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Benin Hoping for Cooperation in Film Co-production with China

2012-06-18 13:40:51        Chinese Films

Film is building a friendship between the West African country of Benin and China.

Dorothee Dognon, the director general of Benin's Cinematography Administration, spent 10 years in China studying photography at the Beijing Film Academy and later getting a PhD in film production at Beijing Normal University.

Previously, Dognon has also helped facilitate Beninese participation at the Beijing International Film Festival and a delegation from the Beijing Film Academy of four teachers and six students to Benin to shoot a documentary recording locals' daily life.

He met with Chinese journalists in Benin recently for a press conference to announce a new film with a Chinese angle.

Dognon said the story is about a Beninese who was born and grew up in China but had long been unaware that he actually came from a royal family in the Kingdom of Dahomey, in central Benin. It was not until he went to Benin to work as an architect that he found his true identity.

The architect serves as a bridge that enhances bilateral friendship between China and Benin, said Dognon.

"I stayed in China for a total of 10 years, which would definitely have a direct bearing on the film industry's development in Benin," said Dognon.

The director general said that after getting his postgraduate degree at the Beijing Film Academy and PhD at Beijing Normal University, and returning to Benin he worked hard to facilitate cultural exchanges between the two countries. He encourages film enthusiasts in Benin to participate in Chinese film industry activities, citing the participation of a Beninese documentary film maker last year at the Beijing International Film Festival as an example.

The film depicts the ways local doctors use traditional Beninese techniques to treat their patients.

That led to the July 2011 delegation from the Beijing Film Academy to shoot their documentary of Beninese daily life.

Dognon also expressed hope that the China Cultural Center in Benin could help with a scholarship program to send a few Beninese film students to arrange similar studies in China in the future.


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