Friday, August 22, 2014

‘Cinekambiya’: It’s Gambia’s Film Industry

The West African country’s fledgling film industry had no previously recognised name, according to TNBES research.
Film Producer, Director and Creative Industry Strategist, Prince Bubacarr Aminata Sankanu has announced a name for Gambia’s film industry, Cinekambia, a coined term that stands for cinema arts named after the River Gambia.

“I coined the name CINEKAMBIYA for our own film industry to stand out and celebrate our Gambian peculiarities. CINE is a short form of “CINEMA ARTS” and “KAMBIYA” is the traditional Mandinka name of “KAMBIYA BOLONGHO” to also mean “Land of River Gambia,” Sankanu explains.

He also unveiled the official logo [due for launch] of the Gambian film industry designed by James Kolawole.

The West African country’s fledgling film industry had no previously recognised name, according to TNBES research.

While India, Nigeria and Ghana had adopted the “wood” suffix as in Hollywood, but Sankanu argues The Gambia should follow its own unique path.

“There is no international law or convention that makes it compulsory for every film industry in the world to have the "wood" suffix on its name as with the Hollywood, “bollywood” “nollywood” and “gollywood” bandwagons,” the producer said in a statement Tuesday.

“We in The Gambia should follow our own unique path while embracing the best practices from across the globe. Hollywood has the star system. The Nigerians have the marketer system. The French and other Europeans have the director system. We in The Gambia are going to have the producer system in our CINEKAMBIYA industry,” he said.

The Germany-based Gambian filmmaker said officials at the country’s National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) have approve the CINEKAMBIYA name and his related proposals for the development of “our national film industry.”

Also, he said the inter-ministerial Standing Committee on Beauty Pageants and Production of Movies are considering his draft “Gambia National Film Policy Framework” and “Code of Ethics” for practitioners.

The draft is being used as working documents for guidelines for Gambia’s audio visual and creative industry that will be tabled before the Minister of Tourism and Culture for “highest level approval” and integration into the national development blueprint.

Film industries cannot be built overnight, Sankanu said, so “I am putting the structure firsts.”

In November 2012, Sankanu announced “The Woman In A Black Jacket”, a film project he set in motion, is one of two movies to be shot in The Gambia.

The movie is about the menace of rape, a sensitive and major topic around the world, and Sankanu said talking about it (rape) is about placing the mirror before society to look at this issue which cannot be buried under the carpet.


Written by Modou S. Joof

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