Plans for a mutually beneficial working relationship in film production and distribution between Nigeria and France have reached an advanced stage. This was disclosed at the French Day Roundtable -- one of the industry sessions at the ongoing Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF). By Nseobong Okon-Ekong and Vanessa Obioha
Delegates from France and Nigerian filmmakers rubbed minds on how well they could leverage on several French platforms to distribute Nollywood films in France.
Though finer details of the treaty are being fine-tuned, however, Eric Garandeau, a former president of the French Government National Centre for Cinema and Moving Image (CNC), said that France is very open to co-productions with Nigeria.
With the over 5,000 screens available in the country, he noted that Nollywood films can be accommodated.
He pointed out that filmmakers must pay attention to the kind of stories they are telling, adding that: "Imagine the most original story with universal appeal that is rooted in culture. It is important that they tell a story that reflects your culture and has a universal appeal. You should never be shy of your culture; express it."
Renowned filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan, who shared similar thoughts, told the audience how he was inspired to explore other shores after witnessing a film festival in France.
This, he said, led to the sponsorship of his 'The CEO' film by two French multinationals: Air France and Peugeot.
He encouraged young filmmakers to think or dream same, while ensuring that whatever project they are working on meets the standards.
"We have to meet the standards to put this movie on the available platforms," he said.