Mokolo Project Braces for July 1 Launch in Lagos


Yinka Olatunbosun

Just a month after its official launch before an appreciative audience in the Senegalese capital Dakar, Mokolo Project is set to hold a Lagos edition of this launch. This would be on Friday, July 1 by 2:30 pm at the Goethe-Institut premises at the City Hall, along Catholic Mission Street in Lagos Island.

Expected to attend the landmark event, which ushers in a new era in the African film industry, are industry bigwigs, aficionados, associations and members of the diplomatic community. More precisely, the launch will attract such stakeholders in the industry as filmmakers, actors and actresses, representatives of the partner countries through such establishments as the Goethe-Institut, German and French embassies as well as the members of the Nigerian Film Society.

Mokolo is a portal for audiences and professionals in the film, visual media and IT sectors that connects distribution, information and networking related to the African film and audiovisual industries..The Mokolo online portal, more precisely, pivots on the sharing of information and exchanges between African film key players and operates in three platforms: Mokolo TV, Mokolo Pro and mokolo.labs, whose features seamlessly dovetail into each other.

The end-users (or “Mokolizers” as they are called) only need to sign in or sign up either through email or any of their social media accounts to get into any of these platforms.

Mokolo TV is a massive searchable and cross-indexed information database of African film, television, VOD platforms and practitioners with space for comments, reviews and ratings. It provides film enthusiasts with film and TV programmes information from or about Africa. They can view the latest posts from other Mokolo users in addition to exploring the latest series, movies and videos on demand platforms. They can also post comments, add external links, and follow other users.

Mokolo Pro is the networking and resource platform for African film and audiovisual industry professionals and their colleagues in other parts of the world.. These can not only view other professionals, but also their projects, opportunities, film schools and festivals. The Mokolo Pro users also can create professional profiles and follow each other, and can inbox their messages via this platform.

As for the Mokolo.labs, it provides free access to Open Educational Resources and a calendar of relevant workshops, consulting services and more to the film and audiovisual industry in Africa.
On the home page of the platforms, Mokolizers have an option to change their language preferences to either English or French.

The Mokolo Project, which owes its name to the biggest open-air market in the Cameroonian capital Yaounde, was first mooted as an idea during a meeting of the bigwigs of the African film and audiovisual industries at the Goethe-InstitutYaounde. This meeting, held in November 2010, was trailed closely by a workshop held in Ougadougou (Burkina Faso) in February 2011. But it was not until May 2014 that the Project became operational, albeit modestly, in an office attached t0 the Goethe-Institut Lagos.

The project’s initial phase was funded by the ACP-EU Fund and the Goethe-Institut. But its post-launch phase relies on the support of its members and the German Foreign Office.