By Okechukwu Uwaezuoke
No doubt: it is Africa’s film industry most innovative projects in recent memory. Mokolo Project has been on the web for months now. Hence by the time it was officially launched on May 31 at the Djoudj Hall of the Hotel Ngor Diarama in Dakar, Senegal, it had already wormed itself into the hearts of movie buffs across the continent. Little wonder, therefore, it was overwhelmingly well received in the Dakarois culture circuit.
Indeed, the aficionados at the high-octane event were drawn from not only 13 countries from across Africa, but also from among the continent’s industry Pooh-Bahs and the partner countries like France and Germany.
The attendees’ rapturous reception of Mokolo can be summed up by the fact that they found it multifaceted and innovative. Yet, some did enthuse on the fact that it is a home-grown endeavour. And there was a call from one of the aficionados that the platform strengthens its VoD aspect and be more inclusive by reaching out to the Portuguese-speaking Africans as well.
Of course, there are still many to whom “Mokolo” remains just another strange word. In a nutshell, it is an online information portal on African cinema, which offers more visibility to filmmakers and their content. For the project’s initiators, this is a means of promoting access to new technologies among the film and audiovisual industry practitioners.
The Mokolo website offers a buffet of sleek and easy services driven by online sharing of information and exchanges between African film actors, which essentially operates in three platforms: Mokolo TV, Mokolo Pro and mokolo.labs, whose features seamlessly dovetail into each other. All it takes for “Mokolizers”(as the end-users are called) to get into any of the platforms is to sign in or sign up either through email or any of their social media accounts.
To effectively use the Mokolo TV and the Mokolo Pro platforms henceforth, the users interact with each other just as they would do in most social media sites. They could add a “mokolo” (an external link accompanied by commentaries) and reviews (which allow rating with a justifying comment to a listing).
Mokolizers follow like-minded mokolizers or films or even series or practitioners’ files.
And can also receive notifications of the activities on the monitored content. Thus with their appetite whetted for more, they go on to carry out other actions bordering on following files, notably through changing, reporting, adding mokolos or reviews as well as commentaries on the file’s mokolos.
In addition to these, a Mokolizer space which is complete with a dashboard to view settings, modify and view notifications and suggestions and dedicated to the one who uploads his activities on the platform and the activities of the one being followed.
Already, several requests have been sent to the Mokolo contact mail, applying to become moderators and, thus, helping to clean out contents posted on the platform.
On the heels of its Dakar launch, Mokolo Project is set to be presented to a Nigerian audience within the Goethe-Institut premises at the Lagos City Hall in Lagos Island sometime before the end of this month.
Previously funded by the ACP-EU Fund and the Goethe-Institut, its post-launch phase relies on the support of its members and the German Foreign Office.