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Africa Entertainment News of Saturday, 12 June 2021


Cameroon’s Netflix boost big win for English-speaking minority

The Fisherman's Diary attracted large international appeal for addressing the right to education The Fisherman's Diary attracted large international appeal for addressing the right to education

This month marks another milestone for Cameroon’s growing film industry, with two more movies set to premiere on Netflix.

A Man for the Weekend, a romantic comedy about a career-driven woman asking a colleague to pose as her boyfriend for a family reunion, is set to begin showing on the global platform on June 16. It will be followed by Broken, the story of a woman running away from marriage while putting her father’s company and her reputation on the line, on June 22.

The acquisitions bring to fore the number of Cameroonian films on the United States-based streaming giant, after Therapy and The Fisherman’s Diary became available earlier this year.

“I definitely knew this moment would come,” said Ndamo Damarise, who played Teacher Bihbih in The Fisherman’s Diary, a critically acclaimed drama about a 12-year-old child called Ekah.

Inspired by Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, Ekah defies the odds to go to school in a fishing community where girl-child education is a taboo.
“I feel proud and elated to be part of this movement which hasn’t just gained global recognition, but has inspired so many lives positively by addressing very sensitive and burning issues in our community,” Damarise said.

‘We believed in our creativity’

The Fisherman’s Diary, which was pre-selected in the 2021 Oscars, attracted large international appeal for addressing the right to education.

It has won dozens of awards around the world, including eight at the 2020 Golden Movie Awards Africa (GMAA) in Ghana and four at the International Film Festival of Ahmednagar in India, including best film of 2021.

“We never, ever, saw ourselves getting this far,” said Kang Quintus, producer of The Fisherman’s Dairy. “It’s quite an achievement for Cameroon, that every Cameroonian should be proud of.”

Impressively, the film was shot in the coastal town of Limbe in 2019 during the peak of fighting in Cameroon’s Anglophone crisis, which has been raging in its Northwest and Southwest regions.

“It was a huge challenge realising the project [in that context] given the insecurity – but we pulled through,” said Quintus. “We were able to stay focused and believed in our creativity.”

Indeed, the majority of Cameroonian films are produced in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions, home to about 20 percent of the majority Francophone country’s 26 million people, as well as to Silicon Mountain, a nickname coined to represent the thriving tech ecosystem centred around the city of Buea.