Could an Oscar prove there is more to Africa than “Wakanda”?

Could an Oscar prove there is more to Africa than “Wakanda”?

Outside of Africa, audiences and streaming services generally spurn the thousands of films made in Africa each year. But that could change. A scene from the movie “Vuta N’Kuvute” (Courtesy of Kijiweni Productions) Tanzanian film “Vuta...

Correspondent Stella Mapenzauswa tells us about a romantic movie set in Tanzania during colonial times that could be nominated for an Oscar. That’s a rare feat for a movie made in Africa even though thousands of movies are made each year on the continent and one of the top-grossing films of all time — “Black Panther” — was set in Africa. This article examines that paradox and asks us to consider what movies audiences in the Global North will pay to see, what movies Hollywood chooses to promote and what that means for movie producers and audiences elsewhere in the world.

Exercise: Ask students to write down the last five movies they have watched with the places those movies are set in. Using Google My Maps or a paper world map, have students plot their movies on one map. How many of the places are fictitious or extraterrestrial? Does their collective movie watching reflect diverse locations around the world or are they all watching the same movies set in the same places? Do they think this is because they have chosen to watch these movies or is it a reflection of the choices of movies they are given to select from?

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