Hollywood vs Nollywood

First there was Hollywood, then there was Bollywood, and now… we have Nollywood. Nollywood can be described as the “cinematic phenomenon” that originated in Lagos, Nigeria (Okome, 2007). Nigeria produces around 1000 films annually, positioning itself within the market ahead of Hollywood, however second to the biggest in the industry, Bollywood.

Nollywood’s production is on the other end of the spectrum compared to Hollywood. Hollywood’s average film budget is around $6.7 million, and has a production span of around 12 months. Nollywood on the other hand has a budget averaging between $7,500 to $13,000 and a production time of just 7 to 10 working days (Amos, 2015). This may seem like a disadvantage to Nollywood, however considering the Nigerian Economy it is extremely impressive that the industry entity managed to generate a total of $10 billion dollars revenue in 2013 (Tolchisky, 2015). Nollywood has also recently increased film budgets for films such as “Half a Yellow Sun” which set a new record of the most expensive Nigerian film with production costs valued at $8 million.

“Half a Yellow Sun” was the beginning of a Nigerian movement into the market of higher Hollywood quality films. This movement is allowing Nollywood to provide Nigeria with higher economic productivity and job stability as the demand for film furthers from a domestic level to an international level. There is a promising future for Nollywood as investment opportunities arise and the recent implementation of “IKROKOTV”, which can be described as the “Nigerian Netflix”, grows even more popular (Tolchisky, 2015).

Nollywood film gives audiences an insight into the impact of Nigerian culture, heritage, politics, and society. The Nigerian film industry has also assisted in improving the economy by developments such as using endorsements in the 2011 general election and work towards the removal of fuel subsidy (Onuzulike, 2012). Nollywood also has the power to portray Nigerian culture in its most raw form allowing the industry to preserve African culture and heritage despite globalization. For example Nollywood films use their indigenous languages throughout films and tell African stories. This can lead towards educating other cultures and creating a basis for furthered awareness of not only the heritage but also the hardships that Nigeria has faced.



It could be said that Nigerian film has more soul than Hollywood blockbusters. The film context is more of a realistic insight into culture and the filming only adds to this ideology as it is shot in its location of origin. The video below features individual Nigerians giving their opinion given the choice of Hollywood vs Nollywood. Although one man states it “isn’t comparable”, another states Nollywood is better as “it is ours”.

Nollywood films may lack the standards of Hollywood blockbusters however they are evidently worth more in culture than in dollars to members of the Nigerian society by statements in the Hollywood vs Nollywood clip. Nollywood is not only important to the Nigerian economy, but to globalization giving an insight an education of African culture on an international level.

References:

Amos, F. 2015. First Hollywood, then Bollywood, now Nollywood!. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.one.org/us/2015/06/15/first-hollywood-then-bollywood-now-nollywood/>. [Accessed 01 September 15].

Okome, O (2007). ‘Nollywood: spectatorship, audience and the sites of consumption’ Postcolonial Text, 3.2, pp. 1-21.

Onuzulike, U. 2012. Nigeria: Nollywood as a positive tool for African transformation. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.consultancyafrica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=970:nigeria-nollywood-as-a-positive-tool-for-african-transformation&catid=90:optimistic-africa&Itemid=295>. [Accessed 01 September 15].

Tolchinsky, M. 2015. Nigeria’s Nollywood is putting Hollywood to shame. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://globalriskinsights.com/2015/01/nigerias-nollywood-putting-hollywood-shame/.> [Accessed 30 August 15].

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Ethnocentrism and Australia

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Ethnocentrism refers to the judgment of another culture based solely on the standards of ones own culture. It is an ideology “commonly used where matters of ethnicity, inter-ethnic relations, and social issues are of any concern” (Barger, 2014). Issues involving ethnocentric behavior generally arise where individuals or groups believe their on culture is superior to others. An example of Ethnocentrism within Australia is after the arrival of European settlers in 1788 (Burgmann, 2003). I believe the Aboriginal culture was made weak during the evolution of Australia and due to the oppression of the Australian Government Australian citizens turned a blind eye to those they were sharing their habitat and home with.
“We all grow up with too little knowledge of the Aboriginal Story. With a few myths for comfort we have turned from the pain which Aborigines have borne, seeing little of the silent erosion of independence and the surrender of character-forming institutions of great antiquity” (Spalding, 1965)

This addresses the main issues involved with ethnocentric behavior where individuals or groups are not open minded or tolerant of other cultures. According to Ken Barger some people aren’t aware they are being ethnocentric … “we don’t understand that we don’t understand”. For example the English language can be “attributed to the growth of Australian Nationalism within the umbrella of the British Empire” (Kell and Vogl, 2006), as it was compulsory for schools to teach with the English language causing the indigenous language to become almost “extinct”.

The Australian culture has changed its past ways in today’s 21st century with the power of multiculturalism. Australians began to realize that knowledge of Indigenous culture is a fundamental right to improving both Aboriginal well-being and persevering heritage, and also the improvement of socioeconomic development. I believe Australia turned it’s Ethnocentric behavior around when the “International Convention to Eradicate all forms of Racial Discrimination” (aph.gov, 2015) was sign allowing Aboriginal policy to proceed towards self government which in turn lead towards multiculturalism. Today Indigenous culture is taught within schools across the globe in order to evenly educate all citizens in the history that was once ignored. Aboriginals are now also offered the same opportunities as all Australians and compensated for the wrong doings of the original European settlers. I believe Australians are being well educated in the multiculturalism of Indigenous people and this is broadening the horizons of education of other cultures being merged into the great country we live in.
References:

Barger, K. 2014. What is it? Why are people ethnocentric? What is the problem? What can we do about it? . [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.iupui.edu/~anthkb/ethnocen.htm>. [Accessed 25 August 15].

Beswick, D.G, et al, 1972. Ethnocentrism . A Survey of Ethnocentrism in Australia, [Online]. 24/2, 153-155. Available at: <http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00049537208255799#preview> [Accessed 25 August 2015].
Burgmann,V. The Aboriginal movement in power, profit and protest: Australian social movements and globilisation, Allen & Unwin, 2003, Chapter 2, pp.44-97 [ISBN 1741140161]

Parliament of Australia. 2015. Multiculturalism: a review of Australian policy statements and recent debates in Australia and overseas. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1011/11rp06>. [Accessed 25 August 15].

Spalding, I. (1965) No Genteel Silence. Crux, 63, p. 2-3. The Journal of the Australian Student Christian Movement