Nollywood Rising: Global Perspectives on the Nigerian Film Industry, June 13-17, 2005

This international convention and symposium covers the Nigerian film industry, which is currently the third largest film producing industry in the world after Hollywood and Bollywood. The conference includes studio tours, meetings and panels with industry professionals, and more.

Thursday, June 16, 2005
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City
555 Universal Hollywood Drive
Universal City, CA 91608

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The project is coordinated in the USA by Dr. Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie, Assistant Professor of Art History at UCSB; and in Nigeria by Chike Maduekwe, Gemafrique Inc., Lagos.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, June 16 - Film Industry Technology Workshops
• 9am-12noon: Movie Industry Technology Workshops and presentations
• 12-1 pm: Lunch
• 1.20-5pm: Studio Tours

June 17, Friday - Check website at

*See Below for Confirmed Speakers

Press Release:
"Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter." African proverb
In recent years the Nigerian Film industry has grown rapidly to become the third largest film producing industry in the world after the renowned Hollywood of the United States and the prolific Bollywood of India.
With the production of over 50 movie titles per week, Nollywood, as the Nigerian film industry has come to be known, is beginning to command global attention by its size and work rate and is arguably one of Nigeria's positive cultural contributions to the international community. Also, the industry has not only transformed the way Nigerians see themselves, it has also become one of the major sources of employment in the country with over 5,000 guild members in 2004. However, the industry needs encouragement to ensure sustainable growth, and both foreign and local film industry experts agree that there is an urgent need to expose Nollywood to more technical depth and professionalism.
In recognition of this need to examine the impact and nature of this unique development in new media, Gemafrique, a firm of International Meeting and Events Planners and Finnu International Productions will host the 1st International Convention and Symposium on Nollywood titled Nollywood Rising: Global Perspectives on the Nigerian Film Industry from June 13th -17th 2005 at the Hilton Los Angeles, Universal City Hotel USA. The project is coordinated in the USA by Dr. Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie, Assistant Professor of Art History at UCSB; and in Nigeria by Chike Maduekwe, Gemafrique Inc., Lagos.
The Nollywood Convention USA 2005 investigates the emergence of new media in Nigerian film and visual culture. The digital video recording of Nollywood is a leap forward that accurately prefigures the future of film industries worldwide.  Nollywood was created wholecloth in Nigeria and is rapidly becoming the first true mass medium for continental and expatriate Africans in the 21st century.  This achievement is great in itself. The accompanying symposium will feature presentations on topical issues in the industry by film experts, academics and celebrities.
Highlights of the educational trip to California by the Nollywood Delegation includes executive meetings between Hollywood and Nollywood top stars, a guided tour of the Universal Studios and Warner Bros. Studios as well as Nigerian Cultural performances at a Gala and Award reception. The Governor of the state of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has been invited to open the event.
The Convention and Symposium is jointly sponsored by various departments and institution of the University of California Santa Barbara including the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center-IHC; the Center for Film, Television and New Media; the Center for Black Studies and the Department of History of Art and Architecture Department (for the Symposium on June 15). Other sponsors include TANTRUM RECORDS of Montecito. It is also supported by a consortium of major Nigerian Film Industry Companies led by GEMAFRIQUE Inc., Lagos Nigeria.
The Nollywood Convention will become a bi-continental annual event which holds one year in the USA and the other year in Nigeria. On each occasion the Nollywood Convention will pick one project to support and raise funds for. The projects will vary widely and include Nollywood Technical Improvement Funds; support for AIDS research; rehabilitation projects of various sorts; scholarships for training programs to the USA and so on. This year's fundraising project is the Oraeze High School Rehabilitation Project which is designed to identify and help encourage younger people who will thereby end up as trained professionals in various technical and production aspects of Nollywood. The rehabilitation project helps provide infrastructural and technical support for a pilot educational program of this sort.

*Confirmed speakers for Nollywood Rising include:
N. Frank Ukadike, Tulane University, New Orleans; Moradewun Adejunmobi, UC Davis; Jude Akudinobi, UC Santa Barbara; Tom Ebong, Independent Scholar; Mahen Boneti, Director New York Film Festival, Ayuko Babu, Director: Pan-African Film Festival, Los Angeles; Jonathan Haynes, Southampton College, Long Island University, NY; Abubakar Sanogo, University of Southern California; Jean-Pierre Bekolo, Director, Paris; Chudi Uwazurike, City College, City University of New York; Brian Larkin, Columbia University; Onookome Okome, University of Alberta, Canada; Teshome Gabriel, UCLA; Olusegun Oyekunle, Independent Director/Writer, LA; Nnamdi Moweta, KPFK/Afrodicia; Jonathan Adewunmi, Fashion Designer, NY; John Peffer, Northwestern University; Amaka Igwe, Organiser, BOBTV (The African Films & Television Programs Market); Chris Albani, Writer/Novelist; Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie, UC Santa Barbara.

For further information and sponsorship opportunities, contact:

Dr. Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie
University of California Santa Barbara
Phone: 805-407-6554

Chike Maduekwe
Phone: +234 (0) 1 2703467, (0) 805 268 4690

Dr. Jude Akudinobi
Department of Film Studies and Black Studies
University of California Santa Barbara
phone 805-893-7828

Lancelot Oduwa-Imasuen
Nollywood Director
Assistant Convention Coordinator for Europe
Phone: 011-49-162-592-9592

Abiola Abrams
Media Representative
Phone: 212.426.0056 or 212.457.6133

Please check the schedule for updates and times. To contact the hotel, call 818-506-2500.

Cost : Free and open to the public; parking is available at the Hilton - self park $7; valet $10, per day; for overnight guests $11 self park and $16 valet.

Dr. Ogbechie 805-407-6554

Sponsor(s): African Studies Center, Please see Nollywood Convention website for complete list of sponsors.