The African continent, which consists of over 50 separate countries, is extremely diverse and it is important to recognize this by referring to African cinemas in the plural, acknowledging distinct traditions, histories, and cultural differences. In film studies it has been common to consider African cinemas in relation to two main regions. The first, North Africa (sometimes also referred to as the Maghreb) shares a common language, Arabic, and a strong historical and cultural connection to the Middle East, which has helped to foster a tradition of Arab cinema (see north africa, film in). The second, Sub-Saharan Africa, has greater historical, linguistic, ethnic, and social diversity, and a number of distinct but overlapping film cultures have emerged partly as a consequence of the influence of, and resistance to, different colonial regimes: historically, Francophone West Africa has produced the greatest number of films and drawn the most interest within film studies, though this is now changing (see sub-saharan africa, film in). While this regional separation remains to a degree, a great many African filmmakers have been, and remain, mobile and active across regional and national boundaries; and from the 1960s a significant number of pan-African film initiatives have sought to foster collaborative projects and celebrate African cinemas. The year 1969 saw the founding of the Fédération Panafricaine des Cinéastes (FEPACI), a body committed to facilitating film distribution across Africa and to challenging existing monopolies and market dominance. In 2017, FEPACI, in co-operation with UNESCO and (the US-based non-profit) The Film Foundation, committed to restoring fifty African films with historic, artistic, and cultural significance.
You can use the subject heading below to find resources in the online catalog. The call number range is also included. Please note: these are not the only call number ranges, but they have the majority of items. This page highlights general resources on film-making on the African continent.
You can search various publications to find articles on African cinema. Our collection does not have cinema journals that cover the continent exclusively. You can use Film & Television Literature Index to find articles or use the search box at the top of the page.
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