I really love this actually, despite the international perception of the quality of Nollywood films (even though that's changing, slowly but surely); I'll almost always applaud any efforts that unite instead of divide across the diaspora.
Courtesy of our good friends at afriPOP!, the first Nollywood film festival ever in South America, begins today in São Paulo, Brazil, and will run through December 4.
Called the Bem-vindo a Nollywood Film Festival, included in the schedule of events are the following:
... A roundtable discussion featuring some of Nollywood’s most respected practitioners
... A retrospective of nine films by the award-winning director Tunde Kelani.
And included in that showcase of Kelani's films will be his latest, which won't be released in Nigeria until February 2012. So, those attending this festival will get to see it before anyone else does.
Titled MAAMi, the film is said to be "an inspiring story of a poor conscientious single mother’s struggle to raise her only child Kashimawo, who, eventually, rises to international stardom in an English football club, Arsenal, and becomes a national hero."
A trailer, which Kelani debuted today via Twitter, follows at the bottom of this post.
It's worth noting that Brazil is a country with the largest number of people of African descent outside of continental Africa, and many of those Brazilians trace their ancestry to Nigeria.
Also, both Brazil and Nigeria are trade partners, with Nigeria being a major provider of oil to Brazil.
So, I suppose it was really only a matter of time before a Nollywood film festival planted its roots there.
As director Kelani states: "The list of nine films selected for the Festival are important because the films are valuable not only to the Yorubas in the homeland, but especially to Yorubas in the Diaspora, who despite 200 years to 300 years of slave-trade, have remained true and close to the culture.”
For the festival's complete lineup of Nollywood films, go HERE. I'll be digging through the list myself and will report my findings later; and as another reminder, my Nollywood sidebar feature debuts in January 2012.
Here's a trailer for Tunde Kelani's latest, MAAMi: