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A Nigerian Film Festival in Paris

Serge Noukoue in front of the Paris cinema airing the "Nollywood Week" film festival (Lisa Bryant/VOA)
Serge Noukoue in front of the Paris cinema airing the "Nollywood Week" film festival (Lisa Bryant/VOA)
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"Bollywood" is the name of the film industry in India. The country is the world's largest filmmaker. "Nollywood" in Nigeria is now the world's second-largest filmmaker. It produces 2,000 or more movies every year.

Some of the best Nollywood films are showing at a film festival in Paris. The festival is called "Nollywood Week." This is the third year the festival has taken place.

Nigeria is an English-speaking country. However, festival organizer Serge Noukoue says holding the festival in the French capital makes sense.

"Paris is the world's cinema capital in a way. It's really an important city for cinema. It's a city that matters… and I believe Nollywood is an industry that matters. I believe it just makes sense to have a platform here for Nollywood, and especially [for] Nollywood's finest films."

Many different types of movies are part of the festival. They include dramas, comedies and also a film about zombies. Festivalgoers can also see the popular Nigerian TV series called Before Thirty. The show is about how Nigerian women feel forced to get married by the time they are 30 years old.

The festival began with a film called Jimmy Goes to Nollywood. It is a documentary about Haitian actor Jimmy Jean-Louis discovering the film industry. Rachid Dhibou helped direct the movie. Mr. Dhibou says Nigerian movies were first made with very little money. Now the quality of the movies is much better. The newer movies are drawing international attention to Nigerian filmmakers.

Ernest Mbong is from Cameroon. He works in the music industry in Paris. He attends Nollywood Week every year.

"It's bringing a lot of light on the work people are doing down there. [It's] full of many things, many stories, taken from our roots. And also from what people are living daily – that's really important and interesting for all of us. And it's really entertaining."

Mr. Noukoue is not sure what next year's festival will offer. He is hoping to include films from other African countries in the future. But, he says, the festival will always promote independent filmmakers, because they make movies average people care about.

I'm Pete Musto.

Lisa Bryant reported and wrote this story for VOA news. Pete Musto adapted it for Learning English. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor.


Words in This Story

platformn. something that allows someone to tell a large number of people about an idea, product, etc.

draman. a play, movie, television show, or radio show that is about a serious subject and is not meant to make the audience laugh

comedy n. a play, movie, television program, novel, etc., that is meant to make people laugh

promotev. to make something more popular

zombien. dead people who are able to move because of magic

Now it’s your turn. What is your favorite film from your country? Do you enjoy films from other countries? Let us know in the comments section.