[movie] The United States accounts for half of all the around 230 films that have been shown in Norwegian cinemas over the past year. In comparison, only 13 films came from countries outside the West. Two came from Africa. But what is really happening on the film front outside the West?
- We see an increasing tendency for countries that basically do not have the infrastructure to make films, to do so anyway, says Kjetil Lismoen, editor of the film industry magazine Rushprint.
New technology has made it easier to create and distribute films with simple means. This vitality comes among other films from the South, which will take place in Oslo from 5-15. October, for good.
- The DVD revolution is a blessing for world cinema. In Nollywood, for example, lighter cameras make it easier to shoot film on video and just release it, Lismoen explains.
Nollywood – Nigeria's film industry, is first and foremost the paradise of video film.
"Every day, at least four or five videos are produced in Nigeria," writes Gloria Emeagwali, professor of history and African studies at the University of Connecticut, USA, in the Africa Update newsletter.
"Video seems to have become the foundation of home entertainment for the developing world," she writes.
The films are often made with single equipment in a couple of weeks, and copied into around 200.000 copies. Many of them are exported to other African countries.
Nollywood has a profit of around $ 700 million a year, making Nigeria the third largest film industry in the world, behind the two more famous woods Holly and Bolly. Nevertheless, the state of California still has higher gross domestic product than all of Africa combined.
Watching little African movie
And what was the last African movie you saw? Probably the answer is either "none" or Tsotsi. Both of the two African films that were shown at Norwegian cinemas over the past year come from South Africa. One of them was Oscar winner Tsotsi, produced in collaboration with the United Kingdom and directed by a white South African. The other was the South African Carmen in Khayelitsha.
- It is a pity that it is so difficult to see African film in the West. Norway is a good example of that, says Erna Beumers, Dutch art curator, anthropologist and expert on African film, to Ny Tid.
Beumers explains that African film is generally more about the individual than the context. The films often have strong narrative characters, which can be related to the oral tradition in African culture, Beumers believes.
"People from the West often think African films are slow, but they correspond to the African rhythm and storytelling," says Beumers, who also believes that Africans watch very few African films.
Julie Ova, Program Manager at Film from the South, has the same impression here from home.
- When we show African films at festivals in Norway, it is the ethnic Norwegians who appear. Latin Americans and Asians come to screenings of films from their countries, Africans do not do so to the same extent, says Julie Ova.
She points out that there are major differences between North and South in Africa. Algeria, Egypt and Morocco have found their own voices to a greater extent, while in the south there are no long tradition of film narrative, she believes.
Asia has risen high as a film country in recent years, although they are now to some extent displaced by a Latin American wave. This has been reflected in two Latin American productions on Norwegian canvas last year.
Argentina, which has made its mark on the film front in recent years, is now making more films than Norway this year. The Northeast, which went to Norwegian cinemas last spring, is an example. At the same time, several Mexican directors are making their mark with North American productions. Alejandro González Iñárritu is perhaps the foremost of them (see research).
If you are going to fight Hollywood, you have to have the marketing strategy in place. The furthest in the competition has come the world's second largest film producer, Indian Bollywood.
This year's big Bollywood success is the superhero movie Krrish. The film, which is the sequel to the popular Koi Mil Gaya (I Found Someone) from 2003, is the Bollywood film that has focused most heavily on marketing and concept development ever.
- It took off completely in India, says Shazad Ghufoor, general manager of Bollywood.no and expert on Asian film.
- The films are generally getting better in terms of production quality, and the range of scripts, themes and actors is getting wider, he explains.
Julie Ova cites the huge success of Lagaan as an example of an ongoing approach between Holly and Bollywood.
- Bollywood was more song- and dance-oriented, while western film was story-oriented. Now it opens up for more surreal elements in western film, and Bollywood places more emphasis on the dramaturgical, she says.
Hard hitting from China
Several of those Ny Tid has spoken to point out that some of the most exciting film countries are those that have been subjected to censorship, such as Iran and China. This year's main focus on Film from the South is precisely Iran.
In May, Chinese director Lou Yes Summer Palace was shown during the Cannes festival. The film depicts the massacre at Tiananmen Square in 1989. As a result of the screening, Lou has been given a five-year professional ban by Chinese authorities.
“Many people experience the same thing. I bet even the official announcing the punishment was sorry, "Lou later told The Guardian.
- Chinese film is in a breaking phase. Summer Palace is an example of Chinese directors daring to be more direct. The Chinese are no longer as preoccupied with the art of suggestion, says Lismoen in Rushprint.
Despite the fact that the proportion of world films in Norwegian cinemas is low, it is increasing. When Film from the South first started 16 years ago, the share was two percent. Now we're up to seven. Heia world.