Nollywood Week in Paris: A Multicultural Festival Evolving

3 Min Read

The 11th edition of Nollywood Week kicked off on Thursday, May 2nd, in Paris, showcasing Nigerian cinema but with a broader scope.

Throughout the four-day event, a diverse audience will have the opportunity to explore productions from countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Morocco, and even the United States, totaling more than a dozen short and feature-length films. This eclectic selection promises to delight African cinema enthusiasts.

Aissata Seck, Director of the Foundation for the Memory of Slavery and an avid consumer of African cinema, expressed her satisfaction with attending the festival.

“I love it because we have all types of stories. Sometimes, we feel like we can relate to our personal stories because even though I was born in France, I have a dual culture, including African culture. And for me, it’s important to consume these kinds of films. I also watch them with my daughters, and we love it.”

For Olivier Kissita, an actor and director himself, such a festival is essential for promoting African cultures.

“Unity is strength. To be taken seriously, we need to be numerous. So, I think the idea is to march as a community, in numbers, to have a better chance of showcasing the richness and diversity of the continent and beyond, quite simply.”

Beyond borders, culture has the power to overcome differences and break down barriers, often existing within our minds, explains Serge Noukoue, co-founder of the festival.

“In the realities depicted in the films, whether at Nollywood Week or elsewhere, there are sometimes more similarities than differences. So, what matters is being able to recognize oneself in others and to remain curious, to maintain the curiosity that allows us to take an interest in what is happening in Nigeria and Africa in general. And that is an important element that is at the very foundation of this festival.”

The opening film, “Atiko” by Nigerian filmmaker Biodun Stephen, tells a powerful story of resilience and the power of will. It is a universal narrative. Stephen, who attended the event, engaged in a Q&A session with the audience.

“It’s an African story. Anyone with this skin color understands this story, whether they speak Yoruba, French, or any other language. If you are Black, you know this story.”

This year, Nollywood Week also features a significant focus on animated films and integrated virtual reality, an industry already valued at over $100 million in Nigeria alone.

Soukaina Sghir

Share this Article