2nd Edition

African Film Studies An Introduction

By Boukary Sawadogo Copyright 2023
    182 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    182 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    African Film Studies is an accessible and engaging introduction to African cinemas, showcasing the diverse cinematic expressions across the continent. Bringing African cinemas out of the margins and into mainstream film studies, the book provides a succinct overview of the history, aesthetics, and theory of sub-Saharan African cinematic productions.

    Updated throughout, this new edition includes new chapters on Nollywood, Ethiopian cinema, Streaming, and the rise of televisual series, which serve to complement the book’s main themes:

    • Overview of African cinema(s): Questions assumptions and defines the characteristics of African cinemas across linguistic, geographic, and filmic divides
    • History of African cinemas: Spans the history of film in Africa from colonial import and ‘appropriation of the gaze’, the rise of Nollywood and local TV series to streaming, as well as building connections with the development of African American cinema
    • Aesthetics: Introduces new research on previously under-explored aesthetic dimensions such as cinematography, animation, and film music
    • Theoretical Approaches: Addresses a number of theoretical approaches and critical frameworks developed by scholars in the study of African cinemas
    • Traditions and practices in African screen media: Features Ethiopian cinema, Nollywood, Local Televisual Series in Burkina Faso and South Africa, and the Streaming rush for Africa

    All chapters include case studies, suggestions for further reading, and screening lists to deepen the reader’s knowledge, with no prior knowledge of African cinemas required. Students, teachers, and general film enthusiasts would all benefit from this accessible and engaging book.

    Introduction  Chapter 1: What Is African Cinema?  Case Study: Aristotle’s Plot (Jean-Pierre Bekolo, 1996)  PART I: HISTORY OF AFRICAN CINEMAS  Chapter 2: History of African Cinemas  Case Study: Sanders of the River (Zoltan Korda, 1935): Celebration of the British Empire  Chapter 3: Parallel Movement: African Cinemas and African American Cinema  Case Study: Black Is King (Beyoncé, 2020)  PART II: AESTHETICS IN AFRICAN CINEMAS  Chapter 4: Cinematography: Space, Time, and Rhythm  Case Study: Yaaba (Idrissa Ouédraogo, 1989)  Chapter 5: The African Animated Film Case Study: Prince Loseno (Jean-Michel Kibushi Ndajte Wooto, 2004)  Chapter 6: Introductory Study of African Film Scores Case Study: Non-diegetic Music: Space and Time Dimensions of Film Music in La Noire de…  (Black Girl) (Ousmane Sembène, 1966)  PART III: AFRICAN FILM CRITICISM Chapter 7: Critical Reading Lenses in the Study of African Cinemas Case Study: Atlantics (Mati Diop, 2019): Migration in a Polygeneric Film  PART IV: TRADITIONS AND PRACTICES IN AFRICAN SCREEN MEDIA  Chapter 8: Ethiopian Cinema. By Steven W. Thomas Case Studies: Haile Gerima’s Teza (2008) and La Borena (Belay Getaneh, 2013)  Chapter 9: Nollywood: A Popular and Commercial Cinema Case Study: The Wedding Party (Kemi Adetiba, 2017)  Chapter 10: The Rise of Local African TV Serials: The Case of Burkina Faso and South Africa Course Proposal: African Televisual Seriality   PART V: NOTES ON STREAMING   Chapter 11: The Streaming Rush for Africa  Conclusion: Film and New Media Education


    Boukary Sawadogo is an Associate Professor of Cinema Studies at the City University of New York’s City College and CUNY Graduate Center. As a specialist in African cinemas, he has published extensively through film reviews, articles, book chapters, and three books. Since 2020, he is the founding director of Harlem African Animation Festival.