The movie biz is not exclusive to the Western side of the world — beyond America’s Hollywood exists various other artistic and business-minded communities dedicated to the production of popular filmmaking. Not only are movies a driving force in the entertainment industry; they also represent culture in a widely accessible format.
The internet allows us to connect with other cultures, to view and experience their films from virtually anywhere. It is possible to learn about diverse cultures around the world with the click of a button. Instead of reading a boring, outdated textbook or spending money (that you don’t have) on a trip, you can experience the values, traditions, customs and lifestyles of the world by sitting down in front of a screen and watching a film!
To pique your curiosity, here’s a quick introduction to the film industry around the world.
Image courtesy of Youtube
You’ve probably heard of this one before. Often known for their energetic and extremely well-choreographed dance numbers, Bollywood films cater to every genre. The term Bollywood is actually a mashup of the name of the Indian megacity Bombay (also known as Mumbai) and Hollywood. If you watch ABC’s Quantico, you’ve already met Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra! The Bollywood industry releases over 1000 films a year; well over the Hollywood average of about 600. Many Bollywood films are available on Netflix (with English subtitles of course).
Cinema of China
Image courtesy of IMDB
As the third-largest film producer worldwide, Chinese cinema comes close to the production rate of the United States. In recent years the industry has flourished, leading to a steep increase in the number of Chinese films being produced annually. There even exists The Golden Horse Awards — an event equivalent in prestige and size to the Academy Awards, celebrating the greatest artists of the industry. Many Chinese films are available on Netflix as well! Be sure to check out The Great Hypnotist (2014), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), and the IP Man series.
Nollywood (Nigerian Cinema)
Image courtesy of Mubi
With a surprisingly large industry, Nigeria’s film scene is on the rise. Pictured above is one of the highest grossing Nigerian films entitled Ousofia in London, a comedy about a Nigerian hunter visiting London for the first time. Unfortunately, Nollywood films are quite difficult to get ahold of since the Nigerian filmmaking business did not pick up until the early 2000s. Who knows, maybe in the future, Nollywood will be just as big as Hollywood!
Do you know of any foreign cinemas that showcase world cultures? Leave your comments below!