Today we are seeing the shift and emergence of new markets for the film industry. East Asia and India are among the film markets transcending the traditionally western media extended from Hollywood. Hollywood dominated the film industry and with it came increased Americanization that influenced not only the western world but universally. For years Hollywood gave rise to major big budget box office hits that were viewed globally and it quite simply became too difficult to compete with an industry that’s yearly revenue exceeded 10 billion (Redfern, 2013). However, at the turn of the century film industries emerging from India, Nigeria and South Korea have since challenged Hollywood and some surpassing it.
In terms of the Asian market South Korea has dominated. Today, it is the seventh largest film industry in the world. This phenomenon known as the ‘Korean Wave’ has contributed not only to film but across the board from television to music with k-pop proving its presence. The Korean Wave initially begun with South Korean Tv dramas such as ‘Winter Sonata’ that spread to other parts of the Asia Pacific Region (Ryoo, 2009, p.139). With the acceptance from bordering countries, South Korea incorporated the transnational elements circulating within Asia. The outcome of the transnational cultural flows was a new and distinctive cultural and discursive space that eroded traditional forms of national culture and identity (Ryoo, 2009, p.138). Essentially cinema has facilitated the process of globalization through the notion of hybridization, which has worked by sustaining culture in the global arena.
Another country transcending the film industry is Nigeria. Coined Nollywood this industry introduced in Lagos has gained massive success making it the third largest film industry in the world. In 2007 alone Nollywood produced 1,687 feature films (Khorana, 2015). The success the industry has received from the local audience has enabled it to spring into the international market. While Okome argues that Nollywood is still a curiosity, outside of Nigeria it is becoming more and more alluded to. Nollywood’s success stems from its honest ability to look inward not outward while representing the hybridity of African culture in a global context (Okome, 2007, p.1).
However, It is India that tops the market as the largest producer of films thanks to its nine different producing regions. As recent as 2014 the film ‘PK’ emerged as the highest grossing Indian film and was ranked 70 as the highest grossing film worldwide. Bollywood’s popularity undoubtedly extends from its cultural infusion that makes for original artistic cinema. With the film industry today blurring the lines between the east and west there has become a fluid interpretation for films. The idea of hybridization specifically has helped film industries like Bollywood compete globally and facilitate a cultural shift. This shift has led to the emergence of hugely successful hybrid films such as ‘My big fat Greek wedding’ and ‘Bend it like Beckham’, which essentially represent the hybridity of the film industry today. As Appadurai states “the polycentric dispersion of the contemporary world has progressed so far that Americanization cannot be the only carrier of cultural power” (Ryoo, 2009, p.138). Today, we are seeing a more local representation of film in a more global way.
Khorana, S, 2015, ‘Annotated Readings: Global Film – Nollywood and Korean Cinema’, BCM111, University of Wollongong, 26 August
Okome, O (2007). ‘Nollywood: spectatorship, audience and the sites of consumption’ Postcolonial Text, Vol.3, No.2, pp. 1-21.
Redfern, R, 2013, ‘3 Countries with Booming Movie industries, That are not the US’, Arts.Mic, viewed 2nd September 2015, http://mic.com/articles/54609/3-countries-with-booming-movie-industries-that-are-not-the-u-s
Ryoo, W. (2009). Globalization, or the logic of cultural hybridization: the case of the Korean wave. Asian Journal of Communication, vol.19, no. 2, pp.137-151.