TELLING STORIES, CHANGING THE CONVERSATION

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When black people saved Hollywood | Think Piece

in Arts & Culture by

Game Changer

A Wrinkle in Time, Release date, May 9, 2018

Digitalizing films dramatically changed the filmmaking business. Now more movies are made with smaller costs; however, Hollywood monopolizes distribution and marketing, for now. Other global industries such as Bollywood and Nollywood, film production behemoths that produce more films than Hollywood have anchored themselves onto U.S. territory.

Bollywood, a collective of production systems saturated film markets throughout the world, is followed by Nollywood, a West African co-op of production systems eking its way into black populations of the globe.

The Rise of Global Cinemas

Bollywood movie set. Photo credit: Naganath Chiluveru

In the 2000s, Hollywood began to implement Bollywoodesk and Indian-diaspora aesthetics into films, creating Indian-light casts that mildly represented the vast traditions of South Asian culture. Like the hotels catering to British or the British competition shows reincarnated with Mumbai flavors.

Now, U.S. film is experiencing another wave—Afrofuturistism—a mesh of African and diaspora aesthetics set in the backdrop of the future. Evident in Black Panther, it is also the base for the coming movie, A Wrinkle in Time, directed by Duvernay, which overlaps African and Indian aesthetic.

Afrofuturism popped up much earlier. In jazz musicians such as Amen Ra to South Africa’s Kwaito house culture, the concept of placing African bodies in the future is a revolving theme of people who are often smudged out of history. As Hollywood, once again, attempts to find its economic grounding, movie audiences look for something different. Something that reflects its diversity, and more truth in the how the world looks and moves.</p>

Kaia Niambi Shivers covers diaspora, news and features.

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