April 25, 2024

Nexdim Empire

Camer Entertainment House

Cameroonian Cinema- Must we go the Nollywood way?

With releases like “Before the sunrise” enabled by Nollywood backup, the budding Cameroonian film industry seems to have chosen filmmaking à Nollywoodienne. This begs the question whether this is the most sustainable and sole option at our disposal. No one can deny the fact that Nollowood is  the 3rd largest film industry worldwide but no one should deny that it is not a reference. Nollywood works for Nigeria because of their loyalty to anything labelled “Naija” and because of  the market:150 million people strong. But longterm, Nollywood won’t work for Cameroon because the dynamics at play here are different. Sure we can  learn from Nollywood but the learning process shouldn’t include striving to be like it; poor picture quality,monotonous storylines,clichés and under-the-bottom visual effects. If we must must learn something from Nollywood it is not to be like it. Nollywood’s pioneering role cannot be denied but if we want to copy Nollywood we will be perpetuating mediocrity that it is trying so hard to shed. Just have a look at recent Nollywood releases like “The Mirror Boy“. So what am I suggesting. If we want to lay the groundwork for a quality-based and sustainable film industry we can build a synergy with those our French-speaking brothers who have a quality-based outlook on cinema. Bassek Bâ khobio,Jean-Pierre Bekolo and a host of others. When you look at the films of these directors (Sango Malo, Silence de La Forêt,Quartier Mozart just to name a few) and their cinematographic clout on the world scene you realise that we have can drew immensely from their  rich experiences. With their help we can get access to some of the home-based knowhow that they work with. When this is done  we can caste Nollywood actors for the sake of making a grand and smooth entry into the  Nigerian and world market. Simply put,we should look here at home. This choice is only if we want to stand out and become a reference. But if we want mediocrity as usual we shouldn’t change a thing. If we choose the latter let’s  just remember: there is a yawning gap between “videography” and cinematography.