior imitations of globally acceptable standards of cinematic storytelling, inherited from British colonial filmmaking. Currently, I am studying these colonial continuities and other non-related production issues, with the view to identifying their impacts on the global-positioning vision of this emerging industry.
In this presentation, I seek to bring to the fore discussions about how I deploy a multidisciplinary theoretical approach to my research. To this end, a few of the questions will be (1) how does Neo-Nollywood tell its stories and who can understand them? (2) Beyond Africa, are distributors interested in Neo-Nollywood stories? (3) Besides African diasporic audiences, how un-imaginary are Neo-Nollywood international audiences? (4) To what extents does the counteractive tool of mimicry advance the global vision of Neo-Nollywood?