Interview: “Men See Film Production As Meant For Them”

Angu Chi Elizabeth, film actress and President of the Producers’ Guild of Cameroon, talks on the eforts of women to produce home movies.

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Who is Angu Chi Elizabeth and how did you get in to film production?

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I am a teacher by profession. I am currently the Vice Principal of Government High School, Choubou-Mbu in Santa Subdivision, Mezam Division of the North West Region. I am married with four kids, all adults. I am a film producer and actress. I am also the President of the Producers’ Guild of Cameroon. I was pioneer board member of the Cameroon Film Industry from 2008 to 2016. I have travelled to several countries for film festivals where I interacted with other film makers. I am also a political figure, etc.

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I developed interest in films in 2003 during the influx of Nigerian movies into Cameroon. I rented almost all the movies that were brought to town each week. I started film production in 2004, with “The Ghost Son,” which sold both nationally and internationally. Then followed “Bih Kaba,” on the procedures for giving out girls into marriage and what it takes to become a

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traditional successor.

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The film won many national and international awards, including the Life Time Press Award for the “Best Female Film Producer” in Cameron in 2010. My other films are “Love Battle,” “Rose of May,” “Lost Game,” “Maya” and “Cobweb,” a satire on the church. So far, I have produced seven movies and a 52-episode television serial, “After The Wind.”

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What challenges do you encounter in producing films and how do you overcome them?

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I have to compete with men who see film production as meant for them. There is lack of equipment, with the few available ones hired at exorbitant cost. Moreover, there is no government assistance, making it impossible to come up with quality movies. I have overcome these challenges by raising money from thrift and loan groups (“Njangis”) and banks. Sometimes, I don’t break even at the end of a production, even though I write and produce my own movies. As film producers, we often meet to share ideas and improve the quality of our movies.

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What advice would you give young girls wishing to become film producers?

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I advise them to be courageous and ready to learn. There is nothing a woman cannot do if she is interested. They should be bold, brave and above all, be very vigilant to avoid being deceived by men who claim to know everything. They should also collaborate more with other film makers, producers and directors in order to learn and practise the art properly.

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