Film Business

Nollywood at #TIFF13: Nigeria Beyond Nollywood Panel Turns into Arguments Over ‘Half-of-a Yellow Sun’ as Blueprint for the Industry

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On Sunday, September 8th, 2013, The ongoing Toronto Film Festival (TIFF) which ends on September 15th, 2013, had an industry panel at TIFF that discussed ‘Nigeria Beyond Nollywood.’

I have been waiting to see a review of the event to see what materialized.

Below is an interesting account and how, not surprisingly, the purpose of the gathering seemed lost with arguments that allegedly ensued over one film. *Sigh*

-Uduak

“Emotions heightened Sunday afternoon during a panel discussion on the Nigeria’s emerging film industry which took place at the makeshift filmmaker’s lounge in Hyatt Regency, in the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival, Canada.

The festival witnessed one of the largest gathering of filmmakers, government officials and Nigerians in the Diaspora in recent times, who seized the opportunity of the official selection of Half of a Yellow Sun, a screen adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Orange Prize-winning novel of the same title to be a part of focus discussion set by the festival organizers.

Tagged: ‘Nigeria beyond Nollywood’, the one hour panel, anchored by a professor of Film Studies at the Canada’s Capital Varsity; the Carleton University’s Mr. Aboubakar Sanogo, had filmmaker, Mahmood Ali- Balogun and the team of Half of a Yellow Sun, delivering on their experiences on the movie project.

The discussion, which was meant to explore the possibility of institutional support, high technology and new business approach to enhance Nollywood’s better global acceptability, soon, turned to an argument on whether or not the model employed by the producers of Half of a Yellow Sun was necessary for Nollywood.

Ali-Balogun differed with the subject of discussion when he noted that Nollywood remains the generic name for the Nigerian film industry, and that government’s orientation concerning support for the industry has changed; citing examples of the $200 million loan and N3 billion grant by the Federal Government for the entertainment industry in Nigeria.

But Yewande Sadiku, an investment banker with 17 years experience who raised the funds for Half of a Yellow Sun maintained that there are greater opportunities to be enjoyed by filmmakers if they are willing to get out of their comfort zones of producing mainly for the local market. She argued that the business of filmmaking will be respected if Nollywood filmmakers learn to leave the aspect of financing to experts.

“Half of a Yellow Sun project chose me because I have the skills that are relevant to get it going,” she said, noting however, that it was tough getting investors to fund the movies, but for her goodwill, popularity of the author and success of the book, which she said has sold more than a million copies and have been translated into 30 languages.

“If a book has to be written about the sourcing of finance for this movie, it would be titled ‘ How not to fund a film,’” she joked. Sadiku’s position was supported by co-panelists; Biyi Bandele, the movie director; Andrea Calderwood, the producer and Kisha Cameron-Dingle, a producer at Completion Films, a body known for funding of short films in Africa. . .”

TheNation has the full story.

Photocredit: TIFF

Business of Music North Africa Roundtable

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
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