So Iwas in Berlin for 10 days attending the Babylon International 2011 Script Development Workshop and what a trip that was! My first time in Europe (airport transits not included!) and certainly my first in a country where i ABSOLUTELY don’t speak the language, and don’t resemble ANY of the natives in the least! That was a trip. There’s a certain amount of confidence it takes to walk down the street on sheer faith, trusting you won’t mistakenly flip someone off and get jumped by skinheads, but its another to feel hungry and stare at a menu that might as well be in hieroglyphics and not even know how to mime what it is that you want. Yeah, no “arroz con pollo” or “pad thai” to be found. Def need to step up that game.
The workshop was pretty excellent, I had fabulous mentors and consultants (big up John Akomfrah and Tony Dennis!) who shared alot and great teammates too. Great to see people really doing their thang and getting their indie film on. Lots of women with super powerful stories and all getting geared up to do some shooting in Nigeria later this year. Nollywood, here I come baby!
It was really interesting to be in an environment where there are funds and “plans” and such for African film. In the USA that just doesn’t exist, short of using Africa as an exotic [or cheap] location. And yeah, I’m sure there’s plenty of strings attached in Europe too, but still: the idea of being an ‘African filmmaker’ isn’t just an interesting thing to talk about over cocktails like the idea of building a sheep-led republic in the Atlantic somewhere. It could actually happen! And i won’t have to cast Mo’Nique with a fake-ass accent as the gritty heroine from Kibera slums either to get non-Africans to watch it! Sounds like a plan to me!
Okay, pictures below!