columnBy Justice Ilevbare
Cannes, France — The global economic meltdown may have been responsible for the low attendance recorded at this year's on-going festival de Cannes in France.
Unlike in the past, this year's festival which is regarded as one of the biggest film festivals in the world fell short of the usual bustling nature with just a handful of participants at the event.
The Nigerian pavilion, known to have hosted huge numbers of attendees at the festival, also fell short of expectations with no serious activities in place.
Movie producer, director and organiser of the Lagos International Film, Madu Chikwendu, described this year's festival as "low keyed".
The reason for this, he said, might be the global meltdown which had taken its toll on several areas of life. "To be candid, attendance at this year's festival is very low when compared to the previous editions. The pavilions are empty, souvenirs are not available as it used to be and there are not many parties as before," he said.
But he was not disappointed. "Having attended the film festivals for many years, I came with a purpose in mind and so far I am not disappointed," he said.
Chikwendu, who said the festival had afforded him the opportunity to seal a deal with a UK broadcaster on the production of films, added that there have been useful meetings with the Motion Picture Association of America with a view to getting them to collaborate on anti-piracy crusade.
Corroborating, Fidelis Duker, another film producer, also described the attendance at the on-going festival as "falling short of expectations."
On films screened so far, Mahmood Alli Balogun, a film maker said the films screened so far were not as impressive as it should be. "I have seen not less than eight movies and I am not so impressed about their storyline," he added.The 2009 film festival which opened last Wednesday, entered day 5 yesterday with several films screened.