Renowned Cameroonian director Jean-Pierre Bekolo’s feature film ‘The President’ is banned in Cameroon. On 7 October 2013 it was announced that it is now available on a leading African video-on-demand platform, Buni TV, the first week free of charge.
The story of the film revolves around the disappearance of the film’s fictional president, just a few days before the elections. That the film clearly refers to the country’s real-life leader Paul Biya, in power for more than 30 years, didn’t please the Cameroonian government, which swiftly banned the film from being screened in the country.
“Today, new technologies provide a solution for filmmakers in countries that still impose censorship on cinema and where freedom of speech is still threatened,” said Jean-Pierre Bekolo. “Online distribution will make The President widely available, and hopefully this will lead to real dialogue on the issues the film raises.”
“One of the great advantages of the internet is that it can circumvent censorship,” said Buni TV CEO Marie Lora-Mungai. “Buni TV wants to play a role in fostering and supporting the free flow of ideas in Africa. When we learned that Jean-Pierre was not able to screen The President in Cameroon, we felt it was our responsibility to help this important film reach its audience.”
The President will be available for free at Buni TV for one week as from 12 October 2013.
Screenafrica.com – 7 October 2013:
Banned Cameroonian film available on VOD