Filmmakers in Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown are on a roll, shooting and screening.
Conspicuous on the streets of the West African capital are colourful film posters. With more movies of local releases, the country’s directors are featuring on the red carpet more often and there is a growing enthusiasm.
A few years ago, Sierra Leonean filmmakers struggled for attention as Nigerian and Ghanaian movies hogged all of it. This trend is gradually changing, and much of it within the last 12 months.
While country’s serious filmmaking started in the early 90s, interest died soon thereafter. Most movie lovers, says Julius Spencer, did not appreciate the products at the time. Spencer is one of the biggest names in the industry.
By early 2011, there were growing concerns over the crushing influence of foreign movies. But it was obvious that local movie-makers were not investing much; the foreign ones were better done and their releases more glamorous and publicised.