by Azeezat Fadekemi Sulaiman
The best of African cinema nay Nollywood came to town in Paris over the weekend as the second Nollywood Week Film Festival was held at the L’Arlequin Theatre in the French capital of Paris.
Festival goers were treated to a selection of Nollywood movies including ‘Flower Girl’ directed by Michelle Bello, ‘Journey to Self’ directed by Tope Oshin and ‘The Meeting‘ directed by Mildred Okwo between the 5 and the 8 June, 2014.
Other movies in the line up were ‘Confusion Na Wa’ by Kenneth Gyang, ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun‘ by Biyi Bandele and ‘Misfit’ by Emeke Oriahi.
The aim of the event is to showcase the best of Nigerian Cinema to the world and also make the industry more accessible to the French Public.
The Nigeria Film industry or Nollywood is the second largest film industry in the world in terms of annual film productions, placing it ahead of Hollywood with the Indian industry being the largest.
The industry has evolved over the past two decades and is now said to be worth $5.1 billion.
Nigerian Ambassador and Festival Ambassador Mahmood Ali Balogun said that despite Nollywood’s incredible growth, the industry was yet to reap the dividends in financial terms.
“Despite its redefining the concept of African cinema against the foisted Eurocentric perceptions, Nollywood is regarded as a freak culture both in form and content. The novelty that has become an industry is yet looked upon as substandard and inferior,” he says.
“Like it or not, Nollywood tells the African story and its realities from its perspective”.
Executive Director of Nollywood Paris Serge Noukoue also added that Africans living in France hardly have access to Nollywood movies even though they see them in the news and media.
He stated that the aim of the event was not only to make the films available to Africans in the Francophone world but also to ensure that the industry had a presence in the cinema capital of the world, Paris.