Mehret Mandefro, an Ethiopian Filmmaker and TV Presenter, has said that the Nigerian film industry, known as Nollywood, is a role model in Filmmaking to other African countries.
Mandefro, who spoke at the Pavillon Afriques of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, said other countries needed to work with Nollywood to grow their industry.
“Nollywood is miles ahead of others and there are a lot other countries can learn from it.
“Others can take a lift from Nigeria because stakeholders are very key to each other as filmmaking cannot be done in isolation.”
Mandefro, therefore, urge filmmakers to collaborate and build strategic partnership toward the collective growth of the continent’s film industry.
The Pavillon Afriques is in its first year at Cannes with over 15 participating countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania and Ethiopia.
Others include Rwanda, Togo and Djibouti, Jamaica and Senegal among others.
Delegates of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), filmmakers, stars and other players in the Nigerian movie industry ‘lit up’ the Pavillon Afriques.
Nigeria has the highest representation at the Pavillon at the ongoing Festival de Cannes holding from May 14 to May 25 in France.
The Pavillon Afriques, situated at the Film Market section of the Festival, is a platform where filmmakers, investors, relevant government functionaries and other stakeholders meet to discuss the business of filmmaking in the African continent.
Nigerian Participants, at a special forum, tagged ‘NFVCB Day,’ joined key partners and panellists at the Pavillon to share insights into Nollywood and how to enhance Africa movie sector through strategic collaborations.
Mr Adedayo Thomas, Executive Director of the NFVCB and a member of the Advisory Board of the Pavillon Afriques, led the Nigerian team, which included actors, producers and other stakeholders.
Veteran actress Hilda Dokubo, Beverly Naya and award-winning movie director Kunle Afolanya, among others, also hit the pavilion to share ideas.
Award-winning Nigerian and Canada-based writer and director, Kathryn Fasegha had her new movie “2 Weeks in Lagos”, premiered at the festival.
“It is not just about directing a movie, it is also about seeing my movie placed at one of the biggest film platforms in the world,” Fasegha said.
Thomas, in a remark, urged Africa filmmakers to do more to maximize opportunities the industry offers in terms of job creation and contribution to GDP.
He noted that market for Africa contents was growing within and outside the continent, and therefore urged filmmakers to work together for enhanced distribution.
“Nigeria government is committed to providing the enabling environment and the ease of doing business, so investors are welcomed,” he said.
Representatives of relevant government agencies and industry players of other African countries admired the exponential growth of Nollywood over the years while urging other countries to learn from it.
They also extolled the NFVCB for its role of steering the nation’s film and video sector reputed to be the largest in Africa and second in the world.