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Malian Filmmakers Play Crucial Role In Promoting Reconciliation & Hope In Times of Conflict – Sogoba

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Malian filmmaker, Hawa Sogoba said Malian filmmakers play an important role in the promotion of understanding, reconciliation and hope in troubled times.

Sogoba where her film Magnon (The Bride) was nominated in the Best Short Film Category at the 2024 Women's International Film Festival Nigeria (WIFFEN) disclosed this to spoke to LEADERSHIP.

In a country that has been conflict-ridden for several years, Sogoba says making films can be a complex task, when peoples priorities are often security rather than entertainment.

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Nevertheless, Sogoba and her counterparts, are deploying the power of cinema/films to convey messages of peace and appeasement. They do so by addressing issues that deal directly with the conflicts, and away from it, as well as highlight opportunities directly or indirectly related to the conflict.

“Despite the difficulties, Malian filmmakers continue to play a crucial role in using their art to promote understanding, reconciliation and hope in troubled times. My film project addresses these themes,” said Sogoba whose work on her first feature film is on progress.

“It explores not just the realities of conflict but also the sources of hope and opportunities for peace. By highlighting these aspects, I hope to contribute to constructive reflection on how we can transcend conflict and build a better .”

The filmmaker also noted that a connection and collaboration between Nollywood and the Malian film industry can yield new perspectives, in addition to inspiring a new generation of artistes in Africa.

Describing her experience of WIFFEN as remarkable, Sogoba spoke of her insights, “I saw a remarkable organization and stricture. I want to pass on to Nigerians and Malian filmmakers the idea of creating a solid link between Malian and Nigerian cinema.

Today, Nollywood represents a model to follow in terms of the film industry; and we have some wonderful stories to share. I firmly believe that this collaboration can open up new perspectives and inspire a new generation of artistes in Africa.

A graduate of Masters in Finance, Sogoba who'd secretly dreamed of becoming an actress, said cinema came to her at a younger age, from watching many movies which widened her imagination.

Post graduation, she began writing stories for a start. While every process in the making of a film is exciting, Sogoba is more thrilled with the creating of emotions that resonates amongst film audiences.

“Scriptwriters have this power to create a perfect or chaotic world, or to make their audience laugh or cry with emotion through a film. And the most extraordinary thing is when your idea comes to life onscreen, and the audience feels and shares the message you want to get across.”

Although it is not a bed of roses being a filmmaker in Africa, more less a female filmmaker, she's held onto her passion for filming, coupled with diligence and focus on her goals.

“Women often have to work twice as hard as men to prove their worth in all fields. You have to hang in there and work hard. Sometimes, doubts creep in, that's normal, but as long as the passion for the job is there, you have to rollup your sleeves and not lose sight of your goals.

 


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