The first edition of the National Day of Cinema closes after two days of intense activities and celebration of Cameroonian cinema. The event that opened on March 16, brought together professionals and amateurs of Cameroon movie sector who during discussions raised topics centred on the current state and future of the 7th art in the country.
Following a strong motivation and determination of the National Film Industry of Cameroon, NAFIC, the 7th art in Cameroon now has a special day for celebration and commemoration, scheduled on March 18 each year as from now.
This inaugural edition was marked by training and workshop sessions, conferences, round-tables and open-doors activities, all focused on the issue of cinema in Cameroon with resource persons hailing from the different branches of Cameroon’s 7th art on the likes of film directors Dikongue Pipa, Vincent Ndoumbe and Michel Kuate; script writers and producers.
The activities were the occasion for those who took part in the training workshops to be enlightened on the main thematic on the agenda of the event as resource persons enjoined them to bring their contribution to the building of strong film industry in Cameroon. For that purpose, they were edified on the history of Cameroonian cinema, its perspectives and its chances of taking-off so as to successfully implement an effective Cameroon Film Industry likewise neighbouring Nigeria.
The overall event was an opportunity for Douala movie lovers to review their opinion regarding the country’s film products which most of them qualify as low-standard. Following the agenda of the event, the first day which was also matched with the opening ceremony of festivities, was principally marked by an artistic caravan over the town of Douala and opened-doors where the public could explore the diverse components of the sector and a training session on cinematographic analysis and evaluation taught by film director Vincent Ndoumbe.
The second day which was the continuation of the first was another opportunity for learners to be enlightened on a new topic which is no other thing than “acting” during a training workshop; followed by an exhibition on diverse cinema’s jobs.
The last day which was the celebration’s day itself, was highlighted on opened-doors and another training workshop on acting.
The last day which also matched with the Day itself, focused on the last session of training workshop on script writing chaired by script writer Theophile Ngwet II and a debate-conference on “digital television TNT) animated by director Michel Kuate and Theodore Chefeu, representative of DIGITEL Sarl. After sharing and receiving knowledge and skills on the said topics, the presents could now enjoy the different stands where the different stages of film making were on the spotlight, notably script writing, film production, acting, film directing and post production.
However, the first ever edition of the National Day of Cinema ended with numerous film projections in some sub-divisions in Douala and on the event’s site at Bépanda. Among the movies projected we had: “Jugement dernier” of Elvis Nodem, “Miranda” of Blaise Tedjou, “Nouveau successeur” of Ghislain Towa, “Conséquences tribales” of Elvis Nodem, “Engagement mortel” of Blaise Option and the short film “Hygiene et salubrité” of Ghislain Towa, just to name a few.
The stakes of the National Day of Cinema
The National Day of Cinema is an initiative of the National Film Industry of Cameroon, NAFIC, chaired by Aimé Wafo. It is aimed at commemorating cinema in Cameroon and reflecting on ways to inject dynamism in it as it is a tribune where professionals, amateurs and even movie lovers can discuss issues related to the state and future of the cinematographic industry in the country.
This first edition held in a country whose movie industry is yet to take-off; in a country where film makers are not able to make efficient profit from their products; in a country where people who decide to get into the business lack adequate training, which at the end of the day has negative impact on end-products and in a country where film makers mostly suffered from effective distribution of their outputs due to the lack of distribution companies, among others. It is in within the framework of overcoming some of the constraints faced by film makers in Cameroon that the NAFIC has taken the resolution to implement the initiative which took place under the patronage of the regional delegation of Arts and Culture of Littoral. “ We are satisfied with our job at the end of this first edition, we are satisfied with the fact that we dared to put in place such a concept”, said Roger Brice SOBGO, actor and technical director of the department of acting at NAFIC.