Bibliography on African and Nigerian Cinema

A lot of prospective scholars of the video film approach their subject with the erroneous impression that it remains an as yet undocumented field. While it is true that the study of the video films remain a relatively new area of study, it is also nevertheless true that a lot has been published on the subject. The bibliography that is presented here lays no claim to being complete. More than anything else, it is an indication of the amount of work that is currently being carried out.

However, although video film study is gradually taking on the status of a recognised field of research, there is still the lack of a coordinated approach to this study. Haynes (2010, p. 105) has indicated the lack of a “disciplinary home” for the study of the video films. According to him there has been a great diversity of approach to the subject of the video film which has led to “studies of everything from their impact on drug use to their linguistic aspects.” Thus, much of the work that exists is extremely varied in approach. Unfortunately, there tends to be a general absence of concrete statistics, especially with regard to distribution and exhibition, in most of the writing available. There is also a lot of repetition, and some of it is of rather erroneous or conflicting information. This underlines the importance of carrying out fresh research to produce a comprehensive history of film in Nigeria.

The bibliography presented here also contains material that deals with African film in general. Details about Nigeria’s film history are included in this material but, more importantly, this wider history of African film provides a useful context for appreciating some of the peculiarities of video filmmaking. The list also contains material on other topics, such as colonial filmmaking and the emergence of Nigerian television, for example, which are of relevance to the study of the video film.


a)     Books

Armes, R. (1991). Arab and African Filmmaking. London; Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: Zed Books.

Armes, R. (2005). Postcolonial Images: Studies in North African Film. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Armes, R. (2006). African Filmmaking: North and South of the Sahara. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Bakari, I., & Cham, M. (1996). African Experiences of Cinema. London: British Film Institute.

Balogun, F. (1987). The Cinema in Nigeria. Enugu: Delta Publications.

Barlet, O. (2000). African Cinemas: Decolonising the Gaze. London; New York: Zed Books.

Barrot, P. (Ed.). (2008). Nollywood: The Video Phenomenon in Nigeria. Oxford, Ibadan, Bloomington & Indianapolis: James Currey, HEBN Publishers, Indiana University Press.

Diawara, M. (1992). African Cinema: Politics and Culture. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

Diawara, M. (2010). African Film: New Forms of Aesthetics and Politics. New York: Prestel.

Ekwuazi, H. (1987). Film in Nigeria. Ibadan: Moonlight Publishers.

Ekwuazi, H. (1991). Film in Nigeria (2nd ed.). Ibadan: Nigerian Film Corporation.

Elena, A. (1999). Los Cines Periféricos: África, Oriente Medio, India. Barcelona: Paidós.

Harrow, K. (Ed.) (1999). African Cinema, Post Colonial and Feminist Readings. Trenton NJ, and Asmara: Africa World Press.

Harrow, K. W. (2007). Postcolonial African Cinema: From Political Engagement to Postmodernism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Haynes, J. (Ed.). (2000). Nigerian Video Films. Ohio: Ohio University Centre for International Studies.

James, A. (2007). The Making of Nigeria’s Film and Video Revolution. Lagos: Publicomm Associates Ltd.

Larkin, B. (2008). Signal and Noise: Media, Infrastructure and Urban Culture in Northern Nigeria. Chapel Hill NC: Duke University Press.

Lobato, R. (2012). Shadow Economies of Cinema: Mapping Informal Film Distribution . London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Martin, M. T. (Ed.), (1995) Cinemas of the Black Diaspora: Diversity, Dependence and Oppositionality Michigan: Wayne State University Press.

Mgbejume, O. (1989). Film in Nigeria: Development, Problems and Promise. Nairobi: African Council on Communication Education.

Ogunleye, F. (2003). African Video Film Today. Manzini, Swaziland: Academic Publishers.

Pfaff, F. (1988). The Cinema of Ousmane Sembene: A Pioneer of African Film. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.

Pfaff, F. (Ed.), (2004) Focus on African Films. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Russell, S. A. (1998). Guide to African Cinema. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group Inc.

Saul, M., & Austen, R. A. (2010). Viewing African Cinema in the Twenty-First Century: African Films and the Nollywood Video Revolution. Athens: Ohio University Press.

Shaka, F. O. (2004). Modernity and the African Cinema: A Study in Colonialist Discourse, Postcoloniality and Modern African Identity. Trenton and Asmara: Africa World Press, Inc.

Shehu, B. (1992). No… Not Hollywood: Essays & Speeches of Brendan Shehu. (H. Ekwuazi, & Y. Nasidi, Eds.) Jos: Nigerian Film Corporation.

Thackway, M. (2003). Africa Shoots Back: Alternative Perspectives in Sub-Saharan Francophone African Film. Oxford: James Currey.

Ukadike, N. F. (1994). Black African Cinema. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Ukadike, N. F. (2002). Questioning African Cinema: Conversations with Filmmakers. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

b)     Book Chapters

Larkin, B. (2002). The Materiality of Cinema Theaters in Northern Nigeria. In F. D. Ginsburg, L. Abu-Lughod, & B. Larkin (Eds.), Media worlds: Anthropology on New Terrain (pp. 319-336). Berkeley: University of California Press.

Obiaya, I. (2012). Behind the Scenes: The Hidden Face of Nollywood. In A. Dawson, & S. Holmes (Eds.), Working in the Global Film and Television Industries: Creativity, Systems, Space, Patronage. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Rouch, J. (2003). Situation and Tendencies of the Cinema in Africa. In J. Rouch, Cine-Ethnography. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

c)     Journal Monographs

Film International, 2007, 5(4)

Postcolonial Text 2007 3(2)

Journal of African Cinemas 2012, 4(1)

d)     Journal Articles

Adamu, A. U. (2007). Currying Favour: Eastern Media Influences and the Hausa Video Film. Film International, 5(4), 77-89.

Adamu, Y. M. (2002). Between the Word and the Screen: A Historical Perspective on the Hausa Literary Movement and the Home Video Invasion. Journal of African Cultural Studies, 15(2), 203-213.

Adeleke, D. A. (2003). Culture, Art and Film in An African Society: An Evaluation. Nordic Journal of African Studies, 12(1), 49-56.

Adesanya, A. (1994). Production Profile: Nigeria. Africa Film & TV, pp. 21-23.

Adesokan, A. (2004). Loud in Lagos: Nollywood Videos. Wasafiri, 19(43), 45-49.

Adesokan, A. (2012). Nollywood and the Idea of the Nigerian Cinema. Journal of African Cinemas, 4(1), 81-98.

Ajibade, B. (2007). From Lagos to Douala: the Video Film and its Spaces of Seeing. Postcolonial Text:

Akpabio, E. (2007). Attitude of Audience Members to Nollywood Films. Nordic Journal of African Studies, 16(1), 90-100.

Akudinobi, J. (2000). Introduction to Special Issue: African Cinema/Critical Configurations. Social Identities, 6(3), 237-240.

Bakari, I. (2007). Colonialism and Modern Lives in African Cinema. Screen, 48(4), 501-505.

Barber, K. (1982). Popular Reactions to the Petro-Naira. The Journal of Modern African Studies, 20(3), 431-450.

Barber, K. (1987). Popular Arts in Africa. African Studies Review, 30(3), 1-78.

Cartelli, P. (2007). Nollywood Comes to the Carribean. Film International(28), 112-114.

Cham, M. (1998). African Cinema in the 90s. African Studies Quarterly:

Coleman, R. M. (2007). Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. as Filmmaker: The Making and Demise of Countdown at Kusini. Journal of Popular Film & Television, 35(1), 32-37.

Diawara, M. (1987, April). Sub-Saharan African Film Production: Technological Paternalism. Jump Cut:

Ebewo, P. (2007). The Emerging Video Film Industry in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects. Journal of Film and Video 59.3, 59(3), 46-57.

Egbon, M. (1983). Western Nigeria Television Service – Oldest in Tropical Africa. Journalism Quarterely, 60(2), 329-334.

Eghagha, H. (2007). Magic Realism and the ‘Power’ of Nollywood Home Video Films. Film International, V(28), 71-76.

Eghagha, H. (2007, August). Magic Realism and the ‘Power’ of Nollywood Home Video Films. Film International, V(4), 71-76.

Ekwuazi, H. (2007). The Hausa Video Film: The Call of the Muezzin. Film International, 64-70.

Enahora, A.-U. (1989). Film Makers and Film Making in Nigeria: Problems and Prospects. Africa Media Review, 3(3), 98-109.

Esan, O. (2008, May). Appreciating Nollywood: Audiences and Nigerian ‘Films’. Particip@tions, Vol 5, Issue 1:

Evuleocha, S. U. (2008). Nollywood and the Home Video Revolution: Implications for Marketing Video Film in Africa. International Journal of Emerging Markets, 3(4), 407 – 417.

Fagbemi, O. A. (1994, January-March). Things to Know about the Nigerian Film Industry. Film & Video, 2(1).

Furniss, G. (2005). Video and the Hausa Novella in Nigeria. Social Identities, 11(2), 89-112.

González García, F. (2009, November). “Nollywood Boulevard”: Orígenes, desarrollo y actualidad de la industria Nigeriana. Cahiers du Cinéma, 28, 48-50.

Guback, T. (1985). American Films and the African Market. Critical Arts, 3(3), 1-14.

Haynes, J. (2006). Political Critique in Nigerian Video Films. African Affairs, 511-533.

Haynes, J. (2007a). Nnebue: the Anatomy of Power. Film International, V(4), 30-40.

Haynes, J. (2007b). Nollywood in Lagos, Lagos in Nollywood Films. Africa Today, 54(2), 131-150.

Haynes, J. (2007c). ‘Nollywood’: What’s in a Name? Film International, 106-108.

Haynes, J. (2007d). TK in NYC: An Interview with Tunde Kelani. Postcolonial Text:

Haynes, J. (2007e). Video Boom: Nigeria and Ghana. Postcolonial Text:

Haynes, J. (2010). A Literature Review: Nigerian and Ghanaian Videos. Journal of African Cultural Studies, 22(1), 105-120.

Haynes, J. (2012). A Bibliography of Academic Work on Nigerian and Ghanaian Video Films. Journal of African Cinemas, 4(1), 99-133.

Hoefert de Turégano, T. (2000, Fall). Fespaco 1999: The Cultural Politics of Production and Francophone West African Cinema. Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noire, 3, 145-167.

Hoefert de Turégano, T. (2002). The New Politics of African Cinema at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. French Politics, Culture and Society, 20(3), 22-32.

Hoefert de Turégano, T. (2005, February). Sub-Saharan African Cinemas: The French Connection. Modern and Contemporary France, 13(1), 71-83.

Hungwe, K. (1991). Southern Rhodesian Propaganda and Education Films for Peasant Farmers, 1948-1955. Historical Journal of Film, Radio & Television, 11(3), 229.

Hungwe, K. N. (2005). Narrative and Ideology: 50 Years of Filmmaking in Zimbabwe. Media Culture Society, 27(1), 83-99.

Jedlowski, A. (2012). Small Screen Cinema: Informality and Remediation in Nollywood. Television and New Media, 13(5), 431–446.

Künzler, D. (2006, November 30). The Nigerian Video Industry as an example of Import Substitution.

Larkin, B. (1997). Indian Films and Nigerian Lovers: Media and the Creation of Parallel Modernities. Africa, 67(3), 406-440.

Larkin, B. (2004). Degraded Images, Distorted Sounds: Nigerian Video and the Infrastructure of Piracy. Public Culture , 16, 289–314.

Lobato, R. (2007). Subcinema: Theorizing Marginal Film Distribution. Limina:

Lobato, R. (2010). Creative Industries and Informal Economies. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 13(4), 337-354.

McCall, J. C. (2002). Madness, Money, and Movies: Watching a Nigerian Popular Video with the Guidance of a Native Doctor. Africa Today, 49(3), 79-94.

McCall, J. C. (2003). Nollywood Confidential. Transition(95), 98-109.

McCall, J. C. (2007, August). The Pan-Africanism We Have: Nollywood’s Invention of Africa. Film International, V(4), 92-97.

McCall, J. C. (2012). The Capital Gap: Nollywood and the Limits of Informal Trade. Journal of African Cinemas, 4(1), 9-23.

Meyer, B. (1999). Popular Ghanaian Cinema and “African Heritage”. Africa Today, 46(2), 93-114.

Meyer, B. (2003). Visions of Blood, Sex and Money: Fantasy Spaces in Popular Ghanaian Cinema. Visual Anthropology, 16(1), 15-41.

Meyer, B. (2010). ‘Tradition and colour at its best’: ‘tradition’ and ‘heritage’ in Ghanaian videomovies. Journal of African Cultural Studies, 22(1), 7-23.

Miller, J. (2012). Global Nollywood: The Nigerian Movie Industry and Alternative Global Networks in Production and Distribution. Global Media and Communication, 8(2), 117-133.

Moorman, M. (2001). Of Westerns, Women, and War: Resituating Angolan Cinema and the Nation. Research in African Literatures, 32(3), 103-122.

Murphy, D. (2000). Africans Filming Africa: Questioning Theories of an Authentic African cinema. Journal of African Cultural Studies, 13(2), 239-249.

Obiaya, I. (2010). Nollywood on the Internet: A Preliminary Analysis of an Online Nigeria Video-Film Audience. Journal of African Media Studies, 2(3), 321-338.

Obiaya, I. (2011). A Break with the Past: The Nigerian Video-Film Industry in the Context of Colonial Filmmaking. Film History, 23(2), 129–146.

Oduko, S. (1987). From Indigenous Communication to Modern Television: A Reflection of Political Development in Nigeria. Africa Media Review, 1(3), 1-10.

Ofeimun, O. (2004). In Defence of the Films We Have Made. West Africa Review(5).

Ogbechie, S. (2011). Mediating Visions. Critical Interventions, 3-4.

Ogunleye, F. (2004). A Report From the Front: The Nigerian Video Films. Quarterly Review of Film and Video, 79-88.

Oha, O. (2002). Yoruba Christian Video Narrative and Indigenous Imaginations: Dialogue and Duelogue. Cahiers d’Études africaines, XLII(165), 121–42.

Okome, O. (1995). Film Policy and the Development of the African Cinema. Glendora Review, I(2), 46-53.

Okome, O. (2007a). Introducing the Special Issue on West African Cinema: Africa at the Movies. Postcolonial Text:

Okome, O. (2007b). Nollywood: Spectatorship, Audience and the Sites of Consumption. Postcolonial Text:

Okome, O. (2007c). “The message is reaching a lot of people:” Proselytizing and Video Films of Helen Ukpabio. Postcolonial Text, 3(2).

Olayiwola, A. (2007, Fall). From Celluloid to Video: The Tragedy of the Nigerian Film Industry. Journal of Film and Video 59.3, 58-61.

Porter, L. M. (2007). Reviews. SubStance #113, 36(2), 147-160.

Power, M. (2004). Post-Colonial Cinema and the Reconfiguration of Moçambicanidade. Lusotopie, 261-278.

Smyth, R. (1979). The Development of British Colonial Film Policy, 1927-1939, with Special Reference to East and Central Africa. Journal of African History, 20(3), 437-450.

Smyth, R. (1992). The Post-War Career of the Colonial Film Unit in Africa: 1946-1955. Historical Journal of Film, Radio & Television, 12(2), 163-178.

Smyth, R. (2004, August 4). The Roots of Community Development in Colonial Office Policy and Practice in Africa. Social Policy & Administration, 38, 418-436.

Ugor, P. (2007). Censorship and the Content of Nigerian Home Video Films. Postcolonial Text:

Ukadike, N. F. (1991, May). Anglophone African Media. Jump Cut:

Ukadike, N. F. (2000). Images of the ‘Reel’ Thing: African Video-Films and the Emergence of a New Cultural Art. Social Identities, 6(3), 243-261.

Umeh, C. (1989). The Advent and Growth of Television Broadcasting in Nigeria: its Political and Educational Overtones. Africa Media Review, 3(2), 54-66.

Willemen, P. (1992). Review: The Making of an African Cinema. Transition, 138-150.

e)     Reports and Miscellaneous Documents

Agu, A. (2006, 30-June). Nigerian Film Market: Production and Post Production Equipment. US Commercial Service:$file/X_916476.DOC

Balogun, O. (1998, November). Africa’s Video Alternative. UNESCO Courier:

British Film Institute. (1948). The Film in Colonial Development: A Report of a Conference. London: British Film Institute.

Federal Information Service, N. (1956). Censorship. British Film Academy Journal, Autumn.

Federal Republic of Nigeria. (1992). National Film Policy. Lagos: The Federal Government Printer.

FountainHead Group. (2008). Nigerian Media and Entertainment Industry: The Next Frontier, Making Steady Progress. Lagos: FountainHead Group.

Mba, E. (2006, 31-March). Nigeria in the Movies: Movies, Culture, Democracy and National Development. National Film and Video Censors Board:

National Film and Video Censors Board. (2006). Comprehensive Document on the Distribution, Exhibition and Marketing of Films and Video Works in Nigeria. Abuja.

National Film and Video Censors Board. (2006). Distribution Framework Objectives. National Film and Video Censors Board:

National Film and Video Censors Board. (2006). Film and Video Directory in Nigeria Vol. 3. Abuja: National Film & Video Censors Board.

National Film and Video Censors Board. (2007, January). Comprehensive Document on the Distribution, Exhibition and Marketing of Films and Video Works in Nigeria. Abuja: NFVCB.

National Film and Video Censors Board. (2007, April). New Distribution Framework Policy. A Presentation at the Pan African University.

Nigerian Copyright Commission. (2008). Survey of Copyright Piracy in Nigeria. Abuja: Nigerian Copyright Commission.

Owens-Ibie, N. (1998). How video films developed in Nigeria. World Association for Christian Communication:


f)       Some Online Bibliographies

African Cinema and African Cinematic Representation:
A Selected Bibliography/Videography of Materials in the UC Berkeley

AFRICA: Africa World Press Guide

African Cinemas: Selected Bibliography

African Media Program

African Studies Companion Online

Manthia Diawara Bibliography

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