Countries With a Booming Film Industry


When it comes to blockbusters our minds associate them with massive Hollywood productions, but there are several other countries with a booming film industry in the world. Ever since technology became more accessible in developing nations, the creative workforce has increased its global presence by writing scripts, filming, and editing movies in their homelands. And while not every one of these countries has really gained economic success from the film business, some of the newcomer markets will certainly surprise you.

In a previous article we analysed the world’s 15 fastest growing economies and which sections of their economy were really boosting the GDP figures. Although the film industry may not gather as much economic power as agriculture or industrial production, it does employ thousands of people each year and can be a great source of income for a country. So, apart from Hollywood, which nations are appearing on the scene as the newest superstars and what do they have to offer? These are the countries with a booming film industry that we haven’t been paying much attention to.

3. South Korea

It seems like the golden rule for successful film industries is to make sure your country’s population consumes more national than international entertainment. This trend has certainly helped increase the business’s growth in the 90’s, especially after the movie Shiri (1999) caught the attention of financial sponsors and local producers.

Furthermore, over the past ten years Korea has passed a law dictating that 40% of all shown films be domestic, in order to promote the industry’s growth. And the truth is that Korean storylines can be more interesting that foreign ones, given the country’s political history and cultural depth. Thus in 2012, foreign movies accounted for $35 million in box office revenue, while domestic films reeled in a total of $44 million.

2. Nigeria

You know your country’s film business is booming when it’s nicknamed Nollywood. In 2006, the Nigeria’s cinematographers produced 876 movies, almost twice as much as the U.S. for the same year. Considering this production rhythm, it should come as no surprise that the film industry employs the second largest amount of workers in the nation, only surpassed by governmental institutions.

Given the lack of film studios in Nigeria and the script’s storylines, however, most of the works are filmed on the street, or in apartments, giving them a more sober aesthetic. While the film quality of Nigerean cinema may not be the most perfected technologically speaking, it makes up for it with its thematic focus. Struggles regarding faith, modernity, tradition, and family are commonly predominant, giving the films a raw sense of human issues.

1. India

I’m sure you’re familiar with Bollywood movies, featuring young, optimistic characters, and colourful cinematography. Well, that’s because Mumbai’s film industry is one of the most important production centers in India, along with Chennai (known as Kollywood) and Bangladore (Sandalwood). In 2011, India produced 1,000 feature films and 1,500 short films, making it the largest film industry in the world.

Furthermore, the movies focus around important topics in India’s society, such as community, religious belief, family, and love, depicted with the help of song and dance. And when it comes to quality, film buffs won’t be disappointed: the movie Lagaan, for example, was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2001 Oscars. Therefore, from the countries with a booming film industry, India definitely takes the lead as the most significant and productive as well.
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