“I need palmwine, like seriously” . That was my immediate problem, palm wine! My wife looked up from her book, her eyes quickly traced the wall clock.she looked at me and shook her head, perhaps Nnewi is gradually changing her husband to a second rate klint da drunk. “I’ll fix it for you tomorow , you deserve it, you have been working hard lately” she smiled at me and went back to reading her book. Wow! Problem solved. With just one sentence she had solved my immediate problem and by tomorow afternoon I will most likely still be on my laptop, my phone close by, my tab in its usaul position, clicking off, shooting emails, researching but with a cold glass to dampen the mood. A subtle reminder that if I just continue and speak out, help might just come. Especially when people have seen you put in your best. But what’s the major issues driving me so hard. African cinema! More precisely Lakecity film festival.
Film festivals are major drivers of film communities. The importance of film festivals cannot be over-emphasized. Take for instance the foremost film festival in africa , African International Film Festival AFRIFF. Its innumerable contributions to African cinema leaves many in awe. From the networking opportunities with other leading film industries, to opportunites for world class training for both established film makers and aspiring film makers in varios aspects of the film to funding opportunities even up to creating a truly credible reward platform for film makers. AFRIFF has contributed immensely to showcasing some of Africa’s best talent to the world, most of whom have leveraged on those opportunities to furher betrer their career. Oh,I must mention the razz-matazz, the paparari and the show. Damn! Those guys sure know how to bring the roof down. For the records, Ms.Chioma Ude can hide behind her humble persona but we know truth. She is a born show-girl with the brains of a wall street guru!
Now to my headache. The south-eastern part of this country has for many decades serviced the Nigerian motion picture industry, whether is terms of human resource, locations for filming, production funds e.t.c. The south-eastern part of this country accounts for over 58% of Nollywood content but sadly enough there is no thriving film festival in that region, particularly in all the igbo speaking states. None in Delta, Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Abia or Ebonyi.There have been some efforts in the past in this respect like Tony Anih’s Enugu International Film Festival which was beyond doubt the first language film festival in West African which held in 2007. Inspite of our contribution to the intellectual common wealth of Africa and Nollywood in particular, films from these regions are somewhat looked down on. As a matter of fact the “asaba film” is fast becoming a genre that denotes a poorly made film, a low budget film or a straighr to DVD film.
While some people may argue that these tags are not totally undeserved, I argue that if we had one third the opportunities that our colleagues in Lagos have we would have excelled in no little way. If we had just for instance just one indigienous film festival that will cater to our film community needs, in a short time the dividends will be visible in our works. So I sat down to come up with this novel idea. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to Lakecity Film Festival. An indigenous film festival that blends tourism, culture and arts to deliver 21st century film making experience that will cater for the needs of film-makers within our clime and also give us the opportunity to annually play host to the world. I know the question in running through your head. How can such a beautiful idea give me headache? I will tell you all about it, when I have my palmwine. Until then.