Where are the demonstrators?
It is good to know that the annual ritual of demonstrators storming the festival ground is absent this year. Or at least, no demonstration has been staged anywhere near the festival, though train workers were on partial strike on Saturday. It seems thee government of France have been attending to the grievances of the labour unions before the festival. This will confirm Michael Moore's assertion in his film Sicko, where he compared the American and French governments: "in France, the government is afraid of the people, in America, the people are afraid of the government".
Cannes Festival site: so so soon!
It is true that the Cannes film festival 2007 organisers advertised the creation of a new web site to coincide with the 60th anniversary. But what is strange is that access to some materials on this new and improved site is met with "will be available soon". This, happening even five days after the festival started, is not commendable. The energetic Christine AimĂ© and her press team may have some explanations to make after the festival. For now, Christine, Sandra and all are neck deep in the festival that reviews on the festival may not grab their attention.
Pavilion 111 is alive!
The Nigerian pavilion came in full steam four days after the commencement of the festival. The internet service is ready and working! The telephone line is working; a printer has been brought in along with Video and DVD players. The members of Panafrican film critics association, AFFC / FACC [African Federation of Film Critics / FĂ©dĂ©ration Africaine de la Critique CinĂ©matographique], held a meeting at the pavilion on Saturday for about one hour. In attendance were Steve Ayorinde (Vice-President of the Nigerian section), Onoshe Nwabuikwu (Treasurer), Olumide Iyanda of Daily Independent, Rose Peters of the Nigerian Television Authority (is this authority tag still in tune today?), and Tunde Oladunjoye (Moderator, African Film Forum). From the International Section were Olivier Barlet (Africultures, France), and Hassouna Mansouri from Tunisia, who is also FIPRESCI International's Vice President for Africa. The host, Nigerian Film Corporation was very generous with can Coke and snacks served Oluranti Babatunde of NFC's Industry Support department.
Afolabi, where is the 8billion?
The Director of Nigeria's film Corporation, Mr. Afolabi Adesanya is no doubt enjoying Nigeria's first outing here as he attends to different enquiries and invitations at the Nigeria pavilion 111. He granted an interview to the popular free newspaper, Metro. The interview with Afolabi, titled Nollywood Player was on page 12 of the Sunday, May 20 edition of the newspaper. Its promo on the cover page had Afolabi's picture. The worry by some Nigerian journalists here however, is the figure of 50 million Euros, which the man told Metro "would be spent by Nigerian government in 2007 to promote and support the national movie industry". Translated to naira, that is about N8 billion! Oga Afolabi must crosscheck his figures.