The Igbo word “Ohere” could mean opening, chance, allowance, vacancy or space. It could also mean opportunity and possibilities. So think of this “SIRIMA NKE OHERE”, the theme of LACIFF 2018 and yes, its in Igbo language. It means “Cinema of possibilities”.
Try to picture the smile and surprise on my face when this pretty blonde Italian lady walks up to me and says “kedu nwanne m”. I made her say it again just to confirm I heard right. “I said Kedu Nwannem” She repeated it again with a smile. We were not in Italy. We were in a cool bar in Montana, U.S.A., the bartender had told her I am Nigerian. She picked that line up in a Nollywood movie she watched back in Italy. She decided to try it out not knowing whether or not I am Igbo. She didn’t even know there were other Nigerians that wouldn’t have understood what she said because it wasn’t their language. That simple line “kedu Nwannem” opened to us the possibilities of a new relationship. Sirima nke Ohere.
When the news of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in Indian hit the social media in 2017, it went viral. Nigerians were deeply hurt, it felt like betrayal and the reason is simple. Nigerians love Indians. They influenced the lives of most children born in the 80s and 90s. Their actors were our heros. If you were born in the 80s and 90s and you didn’t watch any of this films, Snake Girl, Ghazap, Tofan, Hama, Akbar and Anthony, Madd, Burning Train, Daramveer, Teremambaniyah and The Promise (Sunita) your childhood was incomplete. India was our second home. We loved their music, their culture, their stories, their India. The same thing with South Africa, who didn’t watch Sarafina? In my hometown Oguta, I have friends that go by the name Al Paccino, Eddy Murphy, Commando and the likes. In the larger African society, look at our dressing and our favorite foods. Listen to our conversations laced with non-African accent. I wanna this, I wanna that. How did we get all this foreign culture exported to us? Sirima nke Ohere!
The movie Brave Heart is said to have added between 7million to 15 million pounds to the tourism industry of Scotland in 1997 alone. There is a whole website dedicated to tourists who wish to visit actual locations of films shot in Scotland. The Harry Potter franchise is worth about 4 billion pounds to London’s economy according to the London school of economics. Cannes Film Festival attracts the media presence of over 4600 journalists, which results in over 40 million dollars worth of advertorial. According to THESOFACHRONICLE.COM “The 2014 edition generated 72 million euros in revenue for the city of Cannes and about 195 million euros for France and tourists contributed 90%”. Since the inception of LACIFF in 2016, about 5 movies have been shot in Oguta. Most recently is “Agwa etiti obi uto”. The LACIFF team is gradually developing a sustainable plan that will increase that number. In the near future, a producer will need to just walk into Oguta with nothing but his money and leave with a complete, well made film. That is just one possibility!
As we countdown to the 3rd Edition of Lakecity Film Festival, take your time to appreciate the theme. Like us, you will be confronted with the depth, the multi-facets and unending angles of the theme. You will see the great potentials of Cinema in shaping many areas of our lives from culture, policies, lifestyle, narratives, and worldview. Our goal this year is to show we could do much more with the endless possibilities of cinema to mold our society, enrich lives, change perspectives, contribute to the GDP of the town and basically explore the vistas again and again endlessly. If a picture is truly worth a thousand words then we truly have a cinema of possibilities to harness. Think LACIFF 2018! Think SIRIMA NKE OHERE!
You can still submit your film via https://filmfreeway.com/LakecityFilmFestival