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Ecrans Noirs Film Festival: Role African youth play in the film industry


A breed of young filmmakers is gradually emerging in the African Film Industry.

The Ecrans Noirs Film Festival in Cameroon has displayed a number of their work which have clearly demonstrated their creativity.

We caught up with some of them to get their views on the role young people play in the film industry.

“Well I think just like the people who were there before, the youth ought to carry the culture of Africa through motion pictures and expose it to the world just like other film makers who have been there before us. Why not even do it better? Most people know Africa as a place where people are marginalised, there’s suffering and poverty. The new film makers should be able to bring a new angle of film making where they can actually show the African setting,” said Delphine Itambi, a film director in Cameroon.

Ruja Esther, an actress from Cote d’Ivoire had this to say on the same issue:

“We should already know that in any profession, we need a little more current input, if we leave the cinema only to people of a certain generation, it will tend to count stories of past events. Young people have a new vision of things, they must give their support to all this so that we can have a cinema that crosses and transgresses periods.”

But truth be told. It’s not easy working in an industry dominated by much older and more experienced personalities.

Though the youth are often perceived as the future, not much is being done to support the ideas of these upcoming filmmakers.

“We do not have enough training facilities here in Cameroon. Most people cannot afford to go abroad to study film making. Film making is hands on intensive not just theory. If you want be good sometimes you need to be hands on intensive. There are many young upcoming filmmakers who don’t have opportunity to be intense on the set so there’s nobody training them. They learn the hard way but it could be better,” said Delphine Itambi.

But even as they keep their fingers crossed to scoop awards at the end of the event, they only hope their productions get to be appreciated first at the continental level as they work their way around the global stage.

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