Filmmakers from different African countries and the Diaspora, have converged at AFRIFF 2016, to rub minds on the future of cinema business in Africa.
As part of the events scheduled for the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), the African Film Consortium (AFC) held a session tagged “The Brand and Its Stakeholders” on Monday, November 14, 2016.
The session was led by Mr. Mykel Parish, President of the AFC, was moderated by veteran actor Richard Mofe Damijo and brand expert, Charles O’Tudor.
Film practitioners at the event identified funding as one of the problems confronting filmmakers in Nigeria and Africa during the session which lasted for almost four hours.
Mr. Musi Waa, the founding president of the Cameroonian film industry said this needed to be evaluated on a worldwide level.
“I think funding should be assessed on a global level,” Waa said.
“The major issue is that it is mostly restricted by national policies. Everyone should be able to share the same opportunities and platforms to allow creativity to be fully maximised.
“Due to challenges in the distribution channels, we should encourage local distribution and not put all our efforts into online distribution.”
Solutions to this issue was also put forward.
Entertainment lawyer, Isioma Idigbe, advised filmmakers to leverage on intellectual property in order to assess funding, and to approach the production of film as a business through proper acquisition and subsequent security of intellectual property.
“The industry can only be sustainable when the stakeholders and financial organizations can create a system where investment in film is seen as a viable business idea,” Idigbe said.
The discussion also highlighted that collaboration was a way to move forward in the industry.
Waa noted that there exists a better collaborative effort among Nigerians filmmakers, given reason Nollywood is most influential when it comes to African entertainment.
Andy Boyo, a patron of the Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Nigeria and a patron the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) pointed out that trust was a matter of concern in the Nigerian film industry.
“Creativity will go nowhere without trust. I seek to see a unified African film industry which I have tagged ‘ Afrowood’, a collaborative effort that surpasses borders and cultural limitations.”
Meanwhile, the convener of the event, Parish expressed his optimism that ideas and issues discussed at the forum would grow African cinema.
AFRIFF kicked off on Sunday with the African premiere of American filmmaker Nate Parker’s historical drama “The Birth of a Nation” at the Filmhouse Imax Cinema on Sunday, November 13, 2016.
The opening night of the festival was attended by Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Chike Okonkwo who plays Will in Nate Parker’s film as well as some of Nollywood’s favourites including RMD, Kate Henshaw, Rita Dominic and more.
The Africa International Film Festival continues through the week with film screenings, industry sessions, master classes and other programmes, taking place simultaneously at the Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island; Genesis Deluxe and Filmhouse-IMAX, Lekki; Maryland Mall, Ikeja and Afrinolly Space, Oregun Lagos.