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Reclaiming Nollywood from Western Nigeria: The Socio-Cultural Influences of Eastern Culture and Festival Theatre in the Evolution and Practice of Nollywood


Department of Theatre and Film Studies

University of Port Harcourt

Port Harcourt, Nigeria


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The evolution and filmic practices in Nollywood has generated serious academic interest. There have been serious attempts at examining the industry in most theatre arts departments in Nigeria who have appended “film” to the designation. However, the evolutionary account of Nollywood generates heated controversies amongst scholars. Most scholars of the Western region of Nigeria believe that Nollywood started and still articulates western culture in its filmic practices. On the other hand, the scholars in the Eastern region of Nigeria believe that Nollywood started and maintains Eastern cultural ideology in its filmic practice. This paper in examining both arguments embarks on a textual analysis of Living in Bondage, a video film which is purported by most scholars in these two regions to have christened the inception of Nollywood. The paper after these analyses reclaims that Nollywood started and still maintains the cultural ideology of the Eastern Nigeria in its filmic practices. It observes that distortion of history by most eastern scholars because of there origin is parochial and should be eschewed in academics.


Charles OKWUOWULU is of the Department of Theatre and Film Studies, University of Port Harcourt. He is a screenwriter, director of photography (DOP),director and editor with some Nollywood films to his credit. His PhD research is on contextualizing auteur practice in Nollywood.