A round-table titled “African Cinema: Past, Present and Future” was held on Sunday at the El Gouna Film Festival, which is taking place from 19 to 27 September this year.
The event was moderated by the president of independent film sales company Wide Loïc Magneron and included French-Moroccan producer and director Nail Ayouch, Moroccan producer Sarim Fassi Fihri, film producer Elias Ribeiro, and head of marketing and advertising of the European Film Market Jana Wolff.
The participants agreed that art from Africa has a very special nature due to the distinct diversity between the different countries’ cultures, and that even filmmakers who had left Africa at some point still hold onto their African culture and heritage.
They noted that it is very hard to identify a single African cinema when the continent includes 54 countries.
Participants also noted that the number of films produced in Africa is very limited compared to the number of the countries.
Wolff said that, by comparison, France produces around 300 films, 70 percent of which are pure French films.
Ayouch discussed the major international film platforms like Netflix, and noted how exclusive viewing is compromising other viewing options.
He added that film piracy remains one of the major issues facing the film industry. While African governments still believe in banning some films, the more bans, the greater the viewership and the number of leaks.
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