Is there a Cameroon film Industry?, Where are the Cameroon films?, why are our actors not known?. Those are some of the questions we hear on a daily basis,… well; YES THERE IS A CAMEROON FILM INDUSTRY and there have always been a Cameroon film industry. However certain factors are blocking the industry from growing to maturity and here below are five solid reasons( In no particular order) why we think the Cameroon film industry is still dragging its feets while other film industries in Africa and the world are enjoying the glory of the Arts.
- LACK OF UNITY AMONGST CAMEROONIAN FILM MAKERS
I Know a lot of you will probably roll your eyes on this but trust me, this aspect is really dragging us backward. “No don’t work with him/her, I don’t Like him/her, He/she has only been in the industry for 1 day(New school) , He/she is too expensive, He/she will spoil your work, He / she has attitude problems, He/she does not belong to our circle etc. Those are some of the words we hear coming from film makers every now and then and that keeps me wondering how we expect to grow with such a mentality. This industry is too large and each and everyone has the chance to grow without necessarily pulling the other down. Cameroon film industry stakeholders don’t necessarily need to be uniform, we just need to be united because united we stand , divided we fall. No one will support the industry if we are not united and organised. If you cannot do a job, recommend your brother, don’t let the deal die because it won’t add any value to your career or life. Lets hold hands and move together.
2. LACK OF FAVORABLE GOVERNMENT POLICIES
The Government of Cameroon in general and the Ministry of Arts and culture in particular has not taken any adequate measures yet to promote and encourage the film industry both internally and externally . We still have a lot of foreign Tv channels who shows foreign films 24/ 7 making Cameroonians to have absolute entertainment from the comfort of their homes. With these, they see no need to buy or even watch Cameroonian films. Also, getting access to some government facilities such as the National Assembly to shoot is usually extremely difficult making film makers fall short in that domain.
3. LACK OF SUPPORT FROM CORPORATE BODIES
it’s no news that to make a good film with international standards we need high skills but whether we like it or not, a certain amount of money is needed for that to be achieved which is what most Cameroonian film makers don’t have. little or no support comes from corporate bodies. However, I really can’t blame the corporate bodies in Cameroon because they are out to do business and it will be stupid for them to invest in something which is not going to bring them anything, which brings us to our fouth point.
4. LACK OF CINEMA HALL
Every Now and then we hear of movies making hundred of millions of Dollars at the cinemas in other countries. Cinema Halls in most countries with vibrant film industry such as Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood is key, That’s where most of the money from films come from. The absence of cinemas in Cameroon is greatly hindering the industry growth because after film are produced in Cameroon, producers don’t know what else to do with the films, No cinema viewings, no distributors etc. This becomes so frustrating for new filmmakers and this only discourages them, causing them to leave the industry prematurely. Trust me with several cinemas halls across the country and with good publicity from filmmakers, those cinema halls will be full and filmmakers will make quite some money.
5. LACK OF ADEQUATE SKILLS AND PROFESSIONALISM
A lot of people get into the industry for the wrong reasons, some want to get famous, some want to stay active( since they have no jobs). film making is an arts, it needs high skills and dedication which is what most Cameroonian film makers lack. filmmakers can only start making quality movies when they start taking film making courses in various domain such as directing, acting, cinematography etc. No one will be interested to buy or even watch a low quality movie neither will festivals and awards select your movies thus making you to stay on the same spot.
Watch this space for some possible remedies to these problems listed above and keep streaming on www.njokatv.com