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2024 Chinese Film Festival: Platform for cultural exchanges

StarTimes Nigeria, in collaboration with the Chinese Embassy, at the weekend, launched the 2024 Chinese Film Festival in Abuja.  The event, attended by dignitaries showcased…

StarTimes Nigeria, in collaboration with the Chinese Embassy, at the weekend, launched the 2024 Chinese Film Festival in Abuja. 

The event, attended by dignitaries showcased the strong cultural ties between China and Nigeria.

Mr. Joshua Wang, CEO of StarTimes Nigeria, expressed his enthusiasm for the festival, highlighting its role in fostering cultural exchange. 

“This festival is a celebration of the deep-rooted friendship between China and Nigeria,” he stated. “It’s a testament to our shared love for storytelling and our appreciation for diverse cultures and our commitment to strengthening the bonds between our two nations”. 

After the opening ceremony, a film, YOLO, was screened for the audience. Wang said it is the highest-grossing Chinese film in 2024.

Other films line up for the festival were: Speedy Life 2, Jue Ji, Green Face Shura (starring Feng Shaofeng and Hu Jun) and Samurai God Order (starring Chen Kun and Zhou Xun).

Dragon Horse Spirit (by Jackie Chan), Golden Finger (Starring Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Andy Lau) and Tian Long Eight Parts: The Biography of Qiao Feng (featuring Donnie Yen) completed the list.

According to Wang, “Nigerian viewers can catch these amazing films on various platforms, the Nigerian National Television Channel (NTA Entertainment CH105), and through StarTimes channels – both on ST Sino Drama (CH058) and StarTimes-ON mobile app.”

StarTimes Connection

As one of the leading digital TV operators in Nigeria, serving 4.5 million subscribers, StarTimes has done a lot of work to promote the cultural exchange between China and Nigeria. 

We have introduced so many Chinese excellent movies, dramas, and series to the Nigerian audience through ST Kungfu, Sino drama and our local partner channels,” said Wang. 

Furthermore, the digital TV operator has dubbed Chinese content to Hausa and Yoruba for a better understanding of the locals. 

“Of course, we keep strengthening our local content, especially Nollywood movies. We have ST Nollywood Epic, ST Nollywood Plus, PBO TV, AMC Movie, Orisun, ST Yoruba, ST Dadin Kowa and so on. 

“Last year, we made huge investment in the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL),” he said.

The Nigerian film industry, is one of the largest and most prolific film industries in the world. It has gained international attention for its rapid growth, unique storytelling, and cultural impact. 

It is a significant contributor to Nigeria’s economy, providing employment for thousands of people, including actors, directors, producers, and crew members alike. The industry generates substantial revenue through film sales, exports, and related activities. 

In terms of global Influence, the Nigerian film industry has had a considerable cultural impact, influencing fashion, music, and language across Africa and among the African diaspora.

While speaking, Mr. Li Xu Da, Cultural Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria acknowledged the popularity of the Nigerian film industry, popularly called Nollywood, saying it is the second-largest film industry in the world in terms of volume.

“Most of us know that Nollywood is the second largest film industry in the world, in terms of volume. 

“Although Nollywood is popular across Africa, Europe and America, it has yet to gain effective access to the vast Chinese market. Some of us know that China now becomes the world’s second-largest film market. 

“Here I want to emphasize that Nollywood is important for China, Chinese film market will be more open to Nollywood.

“Today before I entered this Cinema, I met a Nigerian friend who got to know that I’m one of the organisers of the Chinese Film Festival, so he asked me a question: ‘Why do you put so much effort into organising a Chinese Film festival in Nigeria?’ I told him that the purpose of this Film Festival is to promote the understanding of diversity and harmony of our colourful culture, open a window for Nigerian people to know more about real China and her people, create an important platform to enhance the cultural exchange and cooperation in the film industry between two countries, build a bridge of friendship to deepen the good relations between us.”

On her part, Ms Dorothy Duruaku, the Director of the International Tourism Promotion and Cooperation Department, Federal Ministry of Tourism, said the festival is a reflection of the rich cultural heritage and imaginative spirit that unite mankind. 

“Festivals such as this is not just an event; it is a confluence of creativity, passion, and storytelling and a testament to the incredible talent and hard work of Chinese filmmakers who poured their heart and soul into their craft”, she said.

Ms Duruaku said the Chinese Film Festival had over the years played an increasingly significant role in promoting the overseas trade of Chinese films and facilitating exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and other countries, particularly foreign filmmakers, while offering global audiences a multifaceted view of China’s rich cultural landscape and providing a window into the evolution of Chinese cinema.

She said: “The festival today serves not only as a symbol of goodwill for Nigeria-China relations but also as a testament to the indomitable spirit of perseverance and ambition. It marks a significant milestone and a platform for fostering deeper cross-cultural ties between China and Nigeria. 

“Film festivals across the world offer a limitless benefit to various stakeholders, including filmmakers, audiences, local communities and the broader film industry.”

It is hoped that through this film festival, China-Nigeria cultural exchanges and cooperation will be further deepened.


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