President Goodluck Jonathan has called on African filmmakers to endeavour to use the platform of their works and talents to promote the cultural heritage and traditions of the black people.
The President made the call while declaring open this year’s edition of the prestigious Africa International Film Festival, which is holding in Calabar, Cross River State. Speaking through the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, High Chief Edem Duke, Jonathan commended the film makers for not only using their crafts to reposition the place of the black people in the comity of nation, but also for ensuring that the rest of the world see Africa truly in the light that is appropriate for the continent.
His words: “It is my believe that it is proper to acknowledge and celebrate all of you who in your different and various roles have weaved together the story of Africa, its trials, triumphs and joys that reposition us in the comity of nations and ensured that the western world sees Africa truly in the light that is appropriate for us.
“It is my expectation that we will be celebrating till the end of this week, some wonderful films and talented personalities.
“It is my hope that we should continue to use the platform of your movies to promote the culture and the traditions of Africa.
“Also, it is my believe that as we continue to venture into growing this sector and redefining its place in the global movie industry.
“We will continue to give credence to those positive attributes of Africa, those important value systems that we have overtime promoted and projected.
“Oftentimes, people have criticised us that for some of our films.
“We spend a lot of time exploring themes of tragedies and such story lines that do not extremely celebrate our cultural values.
“But I thereby state that at end of each and every such story, there is always a bottomline of good triumphing over evil and that is the value system and the true story of Africa.
“I believe that it is in the realization of that the western world has today moved away from the era of “Dracula” that we used to know, to the Spider-Man of today.
“A force of justice and positivity over that of evil.”
The festival, which opened with the screening of a controversial documentary film on the recent political struggle in Egypt, titled: “The Square,” will end on November 19.
In attendance were movie stars and stakeholders, including the First Lady of Cross River State, Obioma Liyel-Imoke; veteran film maker, Tunde Kelani; Mahmud Ali-Balogun; Charles Novia; and Rita Dominic.