Film Production Outside Francophone Africa
Non Francophone African film production is relatively limited, except in South Africa. Among the other former British colonies, only Nigeria has built a sizable film industry.The growth of cinema in this country was due largely to the efforts of Nigerian film directors Ola Balogun. Originally trained in theater, Balogun adapted a number of Yoruba plays for cinema and, between 1972 and 1982, produced nearly a film a year. Since then, Balogun has largely abandoned film for television, which has a wider audience in Nigeria. Other former British colonies with smaller film industries include Tanzania (director Flora M’mbugu Schelling), Zimbabwe (directors Ingrid Sinclair and Tsitsi Dangarembgra) and Ghana (whose industry includes directors Kwaw Ansah and King Ampaw).
In Lusophone Africa, liberation struggles have been a central theme in films produced since the 1960s. In the early 1970s, for example, French-Guadeloupean film director Sarah Maldoror and Yugoslavian director Dragutin Popovic collaborated with members of three liberation movements: Partido Africano Pela Independence de Guine e Cabo Verde, Frente de Libertacao de Mocambique (FRELIMO) in Mozambique, and the Movimento Popular de Libertacao de Angola (MPLA) in Angolato pioneer a form of “guerilla” cinema. Maldoror’s Sambizanga (1972) was best known of her several films on political struggles in Lusophone Africa.
Mozambique has been known as an innovator in film production since its National Film Institute opened in 1976 and French film directors Jean-Luc Godard and Jean Rouch were invited to teach Africans low cost film techniques. Years of civil war, though, made filming in this country difficult and some of its filmmakers now live abroad. Rui Geurra, for example, lives in Brazil, where he is part of the Cinema Novo movement. Elsewhere in Lusophone Africa, Guinea- Bissau’s first director, Flora Gomes, released Mortu Nega in 1989. Leao Lopes in Cape Verde followed soon afterward with the 1993 release of Ilheu de Contenda. In Angola, Zeze Gamboa and Ruy Duarte de Carvalho released several films in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.
Sources: Africa: The Encyclopedia of The African And African American Experience.