BY DANIEL PELZ
Few high quality African movies make it to the world stage and many struggle to find an audience in Africa. At Africa Day at the Berlinale film festival, filmmakers and experts discussed how to change that.
Nigerian film critic Didi Anni Cheeka knows the problems of Africa’s movie industry firsthand. “We have the strange situation that new cineplexes are coming up every day, but they only show Hollywood movies,” he told the audience during the World Cinema Fund’s Africa Day at Berlin’s International Film Festival, the “Berlinale.”
It’s a common problem all over Africa: High quality movies from the continent hardly find an audience or even a place to be shown. Without a market in sight, few high-quality movies are shot. Only so-called “Nollywood movies,” mostly produced in Nigeria in just a few days or weeks, are thriving. Nigeria’s movie industry earns around 250 million US dollars (224 million euros) from Nollywood movies.
Few African films at the Berlinale
Participants at the Berlinale’s Africa Day looked for strategies to promote African cinema.
The effects are visible at the Berlin International Film Festival and elsewhere. “There is a lot of production in Africa but many of these productions will not make into our official program,” Dorothee Wenner, the Berlinale’s Africa Delegate told the audience.
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