×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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.

“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

  • International Film Festival and Awards Macao

    Macao Festival Signs Double Deals With Shanghai

    The International Film Festival & Awards Macao on Sunday signed twin agreements with institutions in Shanghai. The IFFAM, which is building towards its fourth edition in December, struck a collaboration agreement with the Shanghai International Film Festival. Separately, it is solidifying an existing informal arrangement with the Shanghai Film Art Academy concerning an exchange of [...]

  • wanda Movie Metropolis Qingdao

    Why Simon West Is Making Movies in China (EXCLUSIVE)

    British director Simon West (“Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” “Con Air,” “The Expendables 2”) is set to dive further into the Middle Kingdom at the helm of his second Chinese action-adventure blockbuster. The Wanda-backed “The Legend Hunters,” hits theaters next summer. West was brought onto the project by veteran producer Eryong, who had approached him about [...]

  • The Eight Hundred

    Chinese Research Group May Have Caused Cancellation of 'The Eight Hundred' Premiere

    Chinese authorities may have abruptly yanked the $80 million patriotic war epic “The Eight Hundred” the day before its opening-night premiere at the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival because it didn’t portray rivals of the ruling Communist Party in a sufficiently negative light, local reports said. Huayi Bros., which produced the film, had on Friday attributed [...]

  • Simon West

    Simon West Directing Chinese Tomb-Raid Movie 'Legend Hunters' (EXCLUSIVE)

    British director Simon West, who made the Angelina Jolie-starring “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” is now co-directing a Chinese tomb-raiding film. “The Legend Hunters” is the next installment in the “Mojin” universe, based on the popular fantasy novel series “Ghost Blows Out the Light.” Backed by Wanda Pictures and Beijing-based Saints Entertainment, the film is set [...]

  • Emu Runner

    Sydney Film Review: 'Emu Runner'

    Writer-director Imogen Thomas’ debut feature “Emu Runner” has and probably will play in designated family-themed strands of film festivals, and given its story of a 9-year-old Aboriginal girl who deals with grief in the wake of her mother’s death by bonding with a lone female representative of Australia’s largest native bird species, this programming strategy [...]

  • Sophia Antipolis

    Locarno in Los Angeles Film Review: 'Sophia Antipolis'

    There are two Sophias in French director Virgil Vernier’s clever, cunning, chilling fifth feature. The first is its setting, the eponymous “Sophia Antipolis,” a technology park in the south of France, a place self-consciously designed as an experiment in social engineering, where an international community of professionals would, it was hoped, create an environment of [...]

  • I Lost My Body

    Netflix Pickup ‘I Lost My Body,’ ‘Buñuel,’ ‘Away’ Top Annecy Festival

    ANNECY, France  — Fulfilling expectations, Jeremy Clapin’s “I Lost My Body, the subject of one of the highest-profile Netflix deals at this year’s Cannes, won this Saturday the Annecy Festival’s top Cristal Award of best feature plus, in a relatively rare Annecy double whammy, the festival’s Audience Award. The first was expected, the second a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content