Producer and founder of the Africa International Film Festival, Chioma Ude, has announced a 50-50 partnership with Morocco’s Oasis Studios, a thriving production hub which will be used as a launch pad for African filmmakers. A Moroccan producer, Khadija Alami, who has produced many Hollywood films will be part of the project.
Since founding AFRIFF in 2010, Ude has transformed it into one of the continent’s leading showcases for African cinema. She also stated that she believes the partnership will birth the new film narrative she describes as ‘The African Global Cinema’— a blend of filmmaking where African talents will synergise skills with the best international techniques.
Sitting on the fringes of the Sahara Desert, the studio hosts over 12,000 square meters of built sets, a 300 square meter sound stage, studio and post-production facilities and production offices. Since it was opened in 2010, the studio has been used to film Terrence Malick’s ‘The Way of the Wind’, the U.S.-Moroccan action movie, ‘Redemption Day’, starring Andy Garcia; and ‘Baghdad Central’ for the United Kingdom-based Channel 4.
According to a statement by Ude, principal photography has been concluded on the first two productions to come out of the partnership, with two more currently in development. Also underway is a writing lab and residence that is hosting five Moroccan and six Nigerian filmmakers, who are looking to conceive and develop additional scripts.
Alami, who has line-produced and produced more than 50 international productions, including Showtime’s ‘Homeland’, Fox’s ‘Prison Break’ and Paul Greengrass’ ‘Captain Phillips’, described the pact with her Nigerian partner to produce African films with a global appeal as a great step in the right direction.
She said, “A lot of foreigners don’t think of Morocco as being part of Africa. But, we are part of the continent and our stories, even if they are a bit different, have a common root.”
The duo also reiterated their belief that the partnership would encourage greater collaboration between African filmmakers, who frequently turn to Europe and North America for production and post-production.
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