Martial Kouamo Nkengne: “Young people need to learn”

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The Director of the Festival of Educative Cinema Komane talks about the philosophy of this event and announces the peculiarities of the 5th edition planned from 7 to 9 February 2019 in the city of Dschang, in Cameroon…

You are the promoter of the “Komane” festival. Tell us about this concept.

The concept of the Komane festival is simply how to educate through cinema. The word komane is composed of “Koman” and “E” to educate? And the answeris no doubt by the cinema. The Komane festival takes place over three (03) days in the town of Dschang. It takes place once every year in February, before February 11th. It has several points of articulation: an opening parade at the nautical base of Dschang, followed by the projection of the opening films for the first day. On the second day, Komane has a disease awareness campaign (this year we will talk about stroke and cardiac massage). This campaign takes place in a college or high school in the city of Dschang. Then a guided tour is made in the Menoua Division in a bid to discover the history of our chiefdoms. Then follows a press conference and the continuation of the screenings of the films in competition. It must be said here that during the course of the event a training workshop takes place simultaneously. Finally on the third day, Komane offers a guided tourist circuit located in the Menoua Division. This last day ends with the awards ceremony for the various winners.

To what needs is this educational festival to answer?

The Komane answers to several needs. It should be noted here that Dschang is a student town, lacking in audio visual and cinematographic activities. Komane is the only festival of its kind throughout the department. The young people who, according to the mayor’s words, make up nearly 80% of the population, have distractions only from gambling and alcohol. They need to be entertained, to learn the profession of cinema and to see the works of filmmakers from here and elsewhere: the Komane Festival offers them this opportunity once a year. Also, for the filmmakers themselves, Komane gives them a unique opportunity to share with the public of Menoua Division, their knowledge, their experience and above all to exchange among themselves on the need to make films more educational than others. For distributors and broadcasters, they discover during the Komane, talents and products that can be negotiated at a good price for a TV program or for other purposes of exploitation.

What is the objective sought by this project?

The objective sought by Komane has two folds. The first part is to educate the youths about the power of a film on them, to raise awareness of it in relation to being and to appear, and above all to propose them to discover our touristic sites, our customs and traditions so that they can appropriate it. The second component is the grouping of scriptwriters, directors, producers, distributors, actors and all other audio visual and film professions to ensure that an educational film policy is set up by mutual agreement for reach the target. The bringing together of the young public through the awareness campaigns aims to bring them back to our film screenings followed by educational talks, and that the tourist circuit is a call to the film makers so that our films portrays the desire to do tourism in Cameroon by Cameroonians first and the rest of the world thereafter.

How do you measure the impact of your festival on your environment?

The impact of the Komane festival is felt through the adherence of the people, through the timid attendance of the administrators of certain schools, to the accession of certain traditional leaders, through the institutional accompaniment visible by The presence, at each edition, of the representatives of the Minister of Arts and Culture, through the public more numerous each year… We are only on the eve of the 5th edition so much remains to be done and improved upon. What is seen today will be bigger tomorrow.

You said you wanted to call on the film makers to deal more with  themes that could help raise awareness and educate. Do you feel that they are receptive to this message?

The feeling that they are receptive to this message on the themes that can help raise awareness and educate is shared. Shared in the sense that some give the impression that this thought does not have a place because every film has a lesson, while others think that this kind of film is not saleable. At the end, we still agree that there are films that are more educative than others and that the way of dealing with the subject, writing the screenplay and making the film can make it possible to sell these types of films. In some editions of the Komane, we will see together at what level their position is in relation to this current thought.

You are preparing the 5th edition of the Komane Educational Festival. How are preparations unfolding?

The preparations for edition 5 of the Komane Educational festival are going on well. We have already received over twenty-five (25) films that are currently being screened. The actors of the opening parade are in full rehearsal, the chiefdom which will have the honour to receive the guests of the komane is still in negotiation as well as the tourist circuit, but it is on the right track. The trophies of the komane, of unchallenged originality, are in the finishing phase.

What will be the peculiarities of this 5th edition?

The peculiarities of this 5th edition is first of all the Godfather of this edition of Komane. He is a comedian, producer, man with several titles by the name Jean de Dieu TCHEGNEBE whose artist name Man NO LAP. Other peculiarities are: the projection of films in schools and the projection of films in a company of the city.

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