Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

Kenneth W. Harrow

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pp. ix-xii

Any attempt to present African cinema as a unified body of films will immediately run into the same objection to any singular notion of African culture, be it literature, music, or art. There are many African cinemas, and the attempt to join such disparate worlds as Egyptian Cinema and South African Cinema, or Francophone and Anglophone African Cinema under one heading of “African” is to do them severe violence. This volume risks small violence since we are attempting to present only five “formations” of African cinema, that is, the cinemas that coalesce around key features of geography and language. The dominant Anglophone...

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Introduction

Kenneth W. Harrow

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pp. 1-30

The “Five Formations” of African cinemas under study in this volume all had beginnings shortly after the invention of cinema. This introduction examines the historical background of African cinemas in South Africa; North Africa, including Egypt and the Maghreb; and the Anglophone countries of Ghana and Nigeria, as well as Francophone cinema.

South Africa

Jacqueline Maingard begins her overview of film production in South Africa with an account of Edgar Hyman, who produced the first moving images in South Africa in 1898 and 1899, with a camera purchased...

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African Francophone Cinema

Olivier Barlet and Kenneth W. Harrow

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pp. 31-80

The question of influence and horizon of possibilities for Francophone filmmakers is similar to that of other independent filmmakers. The need to finance a film has meant that they have had to turn to government agencies or ministries, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), or funding agencies or sources, each of which has had its own agenda. The degree of freedom any filmmaker might have is partly determined by his or her own autonomy or stature in the profession, and by his or her stubbornness as well as reputation. Thus Sembène Ousmane was largely able to determine the content and direction of his films, but...

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Anglophone West Africa: Commercial Video

Jonathan Haynes

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pp. 81-116

In 2003, the South African media conglomerate Multichoice, through its television channel M-Net, launched Africa Magic, a channel devoted to English-language Nigerian Nollywood films (with an admixture of Ghanaian ones), on its subscription Direct Satellite Television (DStv) platform. Africa Magic was being broadcast to forty-one countries in Africa by 2004. Two more channels were added in 2010, showing Nigerian films in the Yoruba and Hausa languages, and in 2011 a channel showing East African movies in Swahili was created. In 2012, M-Net expanded its English-language programming on Africa Magic to five channels, including programming from South Africa and across the continent, but still with...

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Egypt: Cinema and Society

Viola Shafik

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pp. 117-174

W ith a total output of more than 3,000 full-length films since 1923, the Egyptian film industry, or the “Hollywood on the Nile,” created a commercial and export-oriented genre cinema based on a local star system and on private investment. Since then, its primary customers have been the neighboring Arab-speaking countries. More recently, Egypt’s cinematic output has been complemented by electronic media productions, including talk shows, quiz shows, variety shows, TV serials (musalsalat), and numerous Arab TV channels, in particular those of the cinema Arabian Peninsula, and this despite of an increasing...

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The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of the Cinemas of the Maghreb: From the 1960s to the New Millennium

Valérie K. Orlando

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pp. 175-240

This chapter offers a reflection on the constantly shifting parameters of the film industry in the countries of the Maghreb1–Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia—since the dawn of their revolutionary movements and subsequent independences. The “cinemas of the Maghreb” is a term imbued with significant meanings, as notes Patricia Caillé, who contextualizes the region and its film culture in the following manner:

The “cinemas of the Maghreb” refer by default to a common geographical area (the Maghreb) as well as to a common language (Arabic) even though different dialects...

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Film Production in South Africa: Histories, Practices, Policies

Jacqueline Maingard

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pp. 241-280

When the entrepreneur Isidore W. Schlesinger began the steady construction of his cinema empire in South Africa in 1913, which was to last more than four decades, he perceived, and believed in, the economic potential of the new tools of modernity and their ability to attract audiences. His enterprise was first geared to white audiences in the form of lavish feature film productions, as well as shorts and newsreel. By the 1920s, he was already turning his entrepreneurship not only to the service of the state but also the industrial and commercial sectors. Schlesinger’s African Film Productions (AFP) played a major...

About the Authors

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pp. 281-284

Index

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pp. 285-301