Posts Tagged ‘Afolabi Adesanya’

Prof. Manthia Diawara (NYU) gives the keynote address at iREP 2011. Photo © 2011 Bic Leu

Today, I attended the first day of iREP 2011, the iREPRESENT International Documentary Film Festival at Terra Kulture and Freedom Park. The theme for this year’s edition is: Africa in Self-Conversation. The Documentary Film Intervention. Femi Odugbemi (iREP 2011 Executive Director) explains: “For Africa, the global information order presents a narrative of wars, death, corruption and diseases. Who is telling the story of Africa and its realities from what perspective? Can African filmmakers bring better understanding within and outside the continent with documentaries that give a more rounded definition of the African experience?”

Prof. Manthia Diawara (NYU) addressed this issue of ownership and representation in his keynote address: “The documentary has become the most important area for us in Africa today to make interventions that could go beyond the nation-state. Documentary is archival material that you can still go through…and define your own history.”

Afolabi Adesanya (MD, Nigerian Film Corporation) introduces Prof. Diawara's book, 'African Film (New Forms of Aesthetics & Politics)'. Photo © 2011 Bic Leu

Jahman Anikulapo (Executive Director, iREP 2011), Segun Olusola, Brendan Shehu, Afolabi Adesanya. Photo © 2011 Bic Leu

After the keynote, the audience explored the concept of home-coming in Who’s Afraid of Ngugi? (2006), in which Prof. Diawara documents the author Ngugi wa Thiong’o and his wife Njeeri‘s return to Kenya after 22 years in exile.

Freedom Park, iREP 2011. Photo © 2011 Bic Leu


The Terra Kulture portion of the program ended with Jihan El-Tahri‘s look at the history of South Africa’s ANC party, Behind the Rainbow (2008). The Festival then moved to Freedom Park, where Remi Vaughan-Richards premiered Scent of the Street (2010)–in which she follows three “area girls” as they go about their daily lives in Ajegunle.

iREP 2011 will continue in Lagos until Sunday, January 23. Click here for the full schedule of screenings and events.

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When President Goodluck Jonathan announced the federal investment of $200 million (N30 billion) into the development of the entertainment industry in November 2010, he sent shock waves of disbelief through Nollywood. Last week, Goodluck’s promise appeared to be on the road to actualization when Minister of Finance Olusegun Aganga announced that the $200 million–now known as the Special Entertainment Fund–will be distributed by the Bank of Industry (BOI) as single-digit interest rate loans. The Lagos Business School will provide “entrepreneurial capacity training” for beneficiaries of the Fund. As of January 17, the on-line application for the Fund became available on-line: http://www.boinigeria.com.

When I spoke to Madu Chikwendu, Regional Secretary of the Pan-African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI), he was enthusiastic about the Fund’s pioneering status: “I think what’s important is that the fund is even there in the first place. It’s never happened before, since the first year of Independence. I don’t know anywhere in the world where any government has brought this amount of money for the industry.”

However, I failed to find any mention of the Special Entertainment Fund when I browsed the BOI website yesterday and today. I used the site’s search engine and reviewed each page for any information relating to the Fund several times, but was not successful.  The closest item that I encountered to an application was an interactive feature on the home page explaining “3 Easy Steps to Accessing BOI’s facilities”:

Step 1: Collection of BOI’s forms/A formal Application letter

Step 2: Completion of BOI’s Questionnaire

Step 3: Submission of BOI’s Questionnaire

There was no explanation of what these “facilities” entailed. In addition, none of the steps linked to any forms, or dispensed information on how to fill out such forms, or even where to submit them!

For the sake of fulfilling President Jonathan’s original promise to “grow Nigeria’s entertainment industry into a world-class one”, I hope that the BOI will fix this website glitch shortly.

Have any of you been able to successfully apply to the Special Entertainment Fund?

[Update: January 20, 2011] I spoke to Afolabi Adesanya, Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation, and hard copies of the application should be available at the BOI head office (address below). Please let me know if anyone is successful in picking these up.

23, Marina,
P.O.BOX  2357, Lagos
Tel: 01 2715070-99
E-mail: info@boinigeria.com

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