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MGBEMERE, Chijindu Daniel

Language and the Igbo Film Content: A Reappraisal

Chijindu Daniel MGBEMERE

Department of Theatre Arts

Imo State University

Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria

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GSM: +234-803-667-1218


Film is one main repository of culture, values and norms of a people. What is now known as Nollywood, started in 1992 as Igbo film when Igbo traders in Onitsha Main Market developed interest in the business of filmmaking. The first film produced for commercial purposes then, Living in Bondage, was shot in Igbo language and subtitled in English. Subsequently, however, most of the films done by the same people started coming in English Language with little or no effort to accommodate the Igbo language within its content. As a consequence, recently, it was speculated that when the DSTV wanted to incorporate some Nigerian films in its broadcasting space, those of the Hausa and Yoruba were properly situated while the Igbo film found no space for dearth of content. Meanwhile, recent survey places Nollywood second, only to Bollywood, ahead of Hollywood in terms of content. Nonetheless, Igbo Film is synonymous with Nollywood. It is this obvious contradiction that forms the thought commitment of this paper as it sets out to determine the possible reason(s) for the turn of fortune. 

Keywords: Language, Nollywood, Culture, Igbo Film