The outgoing CEO of South Africa’s National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) Eddie Mbalo was honoured by The Hollywood Reporter in association with Agoralumiere International on 16 May at the Cannes Film Festival.
The event, held at the Hollywood Reporter Pavilion, was attended by the who’s who of international film industry professionals. Mbalo, who was the first ever CEO of the NFVF and who has been in office for 11 years was honoured for his dedication as a creative defender of African cinema and presented with an African Vision Award. Other African greats celebrated at the event were actor Eriq Ebouaney and journalist Marie-Roger Biloa.
Said Mbalo: “This is such a great surprise. I feel very happy to be honoured at an event of such high magnitude. It is gratifying that my contribution and passion toward the growth of African cinema have been noticed.’
Marie-Roger Biloa added: “I’m honoured that somebody recognises my efforts over the years in reporting the development of African film. We have been promoting African Cinema and in the process recognising African filmmakers.’
Eriq Ebouaney had this to say about his award: “I’m happy to receive recognition for my contribution to cinema as an African actor. I hope this recognition will encourage the youth to dream as big as I did. This is for Cameroon and other African countries. I think Africa has really arrived in the global film arena.’
During Mbalo’s tenure, the NFVF has delivered 11 unqualified annual reports in as many years. In 2009 he was honoured as one of the top 6 MTN Boss of the Year candidates.
South Africa’s participation at the Cannes International Film Festival is facilitated by the NFVF. The South Africa pavilion is situated at the Village International no 121.