Nigeria’s National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) and French organisation Alliance Francaise have signed an agreement to distribute films via a conference being held later this year.
Content from both countries will be on offer at the French-Nigerian Film Distribution Conference, which will serve as a platform for distributors, producers and investors from both countries to do business with each other.
The news was unveiled at a signing ceremony attended by the French ambassador to Nigeria Jerome Pasquier and his Nigerian counterpart Adedayo Thomas, who is also executive director of the NFVCB, plus Arnand Durnon, director of Alliance Francaise.
Thomas said: “Our Nigerian distributors would be more than happy to collaborate with big-time French distributors such as Pathé, StudioCanal and BAC Films as planned in the coming collaboration conference.
“The French distributors take delight in releasing movies from many different nationalities, whether big or small, as it is their belief that the French moviegoers love movies from around the world. France prides itself as a country of moviegoers with over 5,000 screens, while in Nigeria we are proud to say that we have achieved 200 screens, up from 39 in the last two years.
“France’s film industry is acclaimed to be living ‘la vie en rose’ [life in roses], which its Nigerian counterpart would love to attain.”
Thomas also commented on the growing problem of piracy in the Nigerian film industry since the emergence of digital distribution platforms. “Let me not pretend that all is well with the industry, as we have serious piracy issue in Nigeria, though piracy is not directly within the regulatory purview of the NFVCB,” he said.
“Secondly, with the pervasive nature of ICT, online distribution/exhibition of movies has created regulatory nightmare for us at the NFVCB. France, no doubt, has experience in handling these issues and we therefore solicit technical support from you in tackling these issues.”
Jerome added: “The film industries in France and Nigeria are contributing a lot to their economies, and this agreement will further present opportunities for both countries. This will bring better relationships, not just between the two countries’ governments but between their citizens as well.
“Private investors in both countries will surely benefit from this collaboration, in terms of investment in distribution and marketing of films.”