By Joshua Olomu
Delegates of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), filmmakers, stars and other players in the Nigerian movie industry have ‘lit up’ the Pavillon Afriques at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 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 business of filmmaking in the African continent.
Nigerian Participants, at a special forum tagged ‘NFVCB Day,’ joined key partners and panelists 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 pavillon 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 largest in Africa and second in the world.
Mehret Mandefro, Ethiopian Filmmaker and TV Presenter, noted that Nollywood was a role model in Filmmaking that other Africa countries needed to work with 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.
NAN reports that 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.