Which Wood do you Watch?

The Indian film industry is the largest filmmaking industry in the world, and yet you wouldn’t know it. Nollywood comes in at third, and yet who actually knew it existed? Films produced in India and Nigeria, in comparison to those of US Hollywood, are not exposed as highly on a global scale, particularly because Bollywood and Nollywood lack the budgets to match that of the Hollywood film industry. Nevertheless, they’re sure keeping up with film production, in quantity at least. As shown, Nollywood has previously overtaken Hollywood, despite Hollywood’s global success.

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This is possible because Nollywood films, on average, are filmed and produced within 7-10 days and costs about $15 000, (This is Nollywood 2006) as opposed to months of producing million dollar blockbuster Hollywood movies. Within 13 years, Nollywood managed to grow into a $250 million dollar-a-year industry, selling an average 50,000 copies per film (This is Nollywood 2006), despite not being shown in theatre.

There is often confusion amongst which movies belong to which wood, due to the contra-flows shifting the direction of cultural influence (Sukhmani K, 2014), particularly evident as Hollywood is increasingly utilizing characteristics of Hindi and Indian film, for example, Slumdog Millionare, a seemingly Bollywood, although not technically Bollywood, production. “These characteristics help illuminate the ways in which Hollywood majors sought to co-opt Bollywood in appearance and content.” (Cox, N & Proffitt J 2014). Another example, James Cameron’s 2009 Avatar, drew inspiration from native-American themes and “borrowed from Indian Mythology” (Karan & Schaefer, 2010) Thus, ‘boundaries between modern and traditional, high and low culture, national and global culture become blurred’ (Karan & Schaefer, 2010).

Thanks to the globalisation of films, the idea of transnational films seems to be booming, providing us with hybridized films and further exposure beyond Hollywood.

References:

About Nollywood 2006, This is Nollywood, viewed 5 September 2014, <http://www.thisisnollywood.com/nollywood.htm>

Cox, N & Proffitt J, 2014, Mimicking Bollywood in Slumdog Millionaire: Global Hollywood’s Newest Co-optation of Culture, Journal of Communication Inquiry, viewed September 5 2014, <http://www.academia.edu/5920345/Mimicking_Bollywood_in_Slumdog_Millionaire_Hollywoods_Newest_Co-Optation_of_Culture&gt;

Schaefer, D & Karan, K, 2010, Problematizing Chindia : Hybridity and Bollywoodization of popular Indian cinema in global film flows, Global Media and Communication, viewed 5 September 2014, <https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/260028/mod_resource/content/1/Week%206_Schaefer%20and%20Karan.pdf>

Sukhmani Khorana, 2014, ‘Global Film Beyond Hollywood’, lecture notes, BCM111, UOW, viewed 5 September 2014

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