Nollywood filmmaker Jude Idada shared a heart-rending story from his experience at the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Canada.
Read it below:
.. And I just finished a meeting here at the Toronto International Film Festival.
About my next film.
With an American distributor.
From whom I need an advance.
And he said to me.
“This film is too deep. They will not believe it or accept it.”
And I said to him.
“But there are films like this that have been made and accepted. Why won’t they accept mine?”
And he responded his face flushing.
“Nobody expects an African to come up with a film that is this complex in thought.”
“I am sorry but the truth is that there are certain things that people will accept if it comes from white people but if a black person talk less of an african does it, they will say flat out that it is fake.”
“The things in my film happen in Nigeria.”
“But what people know through your films in Nigeria is that all you are about are laughter, black magic and balderdash. You can’t now blame them for the stereotype. You guys created it yourself.”
I was dismayed.
“That is why they need to see a film like mine. It will show them another side of Nigeria.”
“They dont want to see that side Jude. Show them the poverty, the misery, the senseless violence, the corruption, the ribaldry, all that is bad about your country and they will love you. But if you dare show that you can think as deep as them and imagine complex African situations and ground breaking stories, they will not touch you.”
I leaned closer.
“If I make it will you buy it even if you didnt give me an advance?”
“Jude I am in this business to make money. Give me one of those slapstick comedies you guys make, I will buy it, atleast I can sell it to the African American and Caribbean market, but a film like yours is dead in the water. Black people dont want to think, they only want to laugh.”
I dug in, brushing off the shade.
“There must be a market out there for an intelligent movie set in Nigeria.”
“Not if the characters are Nigerian.”
This experience was shared by Idada on his Facebook page.