Mokolo team took part in the iREPRESENT International Documentary Film Festival and were invited to speak at the Producers Roundtable forum. The Producers Roundtable is a forum that brings international filmmakers and producers together in an extensive discussion that covers areas such as international collaborations and co-productions, film distribution, publicity and marketing international best practices and prevailing industry trends.
Since its inauguration in 2011, the forum has attracted notable international filmmakers and producers as well as national and state film organisations, government agencies and arts and culture departments of embassies in Nigeria.
The theme for this year’s festival was: REINVENTING DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING IN A DIGITAL SPACE; held at Freedom Park, Lagos Island.
The Producers’ Roundtable was opened up by the executive Director of the festival, who gave his opening remarks before opening up the floor for the guest panellists.
The Executive Director of the iREP film festival, Mr Femi Odugbemi, stated that “For documentary filmmaking, digital technology presents a challenge and an opportunity that would either remarkably transform and redefine what passes as a documentary film or bury the art in its past. More than ever before, there is a need to reinvent the art of documentary filmmaking within the space of the new elements that are dictating the trend of media consumption and experience globally. We are also conscious of the inevitable movement of Television broadcasting and services into full digital era’’.
This then led to a very lively discussion of how documentary filmmaking is changing the rules in the realm of filmmaking and the changes that would be made in the future towards the production and classification of documentaries and documentary filmmakers. For Mokolo, this was a very exciting opportunity, as our platform exists to serve the needs of the people and the audiences that constituted the Producer’s roundtable.
Mokolo was also privileged to be one of the panel speakers at the Roundtable, along with other panellists; Mahmoud Ali-Balogun, renowned filmmaker and Chairman of the AVRS (Audio Visual Rights Society), as well as Chike Maduegbuna, CEO, of the VoD platform, Afrinolly. Mokolo gave a presentation about the progress and expansion of its operations and its plans to officially launch by December 2015. The team gave a concise explanation to the audience on the different platforms it will be operating and the ways in which it would be beneficial for every stakeholder in the African film industry from Directors to Film students through to those working back end roles. The team spoke about the reason for the delay in getting the website up and running and its project plans for the immediate future. The team consisted of the Project Manager, the Web Content Manager and the Media & Communications Manager. The Project Manager spoke about the origins of the Mokolo Project, its aims and its vision. He explained that the project had finally received a grant in which to move forward with its operations, which it had lacked in the past. The Content Manager then spoke about the layout of the website and the different platforms, Mokolo.pro, Mokolo.labs & Mokolo.tv, users would be able to benefit from. The Media & Communications Manager spoke to the audience about ways in which they could get involved with the project.
Mahmoud Ali-Balogun, spoke about the Audio Visual Rights Society of Nigeria and about the importance of getting your work copyrighted and getting an AVRS license. He gave an explanation that producers, directors, writers of cinematograph works as well as lead actors and actresses will now have their work protected by the Copyright Act, and that for any public body to use their work they would have to pay license fees. This means that when a film is played in public, producers, directors, writers, lead actors and actresses are entitled to be compensated because it supports their livelihood. Without the AVRS, businesses that use films in public would have to get permission from every individual producer, director, lead actor for every film work they intend to use, and they would have to pay them directly. So, AVRS simplifies this complex process through movies copyright licenses.
Chike Maduegbuna, the final speaker, talked about the VOD company’s progress and partnerships made in Durban, South Africa. He explained that Afrinolly had discovered a loophole in their marketing strategy they felt other VoD companies weren’t exploring. He stated that he had discovered that rather than offering movies to consumers where they may not want to pay for their movies via putting inputting their bank details on their mobile phones; they had decided to work with mobile telephone company operators to develop a mutually beneficial partnership, where consumers could use their credit or airtime to safely and easily pay for their movies.