NITV puts focus on France/Nigeria trade

By Content Nigeria reporter
September 30, 2021

L-R: Juliette Vivier, Ijeoma Onah and Tatiana Moussali

Strategies for increasing trade and business opportunities between Nigeria and France were the topic of a lively panel at the Nigerian International TV (NITV) Summit this week.

NITV founder Ijeoma Onah said that since the inception of the Summit in 2018, there have been plenty of collaborations between French and Nigerian companies that have helped shaped the narrative that language is no longer a barrier in the film and TV business.

Francis Nebot, CEO of IFind Pictures; Benjamin Budd, business development manager at Vivendi Africa; Olivier Pascal, CEO of L’Académie Franco-Anglophone des Arts Audiovisuels & Cinéma; Denis Ponac, CEO of Summview; Juliette Vivier, international director at Hiventy Group; and Tatiana Moussali, CEO of WE Entertainment were all on hand to discuss how French companies have invested in Nigeria in order to strengthen their relationship via better collaborations.

Budd talked about the business of France-based Vivendi in Africa and how the Canal+ owner has impacted the film industry by establishing a theatre in Abuja, opening the first Anglophone venue in Nigeria, while the venue in Lagos is still under construction. He added that Vivendi is looking to “develop its footprint” in the Nigerian market.

He also mentioned the function of the company’s African cinema subsidiary Canal Olympia, which is to promote African cinema in Nigeria. As an example, he highlighted Oge Obasi-produced feature film Juju Stories, which will be released by Canal Olympia in 12 West African countries.

IFind’s Nebot, a distributor of Nollywood and French-language African films, said: “It was quite a challenge getting a market to like African content and accept. Even dubbing the content to their standard so the African accent won’t be noticeable was hard.”

Hiventy’s Vivier said her company is already working with Nigerian partners and is taking the business model out globally. “We are the first technology partner for Netflix in Nigeria. You should think about your content when coproducing, and it should be produced in a way that addresses a global audience.”

Onah added: “Disruption is here and it changes the traditional way of doing things. The digital era is here to stay and there is an opportunity that needs to be tapped, but we need to pay attention.”

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