Sarah A. Bequette sbequette at ihc.ucsb.edu
Tue May 3 17:02:34 PDT 2005

Press Release:

Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City, June 13-17, 2005

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

With the production of over fifty (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

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 (please see website
for contact information: www.nollywoodconventionusa.com)

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

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 Department of History of
Art and Architecture Department--whose support is limited to the
Symposium on June 15--and the Center for Black Studies). Other sponsors
include TANTRUM RECORDS of Montecito. It is also supported by the
Federal Government of Nigeria and a consortium of major Nigerian Film
Industry Companies led by GEMAFRIQUE Inc., Lagos Nigeria.

For further information and sponsorship opportunities, contact:

Dr. Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie
University of California Santa Barbara
email: ogbechie at arthistory.ucsb.edu
Phone: 805-407-6554

Chike Maduekwe
Phone:  +234 (0) 1 2703467, (0) 805 268 4690
email: gemafrique at yahoo.com

Sarah Bequette
Events Coordinator/
Assistant to the Director
Interdisciplinary Humanities Center
6046 HSSB
(805) 893-5446
sbequette at ihc.ucsb.edu

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