The Ecrans Noirs Film Festival has been on for a few days now here in Cameroon’s capital Yaoundé.
Apart from displaying different films from film directors and producers in attendance, the event was also an opportunity for them to learn and share ideas on how to develop their skills in the industry.
“It brings a plus for the filmmaker. That I am an actor who is on board is one thing, but it is better to learn from other people because at this conference we have eminent personalities who come from the United States, Canada and other parts of the world and it is always very good for a filmmaker to be cultured. It is a real mix of culture so we must take advantage of it,” said Severin Nelingui ‘Cristalor’, a renowned Cameroonian comedian.
The panel discussions were attended by indstry experts and stakeholders based on the continent and also far beyond the continent.
“These are such occasions, where the different circumstances are brought together, of course, you know, and each person can benefit differently from each of these circumstances. So I think the diversity of opinion is very fruitful not only for the filmmakers but also for the critics,” said Dr. Sada Niang, a professor of African cinema at the University of Victoria in Canada.
Though the panelists agree that more needs to be done to develop African cinema, they also urge filmmakers to improve their skills, if they intend to compete with other films on the international stage.
Despite the challenges filmmakers and budding filmmakers face with their productions, they are optimistic that Africa’s film industry is still rising.