Afrinolly (with the support of Ford Foundation) hosted the Cinema4Change workshop in Lagos, on January 31, 2014. The workshop took place at Protea Hotel (Maryland), and it was a gathering of industry veterans, young filmmakers, and other stakeholders in the Nigerian film industry.
The workshop was an intense engagement on the need for making films capable of driving social change, as well as the practical reality of producing such movies. The workshop had Chike Maduegbuna as moderator, while Tunde Kelani and Femi Odugbemi served as facilitators.
The workshop opened with a presentation by Paul Nwulu of Ford Foundation, who spoke on the power of film to drive social change, and also about the mechanism by which such movies drive social change. In his presentation, he talked about a number of key qualities which message movies need to possess, and opportunities available to filmmakers from the Ford Foundation.
Paul Nwulu was followed by Femi Odugbemi who spoke about the social responsibility of African filmmakers. He also spoke at length on several points, which filmmakers need to take cognizance of, in order to make successful short films. Among other things, he told the audience to write character driven stories rather than plot-driven stories. He also advised filmmakers against overstylizing. He also emphasized the importance of sound design in making successful short films.
Ngozi Ikwere, who runs a non-governmental organisation also addressed participants at the workshop. Among other things, she said that there was a need for filmmakers to produce films, which portray women and children with sensitivity. She also said that it was important for filmmakers avoid producing films, which produce apathy and fatalism.
Mo Abudu (CEO of EbonyLife TV) also addressed the participants. In her presentation she emphasized the need for producers to be creative in order to be able to produce high quality work, within the limitation of the small budgets, which were available to them.
Mairo Mustapha, a social activist, shared her experience on the power and effectiveness of films to promote social change. She cited several instances from her experience, in which films had proven to be a useful tool in driving social change.
The presentations were followed by an intensive brainstorming session, which was moderated by Chike Maduegbuna. Veteran filmmaker, Tunde Kelani, also fielded questions from participants.