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Dr. Ola Balogun: Nigeria Is Going To Cannes To Fry And Sell "Akara"?

As we were waiting to buy fuel at the filling station on the Commercial Avenue in Sabo, Lagos, Nigeria, I exchanged greetings with Nigeria’s foremost filmmaker, Dr. Ola Balogun and the author of the travelogue The Magic Land of Nigeria.

Orikinla: Nigeria is going to Cannes.

Dr. Ola Balogun: To do what? To fry and sell Akara?

Orikinla: Our magazine is going there to report the truth about what Nigeria is going to do at the Cannes Film Festival.

Dr. Ola Balogun: Nigerians don’t like to hear the truth.

We smiled.

Nigerian administrators of the film industry like the Nigerian Film Corporation and others have been making an annual pilgrimage to the Cannes Film Festival to display their audio-visual products at a pavilion and have never been able to make any film that has qualified for the screening and competition. Notable Nigerian director and founder /CEO of the Abuja International Film Festival Fidelis Duker said it is an annual jamboree for Nigeria to go to Cannes and waste millions of naira to display their ignorance.

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The guys said Nigerians love celebrating mediocrity and as shown in their disorganized music industry and film industry, most Nigerians careless about professionalism in entertainment.

I don't think so, maybe different nations have different views of entertainment,just some people like to buy TV free cell phone, and somebody want the TV programes showed on their 16:9 Screen mobile phone so much.

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av sat down with the guy once to discuss d movie industry, he has bragging rights, mos def, wat r we goin to do in cannes, all d delegations, ow many screenings have we had, NFC goes every year, but how many of our movies have been put on d pedestal, ow many of our movies deserve to be showcased at world level, really few if none at all.

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How many country goes to the Olympics, how many wins a medal? The joy is in performing not in winning.

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See You in Cannes 2

I have just seen the Publisher of Supple magazine off to France at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport in Ikeja, Lagos. He and Justice from This Day newspaper will be on the Air France to Nice from where they will go to Cannes to join the thousands of accredited journalists, filmmakers, movie stars, film aficionados and others from all over the world for the 62nd Festival de Cannes.

Faruk Lasaki the director of Changing Faces, the most successful Nigerian movie so far left for Cannes last Tuesday accompanied by his sister Kemi Lasaki and one of his office workers. Fidelis Duker and his amiable wife Temitope left for Cannes last Night. The delegation of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) will be at the Nigerian pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival, but I do not know if any Nigerian movie has qualified for screening or the competition. Going to Cannes is not a big deal, but competing for the highest honours is the real deal. Nollywood buffs boast that it is the third largest “film” industry in the world, but unfortunately none of the Nollywood movies has even qualified for official screening and the competition at the Cannes Film Festival. The last Nigerian delegation to Cannes turned it into a jamboree and became the laughing stock of the Cannes Film Festival for their extravagant party.

What were they celebrating?

Were they celebrating their failure to qualify for screening and competition?

I have addressed the celebration of Nigerian mediocrity in the emphasis on quality than quality in Nollywood in Mirror of Beauty and the Mirror of Nigerian Ignorance of the Cannes published on Kisses ‘n’ Roses in May 2008.

Nigerians love celebrating mediocrity and as shown in their disorganized music industry and film industry, most Nigerians careless about professionalism in entertainment.

I hope that the Nigerian delegation to Cannes would not be disgraced again.

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