Battling the odds in the Cameroon film industry… Mr Alfred Melow (producer/Writer)

Battling the odds in the Cameroon film industry… Mr Alfred Melow (producer/Writer)

N Melo
by N Melo
June 6, 2022 0

Battling the odds in the Cameroon film industry… Mr Alfred Melow (producer/Writer)

The production and distribution of film and audiovisual works is one of the most dynamic growth sectors in the world. Thanks to digital technologies, production has been growing rapidly in Cameroon in recent years. The case of the young Cameroonian growing industry, with about close to a 100 of films made each year, is emblematic in this respect, particularly Anglophone movies.

It has enabled the emergence of local growing industry of production and distribution with its own unique slow economic model. Yet across most of Cameroon, the economic potential of the film and audiovisual sectors remains largely untapped. Though estimates demonstrate that these sectors account for millions of CFA in revenues in Cameroon and facilitate youth employment.

Africa has all the human and economic resources, and all the energies and talent to shape its own destiny. It may take time, but it does not matter—the movement has begun and a thousand creative fires are already smouldering. A torrent of images, narratives and stories that nothing can suppress is about to flow. Africa will inevitably soon get into its stride and pick up steam.    Gaston Kaboré Film maker (Burkina Faso)

Cameroon cinema is facing challenges and competition from unusual sources, We will look at some of these issues, Cameroonians spend too much time in bars and other drinking places drinking time can be film watching time and even the snack bars never screen Cameroon films.. Many people will prefer gossip and criticism of the industry than watching films .They generally know the wrongs of the industry than the rights.

The cell phone in as much we use our android phones to advertise our films the phones also distract us from watching films. Even during film premieres many people still concentrate more on cell phones. Public institutions hardly ever screen local films, the higher class will have CNN or FRANCE 24 than watch our films. These big stations give a sense of well-being and success. Local television channels cannot afford good films and even when they can they go for the cheapest. Filmmakers don’t network they don’t promote each other. The few successful often are lost in their pride.  Why can we not celebrate cinema the way we celebrate football.? Actors actresses and even Directors don’t promote the films they make.

They use the projects more to brand and position themselves for future deals. TIK TOK and other comic sketches although still in the industry have distracted many film enthusiasts. Women are not as interested in films as men and during quality family time they prefer all the attention to be on them and even when they watch they prefer gossip romantic series. To this there are many exceptions. Then we have the everlasting problem with the electricity supply company .During these constant blackouts there can be no action.

Despite the difficulties, risks and relative lack of help though, in the Cameroon film industry, films like Yenkong’s Cross and Lara’s Song have made Cameroonians and Africans proud, attracting the attention of film festivals around Cameroon, Africa and beyond.

N Melo
NM
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