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Shanghai Int'l Film Festival: African movies under spotlight for first time

06-21-2012 09:13 BJT

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At the Shanghai International Film Festival, for the very first time, movies from Africa are a part of this year’s Shanghai International Film Festival, and tickets to one of the five African entries reportedly sold out quickly. Reporter Zhang Ting talked to one festival attendee who’s enthusiastic about introducing African films to Chinese audiences.

This movie is based on a true story about an old man trying to attend primary school when free education first became available in Kenya. As a young man, he had fought for his country’s independence, and now just wants to learn how to read. Bringing this and four other African films to Shanghai is Marc Nekaitar, originally from Cameroon, who says he learned about the Shanghai Film Festival during the World Expo two years ago.

He says African movies are hardly recognized elsewhere in the world because much about them needs to change.

He said, There’s a big problem for funding, there’s a big problem for training, there’s a big problem of technology, there’s a big problem of infrastructure. So all that challenges.

The African delegate said some African countries don’t even have cinemas yet, and many of the hundreds of movies made there every year are cheap videos, with only perhaps four or five a year that reach standard cinema quality. But still, he’s very determined to make more movies with Chinese crew and actors.

China you know, is the biggest market today for every one, and Africa should not be left out. Chinese movies are well known in Africa, we even have a Kungfu channel in Africa, you know, which is dedicated to Chinese films. China has gone from far, China has made it possible. So I think in Africa, it’s also possible.

Nekaitar says high-level officials in Kenya and other African countries are working on developing their cultural industry over the next 20 or 30 years, and China seems to have experience that Africans can learn from.

Lin Li, Dir.of Int’l Coop., South-South Global Tech. Exchange, said, We’d like to concentrate on the film technology, including directing, and producing and we’re going to organize some forums, and training courses in conjunction with the African colleagues.

Lin says they’re going to try to do some short documentaries of perhaps 20 minutes, about life in an African village, or about African people living in Shanghai or Guangzhou - subjects that would appeal to both Chinese and African audiences.

Movie fan Chen Siyu said, African movies, I’ve never seen any. I’d be tempted to see one in Shanghai.

Four more African films will be screened during the festival that runs until June 24th.


Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: CNTV.CN

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