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Tunde Oladunjoye
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Cannes Festival 2007 tit bits
Tunde Oladunjoye in Cannes, France

Silverbird shoots the birds

Cannes Festival, to arts journalists or film critics anywhere in the world, is what the world cup final is to sports writers and journalists. For Nigerian journalists, the willingness to be in Cannes is always there like their counterparts from other countries. Those who have attended the festival in the past went either on their own expense or on a paltry subsidy by their media organisation for which they must provide every receipt, probably including the use of toilettes.

Recently, two journalists of the Silverbird Television applied to the organisers of Cannes festival for accreditation. The organisers accredited them and included their names on the Guests list. The reporters must have been very happy until their joy was cut short by, guess who, Silverbird TV!
The management, upon enquiry, wrote back to the Embassy of France in Lagos that it was not interested in the festival and not sending anybody. The Embassy was advised not to issue visa to the journalists.

Sorry, you are not invited

Nigerian actors and actresses are also not left out of the rush to go to Cannes. Many, however, use the opportunity of the Schengen visa to go to other European cities without getting to Cannes. Out of about 30 "film marketers" listed in the Film Market Guide in year 2005, none was at the market. The Embassy of France in Lagos seemed to be wiser.

This year any visa applicant is crosschecked on and from the festival organisers. An actress (name withheld) who thought she had convinced an embassy official to recommend her for visa with her home video (released in 2003) came back to tell the official that there was another actor that must be given visa. The embassy official simply asked the two of them to go and wait at the lobby. In less than five minutes, an email message arrived from the festival organisers that the actor and actress were unknown, uninvited and unaccredited. The official simply passed on the bad news to the actor and actress and offered to take them to his office so they can read the message on his computer screen. The offer was rejected as the actor and actress stormed out of the embassy.

Nigeria's Pavilion 111 is empty

As this writer had predicted, not much is to be expected from the Nigerian Pavilion this year at the Cannes, though much has been given in terms of tax payers'money to the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) team led by Mr. Afolabi Adesanya. The only literatures on the stand are Index of Nigerian Motion Picture Industry and NFC Film News. The advertised facilities like internet, telephone, etc are still not in place a day after the festival opened. The slight refreshments taken for granted in other pavilion are not in place. No sweet, no soft drinks, not even water. The lady on the stand, Ranti could not provide information to requests on Nigeria's presence at the film market, or films in or out of competition. The NFC team is waiting to connect with Nigerian filmmakers in Cannes when the connection could have been done at home. No information on who is who from Nigeria in Cannes. It seems the goal of the NFC is that: you people have been shouting that we should be in Cannes, here we are. It is therefore hoped that the NFC would learn a lot from its first appearance and let Nigeria make maximum benefits from her participation next year.

The Deaf are defiant

One of the soul moving movies here in Cannes is My Dream, staring Tai Lihua (hearing impaired). The non-fiction art film is performed by 84 disabled people. Among them, some cannot hear, some cannot see and some are physically disabled/challenged. This film has gone o major cities of the world like USA, Australia, Denmark, Malaysia, Poland, and so on. The My Dream has also received superb endorsements from world personalities like Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Michael Jeffrey and Jiang Zemin. The star actress Tai Lihua has won several awards from different parts of the globe including Italy, China and from the Lion Club that grated her "Outstanding Achievements in Arts Award" in year 2002.

My Dream was however not selected by the festival committee of the Cannes 2007. Not wanting to give up, the China's Disabled People's Performing Art and the Beijing Academy is staging a special screening of the film here in Cannes. The event would hold at the prestigious Carlton Intercontinental Hotel, Cannes on May 25, 2007 from 3.00 p.m. 11.00 p.m. In a release, the organisers said the purpose of the screening is to "enhance friendship, cooperation and development." Materials such as DVDs and books would be provided.


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   liens films

My Dream [Mon rêve] 2006
Zhang Jigang

   liens artistes

Adesanya Afolabi

Jigang Zhang

Lihua Tai


16/05/2007 > 27/05/2007
festival |France |
Festival de Cannes 2007

17/05/2007 > 21/05/2007
projection |France |
Festival de Cannes 2007 : le Pavillon "les cinémas du sud"
Au festival de Cannes

   liens structures

National Film Archives (NFA, Nigeria)
Nigeria | JOS - Plateau State

Nigeria Films

Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC)
Nigeria | JOS - Plateau State

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