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Nigeria, France sign agreement on motion picture development

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After 15 years of diplomatic activities and meetings between officials of Nigeria and France, the first cooperation agreement on film, cinema, and other related matters has been finally signed in Paris, France, with assurances by Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, Managing Director/Chief Executive, Nigerian Film Corporation, of the immediate commencement and implementation of the terms of the agreement.

France was represented by the Centre National Du Cinema ET De L’image Animee (CNC), led by its President Mr. Dominique Boutonnat, while the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), the equivalent of CNC, led by Maduekwe, signed on behalf of Nigeria.

Already, a funding window for Nigeria to the tune of 130,000 Euros is to be made available for the production of a feature-length film going by the cooperation agreement.

France and Nigeria, Maduekwe maintained, have a strong cinematic and motion picture industry. For France, with a strong, well developed and impactful film culture in Europe, it is only trite for countries like Nigeria, which is the largest film producing country in Africa with equally the largest film viewing population and production market that provides content for domestic and offshore cinema and television channels, to have a formal relationship.

“This no doubt will enable the harnessing of the great potential of filmmakers and other stakeholders as well as practitioners of both countries to further up the ante of cinematic activities, through joint and cooperative windows and platforms,” Maduekwe said.

He said the CNC model of operations and funding architecture, which are predominantly sourced from box office returns, other forms of taxes, technical and other services, was commendable and was optimistic that the CNC would bring its full expertise to bear on the regulatory framework and policymaking mechanisms of the NFC and assist it ineffectively charting a new course of superintending over Nigeria’s film industry.

Boutonnat expressed his appreciation to NFC for expeditiously facilitating the signing of the Cooperation Agreement. He assured CNC’s willingness to ensure that both countries benefitted from each other’s distinctive ingenious expertise.

The agreement, which has come into effect, will in addition to the promotion and facilitation of reciprocal participation and exhibition of cinematographic works of filmmakers from both countries at national and other film festivals; provides inroad for theatrical and distribution markets.

The agreement formed part of the diplomatic activities and discussions between Nigeria’s President Mohammadu Buhari and President Emmanuel Macron of France during the latter’s visit to Nigeria in 2018.

Ahead of the Presidential visit, several correspondences, and a meeting on the Cooperation Agreement between top officials of France including representatives of CNC, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the French Embassy (Nigeria) met with the Nigerian Film Corporation, on May 2, 2018, in Abuja, Nigeria.


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