×

Relativity’s Education Arm Travels to Africa in Outreach Initiative

Hollywood met Nollywood at the recently wrapped Africa Intl. Film Festival (AFRIFF) in Nigeria, where Relativity reps underscored the studio’s increased efforts to boost capacity for African filmmakers.

A day-long series of workshops, seminars, and training programs during the fest — which culminated with 20 Nigerian students being invited to the recently opened Relativity School in L.A. — showcased the studio’s commitment to global outreach.

“The architecture of storytelling has changed a lot in the last 20 years, and it’s become a lot more global,” says Michael Novak, international advisor for Relativity Education, the studio’s educational outreach program. “The focus … is to be a global center for education and media and story-telling.”

In Nigeria, the studio’s efforts are geared toward helping the prolific Nollywood industry boost production values, leverage digital and other distribution platforms, fight piracy, and tap into the continent’s largest economy to help fund the growth of an industry that the Nigerian government recently estimated to be worth $5 billion a year.

The goal, says Stephen Ozoigbo, who’s leading Relativity’s initiatives across the continent, is to lay the groundwork for Nollywood and other African film industries to become a major player in the global film biz.

Popular on Variety

“At its core, Relativity Education is looking to support the growth of African content around the world by educating the next generation of African media entrepreneurs,” says Ozoigbo. “It’s not a charity project. It’s a business project.”

On a continent that boasts some of the fastest-growing economies on the planet, he says, the potential is huge.

“Not only does Nollywood have a fledgling industry, but Nigeria and Africa also have a young population,” he adds. “It’s aspirational. It’s entrepreneurial.”

In Nigeria, the studio is in talks with AFRIFF to offer year-round capacity-building programs so that the fest is “not just a November to November” event, but part of something more sustainable. From Nov. 16-21, Relativity is hosting seven industry execs from Zimbabwe, who spent a week meeting with stakeholders and talking to possible partners in the U.S. Ozoigbo says talks are also under way with government bodies in South Africa.

 

It’s a way, he says, to lay a foundation that will benefit future generations of African filmmakers.

 

“We’re there to point them in the right direction, and also provide them with tools, resources, and access,” he says. “It’s not about the end product. It’s about the process.”

More Film

  • Ventana Sur

    Ventana Sur Sets 2020 Dates, a New Venue

    BERLIN —   Ventana Sur, the biggest film-TV industry event in Latin America – and bulwarked by a hugely popular Cannes Film Week hosted by Thierry Fremaux – has set dates for its 12th edition, and announced a new venue in Buenos Aires. Running Monday Nov. 30 to Friday Dec. 4, this year’s 12th Ventana [...]

  • Cannes VR

    Cannes Film Festival Plots Major Expansion to VR Program

    Cannes XR, the Marché du Film’s program dedicated to immersive and augmented reality content, is set to expand. For its second edition, Cannes XR has partnered with tech creator Positron and Brogent Technologies to introduce a new VR theater, dedicated space and competition. While keeping its 700-square meter exhibition space in the basement of Cannes’ [...]

  • The Italian Recipe

    Europe-China Co-Prod 'The Italian Recipe' Immune to Coronavirus (EXCLUSIVE)

    With production in China suffering a coronavirus-imposed slowdown, “The Italian Recipe” is one co-production between Europe and China that is poised to potentially capitalize on the resulting dearth of Chinese content. It is positioned to advance European cinema’s efforts to make inroads in China. “The Italian Recipe,” in which a famous Chinese pop singer travels [...]

  • Csaba Kael

    Hungarian Film Commissioner Csaba Kael on His Ambitious Plans for 'Hollywood on the Danube'

    Just months after assuming the role of Hungarian film commissioner, Csaba Káel has designs on revamping the film and television industries to boost content development and production, expand already formidable studio facilities and become a lynchpin for film and TV production and servicing that extends far beyond Budapest. Káel took up his post in September, [...]

  • Claire Denis attends the 32nd European

    Claire Denis and Phedon Papamichael Join Doha Film Institute's Qumra Lineup

    The Doha Film Institute has added French auteur Claire Denis and Oscar-nominated cinematographer Phedon Papamichael (“Nebraska”) to the lineup of star talent who will act as mentors for the Qumra Masters program during its upcoming Qumra event dedicated to fostering fresh Arab film fare that is opening up to TV projects. They join previously announced [...]

  • Persian Lessons Russian Cinema

    'Persian Lessons': Film Review

    In “Schindler’s List,” most of the actors spoke English, using accents to indicate their characters’ origins. In “Son of Saul,” the cast struggles to communicate in a mish-mosh of languages, as Jews of different nationalities were thrown together in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Stories about the Holocaust — so vital in trying to reconcile the horrors of the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content