BY CHARLES NOVIA
By the time the special contingent from AFRIFF (Africa International Film Festival) arrived at Durban on the 23rd of July 2015, for the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), it was just a couple of days to the closing and most people still around for DIFF felt that we had missed the meat of the festival during the early days.
After the AFRIFF/TRACE TV combo closing party on the 26th of July, it was actually those who left before the closing party who missed an important vignette of the whole festival!
I’m telling this story front-to-back though! Now, that closing party IS a party and everyone present loosened up that night and went crazy! It was great fun. Massive! Real massive.
I dare say that in those few days the AFRIFF delegation stormed the city, Durban itself felt the tremor signs of a future eruption of something hot and collaborative between South Africa and Nigeria in film partnerships.
Now in its fifth year, AFRIFF has as one of its goals, a veritable networking of talents and purpose between African nations and the filmmaking nations of the world in general. According to Keith Phiri, AFRIFF Festival Director in a lobby chat with me on our second day of arrival, ‘ South Africa and Nigeria are two of Africa’s most important filmmaking nations as well as the continent’s economic power houses. Both countries have to collaborate to forge a new alliance and to learn from each other. Nollywood has such powerful energies which the rest of the continent try to catch up with. You guys have something special and other countries still wonder up till today how you guys do it. South Africa have the technical know – how and first – class film development values and is a destination point for Hollywood Studios. We can’t have both countries on the divide. We must forge partnerships. We must define the new cinema of the digital age’.