Africa and film

NAI library staff has compiled this web dossier for those interested in Africa and films.

In our library collections

Quick links to the library catalogue, AfricaLit, and elsewhere


We have about 430 films on DVD, free to borrow:


  • Find titles on film*: all titles |  journal articles only     
  • Find titles on film industry: all titles | journal articles only 
  • Journal of African Cinemas (Vol 6, Nr 1, 1 April 2014 freely available via Ingenta from anywhere, all volumes available from NAI). The journal "explore[s] the interactions of visual and verbal narratives in African film. It recognizes the shifting paradigms that have defined and continue to define African cinemas. Identity and perception are interrogated in relation to their positions within diverse African film languages."


Quite a few of our feature films are Nigerian, produced within Africa's largest movie industry, sometimes referred to as "Nollywood". We also have some literature on this subject.  

Browse selected Google Scholar lists of publications on the Nollywood films mirroring contemporary society. Most publications are accessible through your campus

Movie evolution

Nigerian blog with reviews of Nollywood films. A class project for the course Introduction to Film, Cinema and Literature, in the Department of Mass Communication, Covenant University, Nigeria 

Nigerian films

Commercial site focused towards the industry with reviews, gossip, information about new films etc.

Nollywood Arcadia

Resource site on Nollywood from Department of Media and Communication, Arcadia university, Philadelphia US.

TED Talk: Franco Sacchi tours Nigeria's booming Nollywood (2007)

"Zambia-born filmmaker Franco Sacchi tours us through Nollywood, Nigeria's booming film industry (the world's 3rd largest)".

NAI publications

Mats Utas, »Making jew-man business: filming post-war youth in Sierra Leone«, in Annual Report : 2010: The rise of Africa: miracle or mirage?, ISSN 1104-5256. Available in fulltext in the DiVA database.

From the article preamble: "The documentary Jew-Man Business, filmed in a rough neighbourhood of the Sierra Leonean capital Freetown, aims to steer clear of the common stereotypes of young African men. Mats Utas, who made the picture together with fellow researcher Maya Christensen and filmmaker Christian Vium, reflects on the difficulties of getting under the surface of street life and catching it on film."

The film Jew-Man Business itself can be viewed on this website: Economy of the Street - Images and tales of survival and everyday life amongst poor youth in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Film festivals

In the Nordic countries

  • CinemAfrica Film Festival (Stockholm)
    The festival started 1998 by the CinemAfrica nonprofit organization. Showing feature films, short films and documentaries made by filmmakers of African descent — serving as a platform and forum for African films in Sweden.
  • Helsinki African Film Festival
    From the festival website: "...brings an entertaining and thought-provoking selection of contemporary African films to Finland. The festival aims to foster communication across cultures and support dialogue on wide-ranging issues related to Africa."

In Africa

Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou
Festival panafricain du cinéma et de la télévision de Ouagadougou, FESPACO, is the largest African film festival.

Wikipedia has a list of film festivals in Africa.

Web resources

A selection of links to web sites dealing with Africa and film. Find more resources through our link collection A Guide to Africa on the Internet.

African Media Program (AMP)
AMP offers an online, comprehensive database of films, videos, and other audio-visual materials concerning Africa and education services about African media. A project from Michigan State University's African Studies Center.

The African Online Digital Library (AODL)
A portal to multimedia collections about Africa.

African Studies Centre in Leiden
Our colleagues at ASC have previously made two resourceful web dossiers on African Cinema: African Cinema (2003) and African Cinema II (2009). They also have a seminar on film culture and Rwanda coming up in april 2013.

Colonial Film Database
This website contains detailed information on over 6000 films showing images of life in the British colonies (including 17 countries in Africa). Over 150 films are available for viewing online.

La Cinémathèque Afrique
The Cinémathèque Afrique provides more than 1500 African movies, animated movies, documentaries etc. as from the 1960s onwards to social, cultural or educational organisations. It's run by l’Institut français.

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