Ernest Kanjo / Monday, 30 March 2015 00:14


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Cameroonians who practice the craft of filmmaking have been enjoined to restore order in their ‘house’ and present themselves as an organized group. It is only by doing so, that the government of Cameroon can concretely react to their numerous, yet salient requests. This call, described by observers as highly warranted and within film circles as timely, came from the Regional Delegate of Culture for the South West, Ngo Grace and endorsed by the Director of Cinematography in the Ministry of Culture (MINAC), George Madiba during the latter’s visit to Buea recently.

The officials explained that it doesn’t take the government much to provide filmmakers’ needs but in a context where they are not properly organized, it becomes a little difficult to forge ahead.

Consequently, head of various guilds currently functioning under the banner of the Cameroon Film Industry, CFI are scheduled to meet with the Director of Cinematography, not later than April 3, to fix a date and start planning for a General Assembly of the organization. The said GA has been a boiling issue for a while now and members of CFI hold that it is at this meeting that the current position of the organization will be defined.

During the meet-the-filmmakers rencontre, Ngo urged filmmakers to put pen to paper, come out with projects proposals and stories that are captivating enough to attract government support. They can only be seen to be serious and help provided if they did that, she explained.

In spite of this assurance from the regional delegate, CFI Board chair, Otia Vitalis Suh frowned at the government, via the Ministry of Culture for still feet-dragging in assisting the film industry. The Yaounde-based syndicate boss cum actor outlined some clear-cut achievements of the industry and announced that upcoming fare will be highlighting more that has happened within the sector. However, to make more in-roads, the industry needed government’s quota.

Other concerns raised at the Buea meeting were the lack of regular/permanent space to report film-related stories in the national daily, Cameroon Tribune and adequate airtime on the national broadcaster, CRTV and other privately-run TV stations across Cameroon.

George Madiba assured the filmmakers that MINAC will step in to look into these issues and more.

During the meeting, heads of the various guilds were officially presented to the Yaounde official including Angu Elizabeth (Producers’ Guild of Cameroon - PGC), Molimi Cletus (representing the Directors’ Guild of Cameroon – DGC), Kesha Kena Emmanuel (National Actors’ Guild of Cameroon – NAGCAM), Yibain Emile-Aime Chah (Technicians Guild of Cameroon - TGC), Etiendem Romanus (Writers’ Guild of Cameroon – WGC) and Ngwana Edmond (representing the Marketers’ Guild of Cameroon – MGC).

The meeting was also marked by film projects and visits to the Buea Film Academy (BFA) and Lambert Ndzana Institute (LNI) which are two prominent film training outfits.

The recent visit of the Director of Cinematography at the Ministry of Culture to Buea comes at a time the Cameroon Film Industry is in dire need to win prominence within the Cameroonian society, unlike its Nigerian and Ghanaian counterparts that have become leading sectors in their respective economies. Movies done in the country are desperately seeking exposure through a market that has stubbornly refused to show up, at least for now. Rather than rely on the intellectual resource of foreign experts, Cameroonian filmmakers have opted to take the bull by the horn, defy all odds and make their voices heard. This, according to them, could only be successful if all stakeholders including the tutelary body, MINAC lends it support.


Last Updated on Monday, 30 March 2015 16:02


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