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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

Sharon Stone: Nigerian blend

in Mwegi, Botswana’s only independent daily newspaper, Ofe Motiki reports on how Nigerian movies are conquering Africa’s marketplace: “Many people love them and find them irresistible mostly because of their familiar story lines. Nigerian movies are a household name all over the country and Francistowners blacksharon036_34.jpgare no exception. Even though the whole cinematography of the movies is not of the best quality, a lot of people are in love with them. The common wrong use of abjectives, nouns and verbs are all ignored and laughed at as in most homes people remain glued to their television sets when these movies are showing. Some say that the reason they love them is because they can easily relate to them. The Chinese and Indian businessmen have realised that they can easily cash in on these movies and a lot of them are sold on the popular three-in-one or five-in-one packages. All the movies that are aired on Mnet Africa can be found in various shops in Francistown and are so in demand that even the street hawkers at the bus ranks are cashing in. The names of the movies are not only appealing but catchy too, names like, the Corridors of Power, Father and Son [and] Sharon Stone… Maniral Islam of Tricon Traders in Francistown hawkers567.jpgconfirms that many people buy Nigerian movies in his shop. He says he always has the movies in stock though he sometimes runs out of them and has to place emergency orders as they are in demand. “I also watch them and always have their DVDs playing in the shop. It is easy to relate to them maybe because they are African,” said Islam… Another Francistown resident Kobamelo Mosheno says that she began watching them last year and has never stopped. “I don’t think I will ever stop watching them and I now know the real names of all the actors and actresses. I have quite a collection of Nigerian DVDs at home and when I have enough money to subscribe to Dstv, I always make it a point to watch Channel 102 because of all the channels that Dstv offers that is where action happens,” says Mosheno. She explains that what she loves best about the movies is the ending where she gets a thrill from seeing the bad guy being punished. She, however, complains about the music in the movies, which often makes it difficult for her to hear what the characters are saying. She adds that it is important for locals to support fellow Africans as the film industry in Africa can only grow if Africans support each other.”

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch