Tag Archives: le film camerounais

CREATING GOOD PRODUCTS IS THE SECRET TO BEiNG ON NETFLIX, FOLLOWING DON OMOPE

Don Omope

The nigerian producer and director DON OMOPE ( The wedding Party and TATU), who is participating to Pavillon Afriques this Year has agreed to talk to Le Film Cameroun about his work. INTERVIEW.

LFC (Le film Camerounais) : Hi Don OMOPE. You are the producer of The Wedding Party. Please can you talk about the challenges and joys of producing in Nigeria? 

D.O (Don OMOPE) : Producing is basically project management of films across the business, the editorial, the physical manufacturing and the marketing of the film product to generate a willing audience… The challenges and joys of producing in Nigeria like producing anywhere else in the world stems from the four above stages. Every project is unique in its experiences, you know what to expect from making many films but you don’t really know how to expect the things you expect to happen. Filmmaking is challenging because you are fighting battles and putting out fires from raising money from investors and trying to agree the right terms, to negotiating with writer and agree a single unified story idea to battling with directors to ensure they make the movie to the agreed budget and then finding a unique way to market the movie in a way that the audience with be excited to want to watch the movie. The joy of making movie comes from finding a way to enjoy the challenges so you can appreciate the process and if the movie gets successful the joy is even greater. 

LFC : As a Nigerian producer, what is your opinion about Cameroonian movies? 

D.O : I am more familiar with the anglophone Cameroon actors in Nollywood and festival film directors like Jean-Pierre Bekolo. 

LFC : You are also a director. You directed Tatu, a film between adventure and horror movie, which is not common in African industry. Why have you chosen to direct that movie especially? 

D.O : Tatu was a film i had worked on the screenplay for about a year knowing i was going to direct it. i wanted to tell the traditional epic nollywood story but in a contemporary way… what i called a contemporary epic. i was inspired loosely by Mel Gibbs fill Apocalypto. 

TATU movie still

LFC : TATU is an eponym movie based on Abraham Nwankwo’s book. What is your conception concerning the relationship between literature and cinema, mainly in Africa? 

D.O : Literature is a big part of our culture in Africa and most of our best writers exist more in literature than in film…. So i wanted to find a way to bridge this disparity but adapting Abraham Nwankwo’s book in collaboration with him to create a new product for cinema. 

LFC : Most of the movies you produced or directed are available on Netflix. What is your secret? 

D.O : It’s about creating good products…. The trick is matching inspired idea selection with classic story telling and aspirational photography. 

LFC : Do you think that Youtube is a welcomed platform for african producer and director to emerge? In your opinion, what are the advantages and the dangers? 

D.O : Youtube is a great additional outlet, i am not sure i want to just be a youtube filmmaker because i am a cinema filmmaker and i want to make big commercial films. But that doesn’t stop me from creating products for youtube as i am creating products for cinema/Netflix… Youtube is a new branch on my tree not a new tree for me. 

LFC : You have already received several awards for the films you have produced or directed from festivals around the world. Is it really important to compete at festivals? What these awards brought to you? 

D.O : Festival are good for developing your storytelling for a global audience which is the aim of any serious storyteller.. I plan to make my movies more festival leaning because i believe in the role of film festivals in the film space. I have enjoyed global exposure because of my films going to festivals. 

LFC : You are participating to Pavillon Afriques this year: what inspires this kind of initiative to you? 

D.O : Afriques Pavillion is a very important initiative to bring all African filmmakers together so we can support and work together… Its an amazing project which i support. 

LFC : A last question please. You participated to the documentary Nollywood – Film Business African Style from Johannes Preus. What advices can you give to Cameroonian producers and directors? 

D.O : I think they have to be more deliberate about the story choices they make and work on improving storytelling technique … These are the two key things that matter as a filmmaker … You can then add great production values.

M.N

THE FISHERMAN’S DIARY : UNE EXPERIENCE NETFLIX

C’est un soir ordinaire, assise dans le canapé, quelques jours après le 04 avril, date de sortie de The Fisherman’s Diary sur Netflix. Autant dire que je ne me suis pas précipitée pour voir le film d’Enah Johnscott. Pourtant, j’avais eu écho de son exceptionnel accueil, notamment l’éligibilité aux Oscars, les multiples prix aux Écrans Noirs, la sortie de Blaise B sur les réseaux …

Mais je ne me suis pas précipitée. Peut-être trop captivée par La Chronique de Bridgerton ma binge série du moment. Ou parce qu’un petit coin de mon cerveau de 237Cinéphile était déjà familière du « bon » cinéma camerounais. Rien d’extraordinaire donc, si ce n’est que Netflix ouvre enfin les yeux sur un phénomène que j’entrevois et suis depuis plus de 3 ans aux côtés de Françoise Ellong-Gomez. 

Mais ce jour là, l’heure de The Fisherman’s Diary a sonné. Ce sera donc 2h23 de visionnage Netflix. J’espère que ça en vaudra le coup parce que 2h23 c’est quand même long pour un film.

Dès les premières images, je suis agréablement surprise. L’espace d’une fraction de seconde, je me demande s’il s’agit d’un film nigérian. Un partenariat à minima ? Mais le paysage typique des côtes anglophones, l’accent me ramènent rapidement à la raison. On est bien au Cameroun. Le décor, l’atmosphère, nous plonge effectivement dans la réalité des pêcheurs du côté de Limbé.

À travers eux, j’imagine les pêcheurs de Douala. Partagent-ils les mêmes modes de vie, la même mentalité ? Et puis, à y regarder de plus près, les décors de The Fisherman’s Diary sont plus beaux et esthétiquement mieux pensés et filmés que la plupart des films nigérians. Pas étonnant, puisque le directeur artistique n’est autre que Nkanya Nkwai.

Dès les premières bandes sons, je suis conquise. La mélomane qui est en moi se laisse volontiers bercée, entraînée, secouée, au rythme des rebondissements scénaristiques. Ce qui est encore plus extraordinaire est la constante qualité du choix sonore et musical tout au long des 2h23. Et 2h23, c’est long pour un film. L’impertinente qui est en moi se dit : «  Hum…Je comprends maintenant la sortie de Blaise B*. D’ailleurs, l’affaire là est finie comment? ».

Et les acteurs ? Laura Onyama était méconnaissable dans ses premières scènes. L’actrice de Ward Zee et Saving Mbango prouve une nouvelle fois sa capacité à se métamorphoser pour un rôle. Néanmoins, la cinéaste multi-primée n’est pas parvenue, dans ce film, à déployer tous ses talents. Idem pour Damarise Ndamo ( Ward Zee ), qui nous a habitué à de meilleures performances. Il n’en demeure pas moins qu’elles restent convaincantes dans leurs rôles, au même titre que Kang Quintus. 

Laura Onyama (gauche) et Ndamo Damarise ( droite)

Le producteur de The Fisherman’s Diary pêche en tant qu’acteur uniquement dans les scènes de Flashback. Ces scènes, souvent caricaturales, et parfois inachevées, semblent moins convenir à son type de jeu, ainsi qu’à celui de Laura Onyama. Choix délibéré ou non de scènes kitch et clichées de la part du scénariste, elles auraient gagné à être plus élaborées et étoffées. L’histoire du désamour entre Solomon (Kang Quintus) et Barbara (Laura Onyama), fondamental dans la compréhension du film, aurait alors semblé moins incomplète. On reste sur sa faim.

Faith Fidel, qui campe le rôle de Ekah, le personnage principal, est définitivement LA RÉVÉLATION du film. Son jeu d’actrice est époustouflant. Si je découvre l’actrice pour la première fois dans le film, j’avais déjà eu à croiser la personne lors du Gala des LFC Awards. Et bizarrement, j’ai la même impression de l’actrice et de la personne. Elle a un indéniable charisme hybride, un mélange d’enfant / adulte à la fois perturbant et fascinant. Une maturité malgré son jeune âge qui se manifeste dans son jeu d’actrice, non plus prometteur, mais déjà abouti. 

Faith Fidel (milieu) lors du Gala des LFC Awards

Le scénario, à l’exception de quelques lenteurs, est plutôt bien déployé, avec des touches d’humour bienvenues pour un sujet aussi grave que l’éducation des filles et le mariage forcé. The Fisherman’s Diary relate en effet le combat d’une petite fille (EKAH) pour aller à l’école, au sein d’une communauté de pêcheur hostile à l’éducation scolaire des filles et contre un père rustre et travailleur, en proie avec son passé. Si certaines scènes sont caricaturales comme celle avec le portrait de Malala, Enah Johnscott a eu l’intelligence de présenter les personnages principaux de manière plus complexe, à l’image du film lui-même. Kang Quintus, Faith Fidel et Cosson Chinepoh ont su transmettre à l’écran la subtilité psychologique de chacun des personnages.

Seul véritable bémol, le maquillage raté de Ramsey Nouah. Ouais, la tonne de fond de teint là, de la mauvaise couleur en plus, c’était pourquoi ? Et notre Daphné nationale n’est pas parvenu, loin s’en faut, à se démarquer de ses partenaires de jeu, acteurs déjà consacrés. 

Image de fin, musique finale. J’arrive au terme des 2h23. Et 2h23 pour un film, ça pourrait sembler long. Sauf s’il vaut le coup, comme The Fisherman’s Diary. 

N.M

* Blaise B a réclamé 100 000 000 de fcfa à The Fisherman’s Diary sur les réseaux sociaux.

ENGLISH VERSION

THE FISHERMAN’S DIARY: A NETFLIX EXPERIENCE

It’s an ordinary evening, sitting on the couch a few days after April 04, the date when The Fisherman’s Diary was released on Netflix. In other words, I wasn’t rushing to see Enah Johnscott’s movie. However, I heard about his exceptional reception, in particular the eligibility for the Oscars, the multiple prizes at the Black Screens, the Blaise B bomb…

But I did not rush. Perhaps too captivated by The Bridgerton Chronicle my binge series of the moment. Or because a little corner of my 237 Cinephile brain was already familiar with “good” Cameroonian cinema. Nothing extraordinary then, except that Netflix is ​​finally opening their eyes to a phenomenon that I feel and see alongside Françoise Ellong for more than 3 years now.

But on that day, it was finally time to watch The Fisherman’s Diary. Therefore It would be 2h23 of Netflix viewing. I hoped it would be worth it because 2:23 is a long time for a movie.

From the first images, I was pleasantly surprised. For a split second, I wondered if this was a Nigerian movie. A collaboration ? The typical landscape of the English-speaking coasts, the accent of the actors quickly brought me to my senses. We are in fact Cameroon. The decor, the atmosphere, actually bring us into the reality of the fishermen on the Limbé side.

Through them, I imagine fishermen in Douala. Do they share the same lifestyles, the same mentality ? With the closer look, the sets in The Fisherman’s Diary are more beautiful and aesthetically better thought out and filmed than most Nigerian films. No wonder, since the artistic director is none other than Nkanya Kwai.

From the first soundtracks, I was won over. The music lover who is in me let herself be rocked, carried away, shaken, to the rhythm of the scriptwriting twists. What is even more extraordinary is the constant quality of the sound and musical choice throughout the 2h23. And 2:23 is a long time for a movie. The impertinence in me said to herself: “Hmm …I now understand Blaise B’s claim*. Besides, I wonder how it played out .

And the actors? Laura Onyama was unrecognizable in his early stages. The Ward Zee actress and Saving Mbango once again proves her ability to transform into a role. Nonetheless, the multi-award-winning filmmaker did not manage to unleash all of her talents in this film. Same for Damarise Ndamo (Ward Zee), who got us used to better performances. The fact is that they remain convincing in their roles, just like Kang Quintus.

The Fisherman’s Diary producer slacks as an actor only in the Flashback scenes. These scenes, often cartoonish, and sometimes unfinished, seem less suited to his acting style, as well as that of Laura Onyama. Deliberate choice or not of “kitsch” and “cliché” scenes on the part of the screenwriter, they would have benefited from being more elaborate and fleshed out. The story of the disenchantment between Solomon (Kang Quintus) and Barbara (Laura Onyama), fundamental in understanding the film, would then have seemed less incomplete. We stay hungry for more.

Faith Fidel, who plays the role of Ekah, the main character, is definitely THE REVELATION OF THE FILM. Her acting is breathtaking. I am meeting the actress for the first time in the film. I watched her previously at the LFC Awards Gala. Strangely enough, my impression of her is the same as an actress or the perso. She has an undeniable hybrid charisma, a mix of child / adult that is both disturbing and fascinating. Maturity despite her young age manifests itself in her acting, no longer making her a debutant, but a successful star already.

The storyline, with the exception of a few unnecessary slow and long scenes, is pretty well laid out, with welcome touches of humor for a subject as serious as the education of girls and forced marriage. The Fisherman’s Diary tells the story of a little girl’s fight (Ekah) to go to school within a fishing community hostile to school education for girls and against a rustic and hardworking father, plagued gy his past. While some of the scenes are cartoonish like those with the portrait of Malala, Enah Johnscott who also wrote the film was smart enough to present the main characters in a more complex way, much like the film itself. Kang Quintus, Faith Fidel and Cosson Chinepoh were able to convey to screen the psychological subtlety of each of the characters.

The only downside is Ramsey Noah’s makeup was failed. Too much foundation was used, and the wrong color too, why was that? And our National Daphne did not succeed, far from it in distinguishing herself from her film partners, already established actors.

Last scene, final soundtrack. I made it to the end of 2:23. 2:23 for a movie might seem like a long time, unless it’s worth it like The Fisherman’s Diary.

N.M

*Blaise B claimed 100 , 000 , 000 CFA francs from The Fisherman’s Diary on social networks.