GRASSLAND ROOTS

ENGLISH — Compared to other African countries, Cameroon enjoys relatively high political and social stability. Since the countries independence in 1960, the English-​speaking territories have grown increasingly alienated from the government and the productive capital of the North-​West Region Bamenda, has managed to become a centre for agriculture, arts and education. Constant and Blaise, two local filmmakers, try to use this young and creative atmosphere, to establish a local film industry. Instead of leaving their home to find work, they wanted to change their local working conditions and support the young musicians, filmmakers and journalists. 2012 they founded the Bamenda Film School and today have 8 full time Students. Cameroons film industry is not yet developed and is far behind Nigeria and Ghana who supply the area with news and entertainment. However Cameroon is following in their footsteps and may become the next African video industry to take off.

Although the school is not supported by the government, the initiators managed to get enough funds to start. They moved into two small rooms at a well known private University in Bambui and have a handful of voluntary teachers. The group works closely together, producing short films, documentaries and music videos and are well connected to national and international filmmakers. Blaise has good connections to Germany and found partners that support him and his filmschool. He regularly travels to Berlin and managed to get scholarship for him and Constant, to spend several months in Germany, to work on free projects and visit workshops about filmmaking. Four of their students are supposed to follow in their footsteps and teach the others after their studies. Their dream of a Bamenda Film School is big but their passion is too and soon the grassland based film crew could become an important part of Cameroons growing film industry.