Editorial

VI World summit of the
telenovela and fiction
industry


 

Africa, a spot where to shoot, invest and produce
Aminata Diallo-Glez, actress and producer of Jovial Production company, Burkina-Faso, Africa, mentions the characteristics of the African productions, the welcome of Latin American telenovelas and the differences between them.


Telenovelas, serials, entertainment, all these television genres are discussed by Aminata Diallo-Giez, actress and producer of Jovial Production company, Brukina-Faso, Africa. She says that Africa is the ideal spot for foreign moviemakers to invest, due to its natural landscapes and sceneries and she also comments on other elements of the locally produced programmes as well as the Latin American imported formats. She makes some references to her homeland, where she comes from to make clear on some essential aspects of the production. In this same sense, she highlights the tasks carried out by Jovial productions and invites everyone to participate in the television fest held once a year, which gathers the main figures of the local and international scene. Telenovelas, serials, entertainment, all these television genres are discussed by Aminata Diallo-Giez, actress and producer of Jovial Production company, Brukina-Faso, Africa. She says that Africa is the ideal spot for foreign moviemakers to invest, due to its natural landscapes and sceneries and she also comments on other elements of the locally produced programmes as well as the Latin American imported formats. She makes some references to her homeland, where she comes from to make clear on some essential aspects of the production. In this same sense, she highlights the tasks carried out by Jovial productions and invites everyone to participate in the television fest held once a year, which gathers the main figures of the local and international scene.

Burkina-Faso, a hidden spot for television making
Despite the fact that the African continent was widely regarded as the perfect place where to shoot amazing scenes outdoors, Diallo-Giez says that there is more than meets the eye. Burkina-Faso used to be a French colony that became independent in 1960. The name of the country changes in 1984, after the revolution. She regards the country as “the country of the honest people”.
Right in the middle of West Africa, in the middle of Sahara desert, next to Senegal and to the Marfil coast, there is Burkina-Faso and the venue where all the television dreams come true due to the producers and actors actions.
The country has fourteen million inhabitants that consume daily amounts of television.

When Africa met South American telenovelas
“Since the 1980s, Africans found the South American telenovelas whereas in the past years we only knew some names such as Diego Maradona or Diego Camps, who were familiar because of soccer,” Diallo-Giez says. Are there many differences between the African and Latin American culture? How to make these slight differences get closer to share telenovelas? “Here, productions are popular because they deal with love stories.” Romance is there everywhere, any time, all times, it seems. But there are also other elements to consider if we want to take a deep look on the success of telenovelas. Most of the African and Latin American countries used to be submitted to foreign counties (at times of the colonization) and we both had to face the problems brought about by poverty, starvation and the huge gap between social clasees. Keeping these similarities in mind, she comments that “usually the heroine who comes from a very modest social background succeeds” and this contributes to the success of the whole telenovela story.

Telenovelas influence the audience
Telenovelas are generally considered to be mere entertainment, a shallow way out of life,  a simple form of distraction. However, Diallo- Giez underlines that telenovelas are much more that a plain phenomenon. A way to confirm this is the effect telenovelas have on their audiences.“In Koudougou, Burkina-Faso's capital city, the passion for telenovelas is such that the whole family would interrupt the New year celebration, its preparation, to watch Rosa Salvaje or Donna Bella”.
If telenovelas would even get in the middle of a family fest, right at the center of a society ritual, they can also get to unexpected places we have never though of before. “In my country, all the heroines have been adopted to such a point that fooball clubs are named after then and women would imitate them with their hairstyles, cosmetics and names,” she completes.

Locally produced shows
A continent affaected by several inner wars and shortages, a place where all industries are growing difficult to be developed is how we usually view Africa. Nevertheless, there are many activities that are getting bigger
and bigger and television businesses are getting stronger every day more.
“This phenomenon is related to the emergence of local televisin. In the films of African Jovial productions, we have broken the frontiers.” Africa has countries that speak French whereas others speak English, because of the colonization. According to Gello-Diez: “the English-speaking countries have a far good experience than the French-speaking countries”. To name just a few examples, she mentioned Ghana which “has an interesting level of production” although she went on to recognize that Nigeria has more. Burkina-Faso is a French-speaking country, what do they have to offer when it comes to television? “We are famous because of our festival the Fest Bacoú, which is the biggest festival held in my country this year.”

African and Latin American telenovelas, all the same?
“African series are not competing against South-American telenovelas,” she emphasizes, adding that: “they get along very well because all the local television deals with local reality which is very far from the plot in Marimar, for
example”. Local reality versus universal topic, comedy versus drama, these attributes belong to the African and Latin American telenovelas, respectively.
“Some series (Latin American) are up and down in the world, while others have a mirror effect which is necessary for any civilization (the Africans)”. She completes: “Moreover, the African productions are dedicated to comedy. Some
have been viewed almost everywhere in Africa” As we all are aware of, Latin American telenovelas mainly deal with drama, romance and conflict.

Jovial productions, getting ready to foster the industry
“The name of the company that I have been managing since 1999 is called Jovial productions, which intervenes in the field of audiovisual production and performing art in Burkina-Faso”. Young artists, actors, scriptwriters and directors go together with a single aim in mind: to promote the local audiovisual production and export its products. Jovial productions operate in the following fields: production of television serials, documentaries, television advertisements, videos, TV programs and the promotion of live art in the promotion of festivals. An intense number of efforts are being made in Burkina-Faso for them to foster their industry, their native talents, their places and, on the other hand they have also received many Latin American telenovelas that were highly accepted in their country. So, she believes this is the time when every single country must cooperate to trade telenovelas internationally and Africa is not out of this worldwide phenomenon. “I wish you come to my country not only to discover fest bacoú but also to discover ideal settings for your future shootings,” she finishes.