Last night, the 90th Academy Awards (Oscars) took place in the United States. The Academy Awards has, over 90 years, been a ceremony where innovation and creativity in the film industry is celebrated and awarded. Watching directors, actors, writers and among others receiving awards for their ingenuity and forward thinking leaves a lot of questions in the mind of an African youth.
Looking at the nominated movies and eventually the movies that won, it is easy to see why they are so acclaimed. It is, however, very sad to see that Africa has featured in the Oscars a total of nine times, with the last nomination being in 2014 for a Mauritanian film called Timbuktu and the last win being in 2005 for the South African film, Tsotsi.
Africa has amazing potential. In the world of internet banking and evolving into a cashless society, Africa is steadily gaining ground. However in the world of movies and production we seem to be lagging behind. It is breathtaking to watch the behind the scenes footage of the Oscar nominated films and see the amount of technology and talent (not only those of the actors) that goes into making a film, not just Oscar worthy but worthy of any award.
Maybe it is time we not only make films for local audiences but for international audiences as well. The world is ready to listen to the stories of Africa, whether it be in English or any of our local languages. Africa has amazing stories to tell, stories that are unique to the people and the continent, stories that exhibit certain realities that the rest of the world does not have to face. It is up to us to tell stories that are not only captivating but that incorporate visuals, music and the best of our technology to come together to represent Africa for the world to see.