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African Cinema

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Ask A Librarian

picture of steve brantleySteve Brantley
Head of Reference Services
Liaison to Communication Studies and Political Science |

Visit the Reference desk on the 3rd floor of Booth Library, call (217)-581-6072, or Ask online
Getting Started*

Selected reference works and selected books

Shaka, Femi Okiremuete. Modernity and the African Cinema. Trenton, NJ. Africa World Press, 2004. 
Located in the 1000 level bookstacks, call number:  PN1993.5.A35 S45 2004

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Gugler, Joseph. African Film: re-imagining a continent. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2003.
call number: PN1993.5 .A35 G77 2003

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Thackway, Melissa. Africa Shoots Back: alternative perspective in Sub-Saharan Francophone African Film, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2003.
call number: PN1993.5 .A35 T48 2003

Nwachukwu Frank Ukadike. Questioning African Cinema: conversations with filmmakers
Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2002.
call number: PN1993.5 .A35 U45 2002  2002.

Bakari, Imruh and Mbye Cham. African Experiences of Cinema. London: British Film Institute, 1996.
call number: PN1993.5 .A35 A36 1996.

Diawara, Manthia. African Cinema: Politics and Culture, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1992
call number: PN1993.5 .A35 D5 1992.

Reference works related to African Cinema (opens a library search results screen) 

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Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film  E-Book
Barry Keith Grant, ed. Detroit Mich. Schirmer Reference, 2007. 

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Leaman, Oliver. Companion Encyclopedia of Middle Eastern and North African Film. London, Routledge, 2001 
call number: REF PN1993.5.A65 C66 2001

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Frindethie, Martial K. Francophone African Cinema: history, culture politics and theory. Jefferson N.C., McFarland, 2009.
call number: PN1993.5 .A35 F75 2009

Martin, Michael, ed. Cinemas of the Black Diaspora: Diversity, Dependence and OppositionalityDetroit: Wayne State University Press, 1995.
call number: PN1995.9 .N4 .C58 1995

*This guide can be retrieved from this url:
Finding Books and Films at Booth
Use EIU's library catalog to find books we own in this building. Take advantage of the 85 other academic libraries you have access to by broadening your search to "All I-Share Libraries" Get your account to request books from other libraries. 

When searching for literature on cinema of a certian country terms like National cinema or  African cinema, paired with the country name, can help you identify relevant sources.
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Cinema and Film studies books have call numbers beginning with PN1993 through PN1999. These are all located on the 1000 level in the north building. African Film studies have the call numbers beginning with PN1993.5 .A35 

To find films created in and/or about African countries add the terms "motion picture" to your search.  you may also limit to a media type, like "movie" or DVD after you perform your search ion the catalog. DVDs are located on the 4th floor. Streaming video is accessed directly from the catalog record
Finding Articles
Selected article databases 


  Databases for Literature

Databases for Arts

Databases for Social Sciences

A-Z list of all databases accessible via Booth Library (100+)

African Cinema in Booth Library
African Cinema held in Booth DVD Collections
(selected titles)

Sankofa (1993) dir. Haile Gerima

Moolaade (2004) dir. Ousmane Sembene

Within Our Gates (1919) dir. Oscar Micheaux

Camp de Thiaroye  (1987) dir. Ousmane Sembene

They are We (2015) dir. Emma Christopher

Search the library catalog for any directors or titles you do not see. Suggest a purchase 
Alexander Street Press streaming video
Alexander Street Video –

Search the Booth library catalog for hundreds of streaming videos. Relevant collections include:
American History in Video
Ethnographic Video Online: Volume I 
Filmmakers Library Online
LGBT Studies Online
New World Cinema: Independent Features and Shorts, 1990 to Present:
    Click here for a list of 13 films created in Africa or by African filmmakers 
World History in Video

Kanopy Streaming video
Kanopy Streaming is a "netflix for universities" There are tens of thousands of films available to stream, mostly documentaries, but many famous films from cinema history. Simply go to and perform a search. Listed below are just a few selected titles from the dozens available. 

101 videos from Kanopy Streaming's "African Cinema" collection:

The Library of African Cinema
California Newsreel
Films from Africa made by Africans offer restorative images and a new film language. The beautiful and sometimes challenging films in this collection not only showcase the works of master filmmakers but also innovative new talents who are embracing video technology. To see Africa through African eyes will break stereotypes and enlighten viewers about life in Africa.

Books in African Cinema at Booth
African Cinema, Reference
Companion Encyclopedia of Middle Eastern and North African Film … REF PN1993.5.A65 C66 2001
Encyclopedia of the Documentary Film … REF PN1995.9.D6 E53 2006
Encyclopedia of Film … REF PN1993.45.G65 2007
International Film Industry: A Historical Dictionary … REF PN1993.45 .S57 1989
African Cinema, general studies
Africa Shoots Back: Alternative Perspectives in Sub-Saharan Francophone African Film … Stacks PN1993.5.A35 T48 2003
African cinema: politics & culture … Stacks PN1993.5.A35 D5 1992
African cinemas: decolonizing the gaze … Stacks PN1993.5.A35 B3713 2000
African experiences of cinema … Stacks PN1993.5.A35 A36 1996
Black African cinema … Stacks PN1993.5.A35 U4 1994
Black and white in colour: African history on screen … Stacks PN1995.9.A43 B53 2007
Focus on African films … Stacks PN1993.5.A35 F63 2004
Francophone African cinema: history, culture, politics and theory … Stacks PN1993.5.A35 F75 2009
Gender terrains in African cinema … Stacks PN1995.9.W6 D57 2014x
Guide to African cinema … Stacks PN1993.5.A35 R87 1998
Modernity and the African cinema … Stacks PN1993.5.A35 S45 2004
Nationalist African cinema: legacy and transformations … Stacks PN1993.5.A35 N53 2014
Postcolonial African cinema: ten directors … Stacks PN1998.2 .M87 2007x
Postnationalist African cinemas … Stacks PN1993.5.A35 T35 2011
Questioning African cinema: conversations with filmmakers … Stacks PN1993.5.A35 U45 2002
Symbolic narratives/African cinema: audiences, theory, and the moving image … Stacks PN1993.5.A35 S95 2000
Trash: African cinema from below … Stacks PN1993.5.A35 H375 2013
African Cinema, individual country studies
Cinema in a democratic South Africa: the race for representation … Stacks PN1993.5.S6 S35 2010
Global Nollywood: the transnational dimensions of an African video film industry … Stacks PN1993.5.N55 G58 2013
In darkest Hollywood: exploring the jungles of cinema's South Africa … Stacks PN1995.9.S655 D38 1996
Nollywood: the video phenomenon in Nigeria … Stacks PN1992.934.N6 N6513 2008
South Africa's renegade reels: the making and public lives of black-centered films … Stacks PN1993.5.S6 M63 2013
South African cinema: 1896-2010 … Stacks PN1993.5.S6 B684 2012x
This is Nollywood … DVDs PN1993.5.N55 T45 2007x .DVD
Viewing African cinema in the twenty-first century: art films and the Nollywood video revolution … Stacks PN1992.934.N6 V54 2010
What Moroccan cinema? : a historical and critical study, 1956-2006 … Stacks PN1993.5.M6 C37 2009
Zimbabwe's cinematic arts: language, power, identity … Stacks PN1993.5.Z55 T48 2013
African Films
Great African films, Volume 1: the first in a series of award-winning films from the continent of Africa ... DVDs PN1997 .G73186x .DVD
Le malentendu colonial … DVDs BV3625.N42 M25 2004x .DVD
New World Cinema: Major Independent Features and Shorts, 1990 to Present (13 African films, Streaming Video) … Online at the Booth Library web site
Yesterday … DVDs PN1997 .Y477x .DVD

Compiled by Bradley Tolppanen
Related guides
Websites related to African film and filmmakers: 

African Studies Research Guide: Films (from Emory University) 

African Film Festival Inc (AFF) 

Royal African Society's Annual Film Festival:

Cascade Festival of African Films (Portland Oregon) 

Chicago International Film Festival 

NYADFF: New York African Diaspora Film Festival

Washington University St. Louis African Film Festival

Wikipedia: Cinema of Africa (use with care, follow up on citations for verification)

IMDB  List of African Filmmakers and lists of African films grouped in broad socio-cultural and political concepts by Daniel Domingues, Professor of African History at Univ. Missouri Columbia.

This list will grow over time. Suggest a site to Steve Brantley