Nollywood Babylon. 2008. Canada/Nigeria. Written, directed, and photographed by Ben Addelman, Samir Mallal. Pictured: Lancelot prepares to take a shot. Photo: Samir Mallal. © 2008 National Film Board of Canada. All rights reserved

Nigeria claims to have the third-largest film industry in the world, remarkable for a country that for many years had no movie theaters. Home to over 125 million people, many of them avid consumers of movies, the country has given rise to a booming business in locally made video features—nationwide, as many as 20 a week are made and sold or rented as DVDs in markets across the country. “Nollywood,” a play on both “Bollywood” and “Hollywood,” tends to produce features that speak to the everyday experience of Nigerians, who love the bumptious, melodramatic “quickies.” According to filmmakers Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal, the themes of these films “reflect the collision of traditional mysticism and modern culture,” including Christian evangelism. Addelman and Mallal’s stirring documentary Nollywood Babylon focuses on Nollywood’s filmmakers and stars, and their irresistibly rousing contribution to contemporary film culture.

Organized by Laurence Kardish, Senior Curator, Department of Film.

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