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Strengthening African Filmmakers’ Presence at Cannes

Karine Barclais, founder of Pavillon Afriques, is pushing for a larger African presence at the Cannes Film Festival through a more extensive pavilion in the International Village. She encourages filmmakers to submit their films to increase African representation. “If every African nation submits five films annually, breakthroughs are inevitable,” Barclais stated.

Pavillon Afriques, a 100 square-meter space in the International Village, represents ten Sub-Saharan African countries, including South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission. “I hope to see the same countries returning each year,” Barclais mentioned. “Securing a pavilion is challenging due to limited space; a country must decide not to come.”

Following Saudi Arabia’s exit, Pavillon Afriques made its debut in 2019, with this year’s slot costing $90,000 from a $500,000 budget. Initially funded privately, this year’s pavilion is sponsored by RedTV, a broadcaster based in Nigeria. Barclais urges African filmmakers and executives to attend Cannes to raise the profile of Sub-Saharan Africa’s film industry. “I want African professionals to empower themselves, contribute to the pavilion’s financing, and bring their local media.”

Strengthening African Filmmakers’ Presence at Cannes

Highlighted Program Events

On May 19th, there was a panel on film financing featuring industry experts like Nicky Weinstock and Lisa Osinloye, moderated by Osahon Akpata. The same day included a spotlight on developing children and animation content by Firdoze Bulbulia.


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