Global Film – Nollywood & K-pop

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When given the term ‘Nollywood’ admittedly my first train of thought goes to, “was this a mispronunciation of Hollywood?”, which is the base puzzle when it comes to the film industry. The lights and glamour of Hollywood are so widely known throughout the western society, even though the top two producers of film are the Nigerian and Indian industry better known as Nollywood and Bollywood. The integration of new technologies allows more films to be made as they become more affordable and thus widespread to directors locally. An average of 30 new titles is introduced into Nigerian and African community markets weekly, with around 50,000 copies sold.

In 2007, an estimated 1,687 films were produced in the country and put straight onto video for distribution rather then the more conventional theatre debut. These films encompass a storyline based around a tradition or situation of the time plus imported content from TV serials in Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico and Korea. These elements mixed with a melodramatic or magical culture use corruption as the main motif. These films integrate cultural identity within them that have been distributed globally and are commonly recognised given “The emergence of communication technologies and media networks allowing for faster, more extensive, interdependent forms of worldwide exchange, travel, and interaction are central to this process.”( Okome, O 2007).

The Asian market for popular media has also become something of a phenomenon with the advancement in social networking and content sharing. Online broadcasters have seen the increase in popularity with Korean film putting them at the 7th highest film producer in the world, with national film attendance totals by 2000 exceeding 70 million (Sukhmani Khorana, 2015). It is now one of the biggest exporters of music, film, and TV series in the Asian pacific. One popular example that made it to a western audience and saw success was Psy’s “Gangnam Style” viral video.

This viral video escalated on YouTube that caused the site to change its maximum view counter to 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 views from a 32-bit integer to a 64-bit, with the video receiving a whopping 2,404,350,194 views and counting since its initial release in 2012. In the year of its release the video was making history with an average of 10million views per day in it early exposure. The 12 year veteran had an established K-pop career before ‘Gangnam Style’ however this song saw him recognised globally and topping charts in America and the U.K, something K-pop doesn’t do often. It raised awareness for the genre of Korean pop music, whom “are often seen as showing a fuller affinity for the region’s character, and to express more soulfulness than Western music”( Ryoo, W., p.140), and indeed the artist Psy, with admirable success of his further two releases, “Gentlemen” and “Hangover”.

Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’

South Korea has emerged itself as one of the leaders in Asian pop culture and in terms of television, music and film, is being recognised as what most parts of East Asia turn to for entertainment. It could be the country’s economic state and thus high production values, or Cultural proximity and affinity with neighboring Asian countries all of which demonstrate its popularity in terms of relating the text to its audiences (Sukhmani Khorana, 2015).


Okome, O (2007). ‘Nollywood: spectatorship, audience and the sites of consumption’ Postcolonial Text, 3.2, pp. 1-21.

Ryoo, W. (2009). Globalization, or the logic of cultural hybridization: the case of the Korean wave. Asian Journal of Communication19(2), 137-151.

Mikey 2015, Gangnam Style’ Continues Viral Fervor Hitting New YouTube Milestone With 2.4 Billion Views, Psysworld, viewed 31st August 2015, <;

Hugh McIntyre 2014, At 2 Billion Views, ‘Gangnam Style’ Has Made Psy A Very Rich Man, Forbes, Viewed 31st August 2015, <;

Aaron Mamiit Dec 6, Gangnam Style by Psy ‘Breaks’ YouTube View Counter: Here’s What Really Happened, Tech Times, viewed 31st August 2015, <;

Greg Cochrane 2012, Gangnam Style the UK’s first K-pop number one, BBC Newsbeat, viewed 31st August 2015, <;

Buzz Nigeria, Top 20 Best Nigerian Movies, Buzz Nigeria Entertainment, viewed 31st August 2015, <;


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