NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 16.2: Fall 2016 - Page 127

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Neo-Nollywood : Mythical Reflections on Auteurism in Nigerian Cinema

By Femi Okiremuette Shaka & Ibe O . Ibe
Department of Theatre & Film Studies University of Port Harcourt Port Harcourt , Nigeria
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ABSTRACT
Following a dissimilar trajectory from the narrative exemplars of Hollywood and its other ( i . e . Bollywood ), Nollywood , as a film industry , has constantly been vilified and dismissed by critics on the practical grounds that it is devoid of the standards of high art .
Critics still find something to cavil at in the resonant images of Nollywood , even though these films mirror mythic cultural values and evoke responses in mass audiences . Reflections of the auteur — a director or filmmaker who exerts total control and artistic ingenuity on his / her film — are a consequence of underlying material practices occurring in the social formation . Motivated by the fact that these films should be studied in terms of indigenous codes and inner dynamics using auteur theory , this paper is a critical reading of authorship in Nigerian cinema using Tunde Kelani ’ s Saworoide ( 1999 ) and Maami ( 2011 ), and Kunle Afolayan ’ s The Figurine ( 2009 ) and Phone Swap
( 2012 ) as case studies . It is found that the film is never without consequences , and the films of these auteurs are contextualized as important , urbane and as “ neo-Nollywood ” films , which demonstrate the authorial artistry in Nollywood as an extension of the Nigerian culture . The essay also details the methods adopted by these Nigerian auteur-directors to achieve productions deeply rooted in indigenous cultures . As contribution to knowledge , this paper opens up critical possibilities of areas of interest , especially with regards to Nollywood and the elaboration of auteur theory in its various manifestations .