West African film giants eye Rwandan market


Nigerian film producer and director, Orji Zachee Ama (left) speaks to the media last week during a news conference in Kigali. Looking on is Willy Ndahiro, the director of Hillywood./ Eddie Nsabimana

Local filmmakers are set to benefit from West African film experts who are set to open a regional office in Kigali.

Representatives of the Ghana-based Nonstop African Entertainment production house are already in Kigali to set up the office premises and have started the registration process at Rwanda Development Board (RDB), to be officially permitted to operate on the Rwandan soil.

The pan-African company says it is dedicated to producing and promoting African films, while also providing support in terms of business advisory, project management and creating a pool of talented ‘edutainers.’

Prince Richard, the CEO of Nonstop African Entertainment, said the Kigali regional office will be working with filmmakers across East Africa focusing on educational entertainment skills in acting.

“We learned that Rwandan filmmakers have challenges in the aspects of production and acting through the Rwandan films we managed to watch. Through Rwandan filmmakers we have also learned that the market is still a major challenge and these are some of the things we hope to change,” said Richard.

(L-R); Prince Richard, the CEO of Nonstop African Entertainment, Nigerian film producer, Orji Zachee Ama and  Hillywood’s Willy Ndahiro during a news conference in Kigali, last week. Eddie Nsabimana 

The company has already built partnerships with filmmakers from 27 countries across Africa.

During their stay in Rwanda, the duo are also meeting local filmmakers in a three-day master class workshop to share skills with them in terms of creativity (acting, film production) and business (film content distribution).

Willy Ndahiro, the director of Hillywood and models agency, said local filmmakers will learn a lot from the workshop adding that as local film industry they will make the best out of the experience.

“Our industry has had challenges in terms of acting, film production and the distribution of our content was not that good. We really need such skills and experience from partners like Nonstop African Entertainment,” said Ndahiro.

Ndahiro said they are looking forward to making the local film industry more professional through this partnership.

Nigerian actor, director and filmmaker, Orji Zachee Ama, who is also the company’s chairman and Nollywood’s ambassador plenipotentiary to the world, said they are doing their best to put African film industry on a higher level through building strong partnership with different film industry players, like actors, producers and directors among others

“We are trying to create an ‘African Union’ in film industry and I am confident we can make use of this collaborative opportunity wisely. We want to train first and put those skills into practice in future film projects,” he said, adding that the film industry is all about sharing skills.

He added that on his part it is not only about sharing experience with Rwandan filmmakers but it is also a golden opportunity for them to learn from the country. “I always learn something everywhere I go, I can even get a story idea from which I can make a film,” he said.