S/AFRICA LOOKS FORWARD TO WORKING WITH NIGERIA
When it comes to Cannes, ranking is everything: from the colour of your badge to the section you are screened in. Having a film competition allows people to show off. This is just the atmosphere in Festival de Cannes, the largest and biggest film fiesta in the world, held annually in the heart of France.
This year's edition is the 61st. Nigeria, the third largest movie producer in the world, also gained a grand pavilion, number 111, in the heart of the International Film Village of Cannes. The national emblem of Nigeria , the Green-White-Green welcomes you to the Nigerian Film Corporation's stand at the festival. The leader of the Nigerian delegates and also the managing director/chief executive of NFC, Mr. Afolabi Adesanya, welcomes all guests and participants to Nigeria 's pavilion, where a lot of feature films by the corporation on the nation's cultural heritage are screened on a daily basis.
A lot of tourists and participants from vairious countries were attracted by the clips from Nigeria. As a matter of fact, they often enter to inquire about the giant of Africa . RFI pavillion of les Cinemas du Sud screened a Nigerian movie- Changing Faces, produced by Faruk Afolabi Lasaki, a graduate of Film Production, New York Academy, U.S.A, and also the managing director of Ark Resources Entertainment.
Lasaki is also an active member of Independent Television Producers Association of Nigeria (ITPAN). While answering questions from our correspondent on the content of the movie, Lasaki said Changing Faces is the story of a twenty-seven year old brilliant female reporter, Lola, and a thirty-four year old ingenious architect, Dale. Lola is a free spirited happy-go lucky kind of person who believes in taking pleasures when and where she finds it, especially sexual pleasures. The producer said, Changing Faces is all about a love affair that ended up with a spiritual focus when Dale lured Lola to bed. Commenting on the challenges facing Nollywood, Faruk said, "Nigerian film makers should bear in mind that it is not all about producing films. Most of our stories are normal daily issues of love, broad daylight robbery, etc. We should think of creating good stories that will give us credibility in the international arena."
Sharing his experience with our correspondent, the chief executive officer of the South African Film Corporation, Mr. Khalipha Eddie Mbalo, said he has attended the Cannes Film Festival nine times. Adding that in Cannes you create your own image. As the boss of the South African film industry, his major challenge was to promote his country as well as give room for choice of production and co-production with his country. Over the years, he stressed that Cannes has developed relationship with the rest of the world.
Asked whether South African has their own 'Wood', Mbalo said, "I don't think it is important. In South Africa we are still trying to find a voice that will aid in developing our industry. I'll be reluctant to give it a tag. It's premature." On the relationship of both countries, the NFVF boss said, "We are looking ahead to working with the Nigerian Industry. Some years ago, your minister of information told me that the next Oscar award will go to Nigeria and I told him, the next Oscar will be a film in by South Africa in collaboration with Nigeria. So we intend to work with Nigeria . I want to seize this opportunity to let my African brothers know that we should forget the competition between ourselves, rather, we should join heads together in fighting our bigger enemies who push unwanted movies into our markets. And the only way to do it is to produce our own film with very rich cultural heritage."
The festival is an eleven-day event