Cinema: The Rising Culture in Africa

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The culture of cinema in Africa is an expression of a rich cultural identity. African cinema is in the quest for a particular style of its own and also devising means where the industry will overcome foreign influences.

This is so as Africans love entertainment in their different forms and have over the years created various means of getting the best of such irrespective of the circumstances.

In times past, one such means of getting well entertained was visiting the cinemas to watch musicals, stage plays, and other presentations, a situation which declined along the line.

The slow growth of African film has now turned around, thanks to new technology. With digital media, filmmakers are no longer reliant on expensive 35 mm film. Production costs are becoming affordable, enabling a flow of content with transnational themes that could reach out to international audiences.

However, in recent times, things have changed once again and the culture of visiting the cinemas is being revived especially among the youthful population.

Today, going to the cinema goes beyond just going to see a movie but projects opportunities for networking and other social interactions as well as unwinding.

For instance, most youths would arrange a time out at the cinemas to see movie trailers to meet the personalities involved on a one-on-one basis, take pictures for reference purposes, and also get to meet some other people that could be of relevance to them while at the same time catching some fun out of it all.

Among other things, the rise has been attributed to the improvement in quality of production by the African filmmakers who now dwell on more contemporary issues that most people can identify with as against what was obtainable before.

African filmmakers are now erupting into a new era whereby they are moving beyond the low-budget productions of just old tales but a recreation of stories in high-quality ways that bring pride to the continent. Most of them now engage the services of production companies and funding agencies across nations hence the new dimension which has in turn increased the passion for the ‘ big- screen” across the continent.

Also, most African Governments are now investing in the cinema industry, thereby making them produce good films rather than going on low-budget films. With the new level of creativity, the continent has been producing more movies than ever, it was recorded that 12 countries in Africa submitted films to the Oscars in 2021.

Another factor that is contributing to the rising cinema culture on the continent is the internet. The internet has turned the world into a global community and as such Africans also have the opportunity of getting to know about the latest blockbusters produced in Hollywood and also want to enjoy the thrills of them.

As much as smartphones can come in handy, and downloads are just clicked away, the big screens at the cinema do more justice to these actions and many love to enjoy that while at the same time enjoying the timeliness that comes with watching at the cinemas.

Streaming services are among the factors that helped cinema in Africa. Streaming African movies made circulation easier. Netflix now helps African movie producers stream some local movies. For instance, blood and water, blood sisters, God calling, etc are all African movies streaming on Netflix.

The growth of the middle-income class in most African countries can not be overlooked when talking of rising cinema culture in Africa. This is because the middle class which had hitherto been in extinction is beginning to evolve again. Due to this, most people in this category tend to patronize the cinema as a matter of class and status to prove their worth.

This boom in the patronage of the cinemas in Africa has had a huge impact on the film industries of the various countries financially, for instance, the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria said they made N4.8 billion in revenue through ticket sales in 2021 with projections for job creation.

Despite all of these, African cinema still has a long way to go to deliver its full potential and contribute meaningfully to economic empowerment and development.

As African filmmakers rise to this challenge to get to the very top with their instruments at the orchestra, and young people with a global vision, it is expected that the cinema on the continent will continue to benefit from modern innovations and get to the desired level.

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