By Benjamin Njoku
Japan may have finally expressed deep interest in investing in the Nigerian film industry otherwise known as Nollywood in future.
This was part of the highlights of the just concluded 7th edition of Tokyo International Conference on African Development,TICAD7, which held in Yokohama, Japan from 29 to 30 August 2019.
Fidelis Duker, who was one of Nigeria’s delegates to the conference, said Japan is already considering possibilities of investing in cinema chains in Nigeria. This, he revealed will be facilitated by Japanese companies.
Duker, who attended the conference at the instance of the United Nations, UN, and Japan foundation spoke at a round-table on the potential areas of future collaboration in the film industry of African countries and Japan with the theme “Africa Across borders… the emerging markets.
According to the popular film maker, who’s also the founder FAD (93.1FM)Radio in Calabar, Cross River State and FAD 360 TV, this development signals a long-term mutually beneficial relationship between Japan and Nigeria as the former has never invested in the latter’s culture or film sector before now. “ So, we see this move as a brighter future for the film sector in Nigeria and Africa at large.” he said.
While the issue of language was raised as a barrier, Duker said he was able to allay that fear insisting, however, that language should be seen as the solution to any encumbrance the partnership may encounter as the world is more of a global village. “ Moreover film has only one language which is communication through pictures.”
Adding, Duker who was the former President of Directors Guild of Nigeria, DGN, said he also emphasized on the varied opportunities that abound in the continent in the areas of transfer of talents which is trainings and capacity building, access to both markets of Japan and Nigeria, co production opportunities, funding support for festivals in the area of cultural exchanges. In essence this is the first in a series of meetings to building a mutually beneficial future for Nollywood,” Duker, who was recently re-elected Regional Secretary General, Federation of Pan African Filmmakers,FEPACI, West Africa, added.