By Ahmed Ayanfe
Nigeria and China have mapped out ways to strengthen the movie industries of both countries as a collaborative effort at alleviating poverty in the West African country.
This was the focus of the launching of the Doc-China Festival, co-organised by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China and China Global Television Network (CGTN) in Abuja during the week.
Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry, is the second-largest film sector globally with a projected worth of $6.4 billion in 2021, and the continent’s largest in terms of value.
Cultural Affairs Counselor of the Chinese Embassy and the Director of the China Cultural Centre in Nigeria, Mr Li Xuda, in his remarks said the effort is to boost Nigerian Nollywood with some assistance to help use the platform to fight poverty in Nigeria.
Xuda said: “For many years, the Nigerian government has been working hard to lift more ordinary people out of poverty. From what I know, in 2021, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari Inaugurated the Steering Committee of the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS) to achieve his mission of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within a decade.”
At the event a documentary entitled “voices from the frontline: China’s War on Poverty” jointly produced by CGTN and the Kuhn Foundation of the United States, was presented. The documentary provided an intimate portrayal of China’s historic anti-poverty campaign, which in the last 40 years has removed over 800 million people out of extreme poverty and the lessons for Nigeria.
The collaboration was also aimed to promote the cultural exchange between China and other countries, and to provide the world a better understand China, people as well as its culture.
Over 50 of the CGTN’s best video production including award-winning documentaries will be screened at selected television channels from around the world during the Doc-China Festival, which will kick off with a grand ceremony in Beijing in June and go on till the end of this year.
Those video productions will explore themes including food, travel, people’s lives, social development etc.
Xuda said: “As we know, both China and Nigeria are large countries with developed film and television industries. There are not only many film studios, productions companies in the two countries, but also numerous excellent professional talents including screenwriters, directors and movie stars. In 2021, China’s movie industry produced over 700 movies.
“Thanks to the rising living standard and entertainment demand in China, there were over 10,000 cinemas in China. From this you can imagine how many moviegoers there are in China. The Box Office revenue was growing as well. In the same year, China reported the highest box office revenue worldwide, at over $7 billion.”
The Director, International Cultural Relations of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Memunat Ladi Idu-Lah, in her remarks praised the efforts of China in the movie industry.
She said: “China and Nigeria have huge potential for cooperation in the film industry. Nigeria film production ranks among the best in the world and China is the world’s film industry market and so we can see the collaboration.”
She noted that the Nigeria-China collaboration in the industry has a brighter future.