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ION in Press

Source: Asians in Media

Bollywood to meet Nollywood at film festival

October 29, 2009
by Joyeeta Basu
Freelance Writer

For the first time the ION International Film Festival will bring together two of the world’s largest film industries at the vibrant Port Harcourt: from India and Nigeria.

The event, Connecting Bollywood to Nollywood , will seek to explore collaboration possibilities between the two giants of celluloid.

After Hollywood, Mumbai-based Bollywood produces the world’s largest number of feature films. Rapidly-growing Nollywood comes close on heels as the third largest.

Programme Consultant Parminder Vir OBE of Omcomm, who is producing the event, said, “There is much Nollywood can learn from working with the Indian film and media industry and I am delighted to be making the connections.”

The movie industries, besides their billion-dollar earnings, have other similarities that run deep. Both thrived in the absence of government support and contribute substantially to the wealth of their nations.

They generate huge employment opportunities and both make films that reflect their regional realities.

Parminder Vir added: “For over fifty years, African audiences have watched Bollywood movies and embraced their fashion, songs and stories. The ease with which Nigerians recall names of Bollywood stars and dialogues amaze me. Over the years, I have become a great admirer of Nollywood, which has the similar ‘can do’ attitude of Bollywood.”

She added that an Indian film celebrity will be flown in for the event. Panel discussions to encourage creative and financial enterprises between the industries are also part of the agenda.

The festival will be held from 9th – 12th December. It will feature independent films, documentaries, animation, music videos and student films.

Each year ION is held in a different location to promote global awareness and unity. IONIFF 2007 was hosted in Hollywood and in 2008 it was celebrated in Dubai. After Port Harcourt, it will move to Istanbul in 2010.

Earlier this year, the Indian High Commission of Nigeria had announced a film festival on similar lines. The event will seek to commemorate India’s 60th and Nigeria’s 50th Independence anniversaries.

It is scheduled for January 2010 and is expected to strengthen cultural and economic ties between the two countries. Mahesh Sachdev, Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria said the result of the partnership is likely to benefit 1.1 billion Indians and 140 million Nigerians.

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