Foreign films, and Nollywood?

When I was younger, the idea of films made outside of Hollywood making the big screen was a completely foreign concept, but through globalisation and cultural exchanges, we are seeing an increase in the number of films produced outside of Hollywood, and the recognition of a foreign theatre on the international stage.

Firstly, Nollywood, or the cinema of Nigeria, surged in production throughout the 1990s and 2000s to become the third largest film industry in the world (behind USA and India) with the second largest film industry based on films produced, behind only India (2009). The industry as a whole is worth a whopping I was genuinely surprised by these numbers. Who wold have thought that Nigeria would be making such a large amount of movies; even more than Hollywood! But the movies aren’t made for me. That is why. The audience plays a large role in what movies are made. A film studio wouldn’t make a movie if there’s no audience. With a population of more than 181 million people (2015), it is easy to see how Nollywood is a profitable industry. Films are generated to appeal to the locals, showcasing elements of culture and enabling audiences to connect to the protagonist.

The Korean film industry also sits high on the global list, currently being the seventh largest film industry in the world. Unlike Nollywood films, those of Korea incorporate traditional western themes as well as elements of traditional Korean culture. Large scale films are being produced, but with a twist to suit local cultures. This is a recipe for success, and it is evident with Korean films generating popularity in foreign markets. Popularity is further enhanced with international film festivals which showcase Korean films on a global stage. For example, ‘Korean Film Festival in Australia’ brings foreign cinema to Australia in an effort to showcase Korean cinema to Australia. Featured in six Australian cities, KOFFIA makes Korean films accessible to the foreign market in a simple way, and as stated by the Chariman of the organisation, the festival provides a cultural bridge between the two cultures already linked through trade and economic ties (2015).

This is clearly an example of globalisation and cultural links and shows boundaries are being pushed between completely unique cultures to one another. Foreign cultures are being explored in an ever increasing amount, and foreign mediums are clearly being embraced and enjoyed by many.

Here is the trailer for the 2015 KOFFIA, which showcases the broad style of films being produced in Korea, and what Australian audiences can expect from participating in the festival. Film styles in the trailer show distinct similarities to Hollywood film, which could generate the audience, but have a subtle Korean twist which displays the foreign culture in an interesting manner.

Lines between cultures are clearly shrinking, and it is interesting to think how this will continue in the future.

 

References:

Koffia. 2015. Chairman’s Greeting. [ONLINE] Available at: http://koffia.com.au/introduction-2015/. [Accessed 03 September 15].

Korean Film Festival in Australia (Official) – KOFFIA. (2015). 2015 6th Korean Film Festival in Australia | Official Trailer. [Online Video]. 23 July. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilPWOhuhcHc. [Accessed: 03 September 2015].

Statistics taken from the following sources:

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ni.html

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=30707#.Vel6zfmqqko

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