This chapter focuses on post-independence filmmaking in four adjoining areas astride the Sahara: Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and the fourteen independent states in francophone West Africa south of the Sahara. A number of general factors influenced filmmaking in all four geographic areas. Firstly, there was the persistence into the post-independence period of Western film dominance over African screens, a situation that African governments were largely unable to control. Secondly, the heritage of the colonial period played a key role in the structural organisation of African film production. Thirdly, in all four areas, filmmaking was initially regarded as first and foremost an affair of the state, which played a crucial role in fostering film production and ordering its financing. Fourthly, in virtually all four areas, the attitude of the state towards film production shifted radically in the 1980s and early 1990s, a move exemplified by the closing down of numerous state production organisations and the introduction of new schemes of aid in Morocco and Tunisia.
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