With Africa having become such a modish backdrop for big-budget English language thrillers - Shooting Dogs, The Constant Gardener, Blood Diamond, The Last King of Scotland, Catch a Fire - it seems only fair that wholly indigenous cinema should flourish concurrently. And there's a great deal to discover: we are talking, after all, about hundreds of filmmakers working in 1,000 languages across more than 50 countries. Nigeria's domestic industry alone produces around 1,000 films a year, and ranks as one of the world's most prolific film-producing nations. Established directors such as Dani Kouyaté, from Mali, Abderrahmane Sissako, from Mauritania, and the veteran Ousmane Sembene, from Senegal, are attracting new interest, as emerging names such as Burkina Faso's Fanta Regina Nacro and Mali's Salif Traoré find festival acclaim with fresh titles.
On a facing page, Patrick Goldstein offer developing world filmmakers a cautionary tale.
And the US state department helpfully tells our citizens that scary things can happen abroad in other countries. So stay on your couch and watch those films. No. On second thought, go places and see for yourself.