Created in 2010 by Frenchman Alain Modo and Cameroonian Jean Hubert Nankam, the international African film and fiction distribution company (DIFFA) aims to raise the level of African cinema by promoting and popularising it in the international scale. The editorial team of Lebledparle met Alain Modo co-founder of DIFFA at the Black Screens 2016. Here, he dwells on the missions and challenges of DIFFA
What motivated you to participate in this festival?
It’s the first time. I knew this event long way back. It really is not known everywhere. But this is the 20th edition and I decided to be there. We talked with Bassek Ba Kobiho and my partner Jean Hubert Nankam who is the co founder of DIFFA. We first came to promote DIFFA and also meet many African and Cameroonian creators. Get movies and series distributed or projects so as to help local producers to exist on the international market.
What’s the concept DIFFA?
It is a distribution company which now comprises 70 African producers from 26 countries, more of the directors and producers of the diaspora who have settled in Brazil, Los Angeles, London, Paris etc. We have over 700 hours of African programmes (movies, series, magazine, documentary) which we sell on the international market in order to raise money for producers. The goal when I created DIFFA with Jean Hubert Nankam, it was really to launch something for the sustainable development of African cinema. DIFFA intends to circulate the programmes, make them known to customers and also make known the creators and actors, and especially to trace the benefits of the international market.
How is the choice of films made? Do you go to the creators?
It’s a bit of both. I am very active on social networks. It allows me to meet a lot of people. I managed to have many rendez-vous through this channel.
Where are you based?
We have offices in Paris and a subsidiary in Abidjan. For now, I travel a lot around Africa. We are thinking of opening an office in Nairobi, Kenya for the English-speaking part of Africa
Since when do you exist?
This is a brand that was launched in 2010 with the support of the International Organisation of the Francophonie. In 2016, we signed a partnership with Lagardère, an international company based in Paris and is into distribution and production.
Focus a little bit to you. Who is Alain Modo? It is a name that we do not hear enough in the movie.
I’m not a filmmaker or director or writer even less comedian (Smiles). I am a consultant. I worked in Africa for many years. I have embarked on several missions. I have for many years in Europe, represented producers. My consultant eye is the knowledge of the film industry, distribution and production. There is also the economic model: model of support and funding. This is what is to be done in Africa. I do not want to do it like a white man who will explain to Blacks how it is done. One day, there was a tender of the International Organisation of the Francophonie on the revival of the distribution, I called all my collaborators, we set up a small catalogue and this is how we launched DIFFA .
As a consultant. Why is the African cinema slow to take off, especially the black African cinema? Some think it is the training of actors …
No! It is the lack of funding, it is the lack of courage of televisions that use telenovelas given to them easily. It’s easier for them to have the courage to broadcast African works.
Interview with Yves Martial Tientcheu, Lebledparle.com