Ife International Film Festival

African Video Film Arts Festival


Ugandan Viewership of Nigerian Movies
Dominica Dipio (Ph.D.)
Makerere University Kampala

In its popularity, the Nigerian movie has attained a continental identity as African cinema: it is watched in many countries within the continent and beyond. There are audiences who like it to the point of “addiction” while there are those who do not have kind words for it. Since the 1990s, this cinema has gained ground in Uganda and its viewership cuts across social classes, education, income bracket, age and gender. The purpose of this paper is to find out the attitudes of Ugandan audiences to Nigerian movies and how the films affect behavior. The paper will also examine what it is that make them popular. The initial hypothesis is that the popularity is due to the cinema’s heavy leaning on the traditional folkloric style of narrative that contemporary Africans miss, and yet identify with.
The movies act as alternative spaces where African audiences can construct their identities; thus placing Nigerian movies into the position of new forms of orality where the values of African peoples are inscribed. If the film empire is Hollywood, the Nigerian film is a postcolonial cinema that asserts its own identity and talks back to the mainstream. The research will use techniques associated with qualitative research methodology such as in-depth individual interviews, focus group discussions and observations will be used. The participants will be selected purposively.
Key Words: folkloric, audience identification, popular cinema.

Senegalese and Francophone African Video Film: Emergence and Evolution
Gorgui Dieng
Department of English
Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar

This paper tries to bring to light the specificity of the Senegalese and Francophone African video film with an emphasis on fiction. The emergence of the first Senegalese video films is closely related to the Senegalese ‘popular theatre’ aired on Radio-Senegal in the early 1960’s. In fact, it was on Radio Senegal that the first ‘oral’ films were heard.
The Senegalese video film is not a very prolific one: it still holds the forms of the theatre genre, and people still call it quite naturally ‘teyaarar’ (the Wolof deformation of the French word ‘théâtre’). Scenes are those of the film, but utterance is still dominantly that of the play. It is not yet as soft and natural as film utterance should be.
Senegalese fiction video film focuses on abiding social realities: love, marriage, friendship, betrayal, emigration, but with an emphasis on comedy. In general, those films are naive and lack originality as the different films repeat the same themes and ideas that have already been dealt with in previous ones. Very few of them, if any, are politically committed. Burkinabe and Ivorian video films are more convincing in form and content. This is the reason why Burkinabe and Ivorian video films are more widespread in the Francophone world and are shown by respected TV channels like TV5, CFI, and Canal Horizons.

Do the West African Popular Video Films Matter?

Onookome Okome Ph.D.
Department of English and Film Studies
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta

At this point in the life of popular video film in Nigeria, the one resounding question surrounding its operation seems to be posed around whether or not popular video film truly represent contemporary society and culture in Nigeria in a faithful and enduring manner. As a way of writing the Nigerian locality and the debates about this locality, the cultural validity of popular video texts has been put to test right from the very beginning of the cinematic industry that is now known world wide as Nollywood. In the West, especially central Europe, Nollywood is making a significant in-road as a way of rethinking the locality of the video film, but perception is still more or less a curiosity; a form of amusement. In Nigeria and in parts of North America and Europe where there is a sizeable popular of African immigrants, the video film is often denounced as full of “fetishism,” “violence,” and “superstition.”  These groups form the pool of the new “cultural mediators.” But they are not nearly as informed as the “cultural mediators” of African arts that Anthony Appiah writes about in “Is the Post-in Postmodernism the same Post-in Postcolonialism?” The crux of the argument concerning popular video films, which the “new mediators” of African popular arts put forward, is that these video films demean, demonize, and belittle the cultural worth of the social and cultural contexts of Nollywood. They claim that these films re-inscribe the absurdity of the “noble savage” of Africa all over again. The evidence of my field work in Nigeria and Ghana points to another direction of this debate. Consumers of popular video film in Nigeria do not think that this controversy is a necessary one because popular video film speaks about things that matter to them. My paper speaks to this debate and provides an alternative reading of some video films from the prism of members of this audience. It plots theoretical ways of understanding the social and cultural relevance of this popular medium in Nigeria, an economically depressed society.

Propaganda and Dialectics in Ghanaian Popular Video Movies

Taiwo Adeyemi
University of Ghana, Legon

The movie, like most art forms, is a creative venture seeking to reflect the society. Its drama is often about people trying to do or get things, thereby necessitating obstacles; difficulties and unanticipated results, hence conflict. This paper examines and evaluates the dramatic character of two Ghanaian movies, Princess Tyra and Royal Battle for the purpose of determining the critical intelligence of the movies’ storytellers.
This study posits that rather than being a process of exploration into the organic quality of struggle and decision, these movies are propagandist in nature. They drive their audiences single-mindedly through a token opposition into accepting some predetermined consequences. Their conflicts are generic and unanalytical. Their audiences are thus treated like passive partners.


Dance, Dance Everywhere but None to View: Dance Choreography and Nollywood

Segun Oyeleke Oyewo
Department of Dramatic Arts
Obafemi Awolowo University

The dance form permeates and captures the artistic and cultural essence of a people as a more accurate cultural indicator than the other Arts forms in Africa. In Nigeria for instance both the orthodox and the contemporary dances are performed within and outside their textual contexts in addition to their prominence in the various genres of the Nigerian movies including music videos and on screen advertising. The popularity of dance as an art form is also evident in the various traditional cultural and social ceremonies and on the contemporary stage in form of Dance Drama, Dance Theatre and “Cultural Dances”. In spite of this, dances have not enjoyed an independence befitting its prominence, social and artistic potential but have remained adjunct to other arts forms in Nigeria The dilemma is that with dance, dance everywhere there is a dearth of its independent existence in the movie industry in Nigeria. In the rich and large repertoire of the “Nollywood”, there is no single video production of dance as an art form.
This paper examines the factors responsible for the great omission and studies these desiderata through an assessment of the use of dance in the “Nollywood” movies and music videos and in advertisements on screen. Using some select videos and adverts, the study aspires to challenge Producers, Arts Managers, Governments, Dancers and Choreographers and make a case for the viability of dance as an artistic form that can also sustain a film genre of its own.

Directing the Nigerian Video Film
Dr. Kwaghkondo Agber
Department of Theatre Arts University of Abuja, Nigeria
e-mail: agber_ndo@yahoo.com

The paper will examine the role of directing plays in the actualization of a film script. It will also analyze the art of directing in other film industries. The paper will use this background to assess the quality of directing in the Nigerian video film industry. Examples will be drawn from some of the productions of the industry. It is our view that many inadequacies exist in the directing of the home video film. These will be highlighted and discussed. It is our view that better directing will eliminate some of the problems in the Nigerian video film. It will enable the productions compete favorably in the international market.

Make a Free Website with Yola.