By Michael Chima Ekenyerengozi | Shadow and Act June 23, 2014 at 4:09PM
NOLLYWOOD MIRROR presents a special never before done feature on Nollywood and the French Connection: "How the French Government Boosted the Global Phenomenon of Nollywood."
Since 1984 when the Fonds Sud Cinéma fund was started for film projects from Africa, America, Latin America, Asia (except Korea, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan) and some eastern European countries (Albania, former Yugoslavia and the former Soviet Republics of central Asia), many filmmakers have benefited from it, until it was replaced by the newly created Aide aux cinémas du monde in 2012. It was financed by the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and jointly executed by the Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée (CNC).
The Aide aux cinémas du monde "World Cinema Support", created in 2012, is a new fund dedicated to international co-productions. Jointly created by the Ministry for Culture and Communication and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, it is managed by the Centre National du Cinéma et de l'Image Animée (CNC) and the Institut français.
Millions of people do not know how much the Fonds Sud Cinéma fund boosted the growth of Nollywood. Pierre Barrot, a former Regional Audio-Visual Attaché at the French Embassy in Lagos, even edited one of the first books on the emergence of Nollywood in his "Nollywood: the Video Phenomenon in Nigeria," Indiana University Press, 2009. And before him, the other first major book on Nigerian cinema, "The Cinema in Nigeria" was written by another French writer Françoise Balogun, Delta, 1987. She is the wife of one of the first most accomplished filmmakers in Nigeria, Dr. Ola Balogun.
The beneficiaries of the French connection made movies that raised the bar in Nollywood, and they include Chike Ibekwe, Faruk Lasaki and Tunde Kelani. But some of them made movies that bombed.
Who are the others?
Find out in the third edition of NOLLYWOOD MIRROR, the special volume to celebrate the Nigeria Centenary with 100 Stars of Nollwyood and Kannywood, coming out in October 2014.