It was yesterday, Wednesday, October 21st, 2015 at the Goethe Institute in Yaoundé Cameroon that the press conference in view of the 11th edition of RIFIC – Rencontre International des Films Courts was held. For 11 years, this festival has been promoting Arts and culture (Filmmaking) under terribly miserable conditions.
The administrators of this festival are young people (Frank Ndema, Martial Nguea, Patou and many others) who have their country and the value of filmmaking at heart. They have been in many editions, the ones putting in efforts in many spheres to sustain the running of this festival.
« RIFIC has inspired me into filmmaking. “Today, I can write screenplays and direct films thanks to the trainings I got from RIFIC ». Said Gabriel FOMOGNE (Actor/Director) who was present in the great press conference that began at exactly 2.30pm Cameroon time, with closed to 18 press men from Radio, Newspapers and Television. Prominent and prolific filmmakers, entrepreneurs and Actors like Blanche Bilongo, Blanche Bana, Titi Samuel, Evodie Ngueyeli, Wandji Narcisse who came ready to be nourished with new ideologies about the development and promotion of filmmaking in Cameroon could not miss this sumptuous film event.
The central theme for this year’s festival is « Cinema and Decentralisation, what an economy? » RIFIC has not inspired only Gabriel. Great work RIFIC. As far as Film administration in Cameroon is concerned, it should be highly noted that the cultural policy in Cameroon has been in a critically nonsensical condition and in total mess for the past decade because of a very useless and uncultured former Minister of Culture who knew virtually nothing about the value of Arts and Culture. Our culture is our lives.
Filmmaking is a profession that deserves respect just like any other profession. It is strange but true to say that some Cameroonians who claim to be film pundits instead consider filmmaker as an extra curricular activity for dropouts. The lack of respect of this profession by some forces of the statusquo in Cameroon paves way for a very gloomy future for filmmaking in Cameroon. The fact that the program and invitation of RIFIC comes out a week before the press with72 films registered and 28 selected for diverse competitions, seemingly announces the beginning of the birth of a new nation.
The fact RIFIC, extremely different from Ecrans Noirs whereby, during its last edition, no one had a clue of the program of the festival two days after the opening ceremony, raises questions as to when will people take this domain of filmmaking seriously in Cameroon. The fact that Film lovers during the Ecrans Noir Festival, had to call the personnel of the festival to find out where to go and watch films during a so-called international film festival, clearly opens up a debate that the young people have understood the classically uncured behavior of some crooks who claim to be decision makers in the domain of filmmaking in Cameroon and are ready to effect change. This unprofessionally callous mentality by the organisers of Ecrans Noir is clear evidence that even a film festival does not understand the value of this noble profession (Filmmaking).
Fortunately, there are: “RIFIC, the Filmmakers in Buea, Bamenda, 237 Travelling and few others in the other regions of Cameroon” who answer the baseless questions from strange pundits who are lovers of unnecessary acclamations. RIFIC constantly reminds us every year about cinema in Cameroon as a catalyst for cultural valorisation. Cultural heritage can provide an automatic sense of unity and belonging within a group and allows us to better understand previous generations and the history of where we come from. That is why, the innovation of this year’s RIFIC goes along with a collaboration from +237 TRAVELLING, another film faction in Cameroon under the leadership of Wandji Narcisse, Paul Steve Kouonang, Evodie Ngueyeli and others. Unity is strength. A rhetoric that many elders in Cameroon hardly subscribe to, but spend precious time on lots of political ramifications over a profession (Filmmaking) that need more glory than fraudulent administrative confirmations from unscrupulous bemused swindlers over special funding by the head of state to promote arts and culture in Cameroon.
A huge reason why the former minister of culture, as Angie Fobin puts it: “… may have to explain why hundreds of millions are lacking in the coffers of the ministerial department she managed till October 2nd 2015. Her successor has just requested an audit… Oops I forgot to say, the MINFI, Alamine OUSMANE MEY has instructed his collaborators after forwarding the file to the inspectorate general to ‘urgently’ send a team to the ‘crime scene’”.
Dear Cameroonians and film lovers. Filmmaking is one of the best professions you would not want to miss being in. RIFIC is one of the best film festivals and platform you would not want to miss this year. From the 24 – 30 October 2015, you will be journeyed into an international spectrum of film Jamboree. Thanks to Goethe institut in Yaounde. Bravo RIFIC 2015.
The road may be long. The road may be dark, but joy cometh in the morning time.
Zigoto Tchaya Tchameni
International Video Consultant
Freelance Journalist & Filmmaker
Tel: +237 672 971 033
+237 242 116 073
+44 79 72 87 47 97