Africa must learn from Nigeria’s “microwave” movies

By Katrina Manson

OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) – In the time it takes for a lovingly crafted art house movie to emerge as winner of the top prize at Burkina Faso’s pan-African FESPACO cinema festival, Nigeria’s prolific producers will already have churned out another 50 films.

They might be tales of cannibalism, sorcery and jealous girlfriends who shrink their errant boyfriends into bottles, but Nigeria’s $450 million home video industry is the third biggest in the world, after America’s Hollywood and India’s Bollywood.

By contrast, FESPACO’s filmmakers — considered the best on the continent — rely on dwindling donations, and scrabble for private financing and poor distribution deals amid a spate of cinema closures.
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