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12 Dec 2016  |   Nigerian star Ramsey Nouah, International Film Industry Delegations Connect with the Durban Film Office

Nigerian star Ramsey Nouah, International Film Industry Delegations Connect with the Durban Film Office

As part of the eThekwini Municipality’s aim to stimulate international co-operation and understanding, a delegation of film industry representatives from Nigeria, Botswana, Cameroon and America in mid-November.

The Durban Film Office hosted the delegations on a tour of the Inanda Heritage site and a visit to the set of Uzalo, South Africa’s number one soapie which is filmed in a studio in Newlands West.

The delegation included the celebrated Nigerian movie star Ramsey Nouah and his manager/producer Chris Odeh. a representative from the San Francisco Black Film Festival and the Oakland Film Festival, Jackie Wright, the Vice Mayor of Sacramento, Allen Warren, director from Los Angeles, Damon Jamal, local producer Lwazi Manzi, head of the eThekwini Filmmakers Association, Andile Buwa amongst other representatives from the Cameroon, Botswana and Durban.

Creative Director of Uzalo, Mmamitse Thibedi opened the discussion in their studios with some background on the business model of the soapie, which has a viewership of over 7.4 million.  “The initial aim was to “decentralize” the focus of making television in Gauteng and bring the skills to Durban,” she explained. “And what started off as a dream has become the most watched soapie in the country, and we have managed to transfer skills and empower many young people within the industry by making a bold and ambitious move here.”

Ramsey Nouah, who has won numerous awards for his acting and contribution to the African entertainment industry in Nigeria including Best Actor at the African Movie Academy Awards in 2010 and owner of production company Ramseyfilms, is an active pioneer and ambassador of the Nigerian movie industry. Speaking to the gathering, Nouah said that he would like to call on South Africans to look at collaborating more with Nigeria and look at different distribution models that could exist on the continent.

Thibedi echoed Nouah’s sentiments citing Stained Glass’s development of a new wing for collaboration  which speaks to the possibilities that can be created when the global film industry can look to working together to share knowledge and skills.