The Nigeria-South Africa Audiovisual Forum (NSAF) has been established to implement the audiovisual cooperation agreement signed by Presidents Muhammadu Buhari and Cyril Ramaphosa at the 10th session of the Bi-National Commission in Abuja in November 2021.
To fast-track the commencement and implementation of the provisions contained in the agreement, stakeholders deliberated extensively and issued a joint communique at the Johannesburg Film Festival, which ended earlier this month.
In attendance at the meetings included the Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), Dr Chidia Maduekwe, filmmakers Mallam Abdulkareem, Ugochi Akudo-Nwosu, Consular General of the South African Embassy in Nigeria, Dr. Bobby Monroe, Terrence Khumalo, and Festival Director, Jo’burg Film Festival, Bongiwe Selane.
A communique issued by both countries stated that NSAF would, among others, initiate, consult and implement joint domestic and cross-border film development and cooperation activities sustainably in both countries. The forum will also explore (where non-existent) platforms for mounting film-related activities, including but not limited to conferences, workshops, seminars, training and capacity building, and co-production projects.
It was also agreed that the NFC’s Zuma Film Festival will provide the platform for coordinating official inter-country audiovisual festival engagements with a distinct annual “Nigeria-South Africa Audiovisual Forum” bi-national engagement.
In the same vein, the National Film & Video Foundation (NFVF) will ensure the provision of a platform in South Africa for the hosting of the Nigeria-South Africa Film Festival, with the choice of the Durban International Film Festival/Durban Film Mart Institute as a follow-up platform for the implementation of the agreement by NFC/NFVF, the two implementation agencies of the audiovisual agreement.
NFC and NFVF, within their national jurisprudence, are expected to fast-track the full activation and implementation of the agreement by July 2023 with the launch of the ‘Audiovisual Co-Production Procedure & Practice Handbook’ at the Durban Film Festival/Durban Film Market in South Africa.
Stakeholders also agreed that all pre and post-activation activities and processes should predominantly promote bilateral and cultural relationships to strengthen the bond between Nigeria and South Africa.
While the two implementation agencies shall endeavour to secure the cooperation and assistance of diplomatic missions of both nations to ease inter-country engagements by filmmakers, both shall encourage the complete optimisation of all processes, programs and projects contained in the agreement to serve as a springboard for enhanced, formal and more bilateral and multilateral film cooperation agreements in Africa.