Nollywood festival organiser, Mykel Parrish has called for support for annual film festivals, in view of its economic impact on the development of the country.
Parrish, who is the co-founder of The African Film Consortium and The Nollywood Travel Film Festival, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday.
He alleged that such festivals are hardly supported by the Federal Government and states government hence, its shortcomings.
“The oldest festival in Nigeria is twelve years old which is the Abuja International film festival and it cannot be compared to international festivals.
“The Nigerian festivals are hardly supported and the government officials are sometimes forced to attend the festivals in hope of partnerships but the turnout has remained poor.”
“Festivals like Cannes that is over 70 years old or the Toronto Film Festival are being supported heavily by the government of those countries to promote their cultures which we do not have here.
“In spite of the financial burden, film festivals are young and growing; they struggle to do their best as it only gets better.’’
Parrish explained further that festivals such as the African International Film Festival (AFRIFF), are fast becoming globally attracting stakeholders from all around the world and also taking talents from Nollywood.
He stressed the importance of film festivals saying that they provide opportunities to connect with film makers from around the world and exposure actors and filmmakers to new techniques.
He said filmmakers get to screen their films and get exposed to new film making trends that they can put into practice.
He added also such festival creates the platform for meeting possible investors for future film projects.
He remarked that Nollywood as an industry is trying to gain new grounds and new markets which emphasise the need for film festivals to be held outside the country.
Parrish said, “We need to push our industry in to other markets so having premieres and festivals outside Nigeria is necessary.
“It helps to find new opportunities and see how we can get more people beyond our conventional market places to see the kind of films we are able to produce.
Speaking on the Nollywood Travel Film Festival, he said that it was the first travel film festival in Africa described as “a festival on wheels’’ to showcase the Nollywood industry.
He said it held its first edition last year.
Parrish said that the next edition will hold during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) from September 8 to September 10 with the screening of twelve outstanding films.
“We are taking advantage of the massive participation of global stakeholders and enthusiasts in order for them to understand what Nollywood is all about in order to push for collaborations,” he said.