Cinema of France, the French movie industry, has crept into the Nigerian movie industry widely referred to as Nollywood. The industry found its way into Nollywood through a mutual agreement of movie distribution in Nigeria and France.
Nollywood, according to reports from Pulse, an online magazine, was represented by the National Film and Video Censors Board, NFVCB, while the Cinema of France was represented by the Alliance Francaise. The agreement gives both industry representatives to showcase and distribute movies from Nigeria and France through the “French-Nigerian Film Distribution Conference.”
This agreement, it was gathered, will also see leading Nigerian distributors collaborating with big-time French distributors. The agreement didn’t come as a surprise to movie practitioners, who had been enjoying professional romance with the Cinema of France. The 2018 edition of the African Film International Festival had huge input from the French community with a day of the week-long festival dedicated to French films.
Nigerian filmmakers led by Kunle Afolayan, Tunde Kelani and Femi Odugbemi have had dealings with the Cinema of France in one capacity or the other. This relationship, which has now been made official, has seen the input and participation of Nollywood practitioners at top film festivals in France including the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. Only recently, Mosunmola ‘Mo’ Abudu just made history by becoming the first person from Nigeria and Africa to receive the Médailles d’Honneur.
With over 5,000 screens catering for French cinematic audience, Nollywood stands a better chance to reach a wider audience. Reciprocating the gesture, Nigeria’s 200 cinema screens will also be showcasing some of the best productions to come out of Cinema of France.
It is also believed that the agreement will also result in a boom in cultural exchange, stories, and training. Film productions and upgrade in filming equipment is expected to witness a boom.
The Executive Director of NFVCB, Adedayo Thomas, who signed on behalf of Nollywood, noted that the agreement will also see France giving technical support in tackling some of the issues affecting the growth of the Nigerian movie industry. The agreement is also expected to give rise to collaborations from private investors of both countries and expanding investment in the distribution and marketing of films.