-Woods of international cinema

Ben Ortega, Editor

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Everyone in the US has heard of Hollywood, but Bollywood and Nollywood are much less mainstream, at least in the western world. Hollywood is not the only film industry in the world, many countries in the world have their own film industry hubs including Hindi India’s Bollywood, Nigeria’s Nollywood, and England’s Pinewood. Not all foreign film industry hubs are -ollywoods, but they tend to be, emulating the internationally famous Hollywood.

Now, just because many people here don’t know or haven’t heard about Nollywood or Bollywood doesn’t mean that they aren’t important at a large scale. Many statistics about foreign cinematic hubs might come as surprises.

Bollywood is located in Mumbai, India. The old name of the city used to be Bombay, hence the name Bollywood. This film industry is not the only cinematic city hub in India, it is part of an umbrella Indywood. Other production centers produce films in the other Indian languages. To appease to a wider range of viewers, Bollywood uses a Hindi-Urdu, Hindustani, and/or Hinglish. This allows for not only Hindi speakers to enjoy their films, but for Urdu, Pakistani, and English speakers to do so as well, expanding their audience and consumer base.

“I feel like it is a good representation of Indian culture, full of over the top exaggeration and colorful dance and acting,” said Batul Chitalwala. “I guess that if you don’t like musicals, though it’s not for you.”

In terms of volume of film production, India’s cinematic industry is number one on this list in the world. A total of about 1,986 films are released each year with Bollywood producing the most, 364 movies last year alone. Bollywood accounts for about 43% of India’s box office revenue and sells around $3.6 billion in tickets, a whole $1 billion more than Hollywood. With India’s large and growing population, there is a massive and steady consumer base for movies. Shah Rukh Khan is one of Bollywood’s biggest stars and has been in a large amount of films. He currently earns more than even Hollywood’s Tom Cruise does. Indian cinema, predominantly Bollywood, is an international cinematic powerhouse, seen through its immense ticket sales and movie production as well as their huge fan base and world class actors.

Nigeria is a cinematic giant as well. It all started right around the creation of film in the 1800’s. During colonial times, Europeans introduced film to Nigeria, setting the foundation for a future Nollywood. Many years later, after colonization and the initial Nigerian oil boom, Nollywood exploded. Films were being created nonstop, starting in the 70’s and 80’s. After hitting another cinematic boom in the 90’s and 2000’s, Nollywood’s film industry seemed more stable and steadily growing. Now, Nollywood is not only a potential powerhouse, but in Africa it already is.

Nollywood is the second largest annual producer of films in the world, right behind India and Bollywood and just surpassing Hollywood. After the era of colonization of Nigeria was over, Nigerians demanded that 300 foreign owned cinemas should be transferred into Nigerian hands. This allowed for even more participation by Nigerians, casting more Nigerian actors, using more Nigerian producers and directors, and creating a larger Nigerian audience. Most, if not all Nollywood movies are in English, which doesn’t limit their films to only Nigeria. Nollywood films are popular in Nigeria, Ghana, and many other English speaking African nations. In Britain and the US, their films are also fairly popular thanks to the Nigerian immigration and diasporas in those countries. With a rapidly growing population and an ever developing film industry, Nollywood was rated in 2013 as the third most valuable film industry in the world based on worth and revenue.

Hollywood is not the only film industry in the world. Although Hollywood produces the largest, most successful and popular blockbusters, other film production cities and hubs should not be disregarded. China’s film industry, Nollywood, and Bollywood are all rapidly growing and developing and will soon truly rival the US’s Hollywood in terms of film success and cinematic advancements. Not to mention, most western European and some Latin American countries also have massively successful film industries, including England’s Pinewood, Spain and France’s industries, and Chilean, Argentinian, and Mexican cinema. I suggest trying out and experiencing foreign film whenever possible, even if you have to turn on the CC (closed captioning) in English.