Everybody knows about Hollywood; outside the US, people love to watch the blockbuster, big-budget spectacle films with impressive and exciting plots. With deep pockets and marketing expertise, Hollywood movies do quite well in many foreign countries that have a strong local film industry.
Now some of you may be familiar with films from Japan, France, UK, Germany, India, Spain, Italy, China, Hong Kong, but then these countries are not among the largest producers of films in the world.
Comes as a surprise to you? But that’s the truth.
Here are the countries with a booming local film industry; such has been their rise in recent years that even Hollywood productions are trying to make inroads in some of these industries.
India is the largest producer of films in the world, and also the most diverse with films made in several regional languages. However, the Hindi film industry (known as Bollywood which is based in Mumbai) & Tamil film industry (Kollywood which is based in Chennai) are the two biggest film industries in India.
For most people outside India, Indian Cinema means Bollywood, however Indian cinema is much more than just Bollywood, because of the several regional industries.
Indian cinema usually features strong family values and is generally a joyous spectacle of music, dance, and various emotions. Watching a Bollywood film is an incredible sensory experience. You’ll find very little sex in these movies, although the same cannot be said about violence.
To get a feel of Indian movies, you may watch movies like Lagaan, Taare Zameen Pe, Robot, 3 Idiots.
Most Americans, Europeans and even Bollywood films are aware that South Korea is an Asian media powerhouse.
In recent times, the only person (from the entertainment industry) to have captured people’s attention worldwide has been PSY (Gangnam style), but actually he’s just a small fragment of the Korean entertainment scene — music, film and TV.
Besides Korea itself, their domestic entertainment content is consumed by countries like China, Japan and much of Southeast Asia. And if china is your consumer, you’re definitely big and so is the South Korean entertainment industry. Korea mandates that at least 40% of all films shown need to be domestic, as a result, Korean films have outstripped foreign films in terms of box office revenue and ticket sales.
Korean films are usually about its troubled history, (Japanese occupation, Korean War, the division of the peninsula), and are both historical and deeply personal. Add to that, Korea’s love of romance, slapstick humor, and drama, and you have a viable and impressive film industry.
To get a feel of Korean films, watch the 2000 film, JSA (Joint Security Area), Miracle in Cell Number 7 (2013).
This film industry is based in Africa. In terms of number of movies produced Nigeria (nicknamed Nollywood) comes in second place (after India). And because almost close to a thousand movies are produced every year, its a big source of employment as well for the locals. In fact, only the government employs more people than the Nigerian film industry.
Most Nigerian films are shot on the streets, or apartment buildings and offices rented out for a few weeks; and not in studios. These films are quickly edited & distributed to much of Africa (especially Ghana). These films are straight to DVD releases, featured in English for a wider distribution.
Because of the easy and quick distribution of Nigerian films, other African countries seem to be a bit concerned as they feel Nigerian culture will stamp out the more regional cultures and dialects.
Nigerian films may not be of the best quality (because they’re produced much faster, compared to other film industries), content-wise Nigerian Films can be good to watch. The movies are usually about conflicts – over faith, balancing modernity and tradition – and of course, the struggles of family, and the search for a better life.
To get a feel of Nigerian films, watch movies like The Amazing Grace (2006) or Osoufia in London (2003). You should also watch acclaimed documentaries about Nigerian film: This is Nollywood by Franco Sacchi and Robert Caputo (2006), or Welcome to Nollywood by Jamie Meltzer (2007).
Top Film Countries by Box Office
Brazil: Considered to have the most accessible film industry amongst the so-called high-growth emerging BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, and China).
Spain: Currently plagued by shrinking market, rampant piracy, subsidy cuts
Italy: currently impacted by the Euro Zone economic crisis
Russia: Making steady progress.
Germany: strong cinema going culture, Growing steady
India: Huge domestic market, but among the lowest ticket prices in the world.
UK: strong cinema going culture, appetite for films is growing
France: strong cinema going culture, appetite for films is growing
Japan: Strong but overtaken by China
China: Its the world’s second-biggest movie market
North American: Currently the biggest market, but China is not far behind.
South Africa: Big industry, but unstructured
Nigeria: Big industry, but unstructured
Spielberg predicts collapse of film industry…
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