Nollywood goes to Durban for shared creative success with South Africa
NIGERIA and South Africa have a vibrant motion picture industry. While Nigeria boasts of an industry that is reputed as the third largest movie producing country in the world, South Africa has a growing film and an established television industry that has produced contents that have been widely applauded. But unlike the Nigerian motion picture industry, which only recently started to enjoy government incentives especially financial incentives, the South African motion picture industry has for long been enjoying tremendous government support in terms of incentives. In fact South Africa has a long established policy to support motion picture practice. There are various grants, access to locations as well as distribution and marketing opportunities that are open to South African motion picture practitioners.
The provision of such incentives by government makes co-production between countries crucial. But sadly government and practitioners of both countries have not exploited the potential for co-production that exist. Industry analyst say they still cannot explain why Nigeria and South Africa, that are regarded as countries with the largest economies in the continent of Africa and that have shown so much interest in the development of the motion picture industry, have not taken advantage of the existing incentives that are beneficial to each country’s industry to enter into a co-production agreement.
But South Africa is even better off than Nigeria in terms of opening up their industry and paving way for their practitioners to share their creative expertise with practitioners of other countries. While South Africa has co-production agreements with countries like Canada, Australia, Britain and France, Nigeria has not entered into any co-production agreement with any country and the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) the government agency responsible for the growth and development doesn’t think it should lead the industry to seek the enhancement of cooperation between Nigeria and other countries in the area of film. At least they made some effort to enter into some co-production agreement when the filmmaker Afolabi Adesanya was Managing Director, but the NFC under its present leadership has been so docile that analyst wonder whether those at the NFC know exactly what their core mandate is.
It is true that the NFC has been building capacity through the National Film Institute (NFI) which they run and they have also been signing all sorts of Memorandum of understanding, but observers maintain that what the NFC has been spending so much time and resources on, is not all to developing the industry. They seriously think that the NFC must rise above hosting a biennial film festival and hosting periodic film week programmes in Jos to seeking avenues that will facilitate creative and economic exchanges between Nollywood practitioners and practitioners of other countries.
They think that Nigeria is too ripe to have a couple of co-production treaties that will enable practitioners of both countries tap from promotion funds that are available.
But the South African’s are desirious of a co-production agreement with Nigeria in the area of film. They want an exchange that will contribute to the enhancement of relations between Nigeria and South Africa in the area of film. And to kick start the process, the Kwazulu Natal Film Commission has invited a high profile Nigerian delegation comprising notable practitioners like Mahmood Ali-Balogun, Kunle Afolayan, Emem Isong, Madu Chikwendu, Kene Mkparu, Chioma Ude to Kwazulu-Natal, in Durban, South Africa on a fact finding mission aimed at exploring how best to tae advantage of the opportunities that exist in both industries.
The Kwazulu-Natal Film Commission is a provincial state entity falling under the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs in the province of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa and its Chief Operating Officer Jackie Motsepe disclosed that the four-day visit (March 10 to 14, 2015) would afford delegates the opportunity to see what South Africa has to offer in terms of location, infrastructure incentives and production.
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