This Saturday, the N.C. Museum of Art will give audiences a taste of what the film industries in Nigeria and Ghana—also known, respectively, as Nollywood and Gollywood—have to offer.
There will be a screening of part one of Adams Apples, a 10-part movie series that revolves around three Ghanaian women and the ups and downs they go through with their relationships. The film may feature an all-African cast, but based on the clips that were available in advance, it feels like the sort of upscale, relationship dramedy that Tyler Perry churns out on a seasonal basis.
After the screening, N.C. State University professor of Africana Studies Sheila Smith McKoy and Nigerian-born film critic Victor O. Olatoye will discuss the film as well as the Nollywood and Gollywood industries. NCMA adult programs coordinator Deborah Reid Murphy put the event together to coincide with the museum's latest exhibition, El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa.
"We are looking for a variety of ways to explore works in our permanent collection," says Murphy. "And, of course, we have a beautiful collection of African works—especially works from West Africa, including Nigeria... We see this as an opportunity for people to think about film, but also to think about great works of art as well."
Since Olatoye lives here in the Triangle (where his movie review organization Nollywood Film Critics USA is also based), he's also looking for the Nollywood and Gollywood industries to have a home here as well. Last September, the first Nollywood & African Film Critics' Awards (NAFCA) were held at Durham's Sheraton Imperial Hotel. This year, they will be held at Durham's Carolina Theatre. There will also be a Nollywood & African Film Summit, held the day before the awards, at the NCMA.
Olatoye feels that having these events in an area known for its film festivals and cultural events will give Nollywood and Gollywood a legitimate presence in America.
"We don't want [NAFCA] to just become another party opportunity," says Olatoye, who has written more than 500 reviews of African films. "We want it to remain the award of merit that it is. If NAFCA had gone to bigger cities like Atlanta or New York, it would not get the recognition and exposure it is getting in the state of North Carolina."
This article appeared in print with the headline "Pour some sugar on me."