At the age of 21 years old, he became the director prodigy of Cameroon. Having studied in the USC (University of Southern California), he signed his first movie, “Sexe, champagne & chocolat”, a movie fully shot in Cameroon with great success.
Henri Melingui was born in France in 1989, but he grew up in Ivory Coast then in Cameroon.
He founded H7 Films in June 2010, a house of production of movies which on-line distribution is exclusively managed by www.h7films.com
“On my return to Los Angeles where I studied Business administration and Cinema, I produced this movie. I am also the writer of the blog “Quartier Boz’art” on H7Films.com where we can find criticisms of television series (Breaking Bad, Gossip Girl, Walking Dead, etc.) as well as the current events on cinema.”
Funds collection was not easy. But he was proud of it because he believed in African cinema a lot: “It also gives us opportunity to show to potential investors that cinema in Cameroon and in Africa is a promising market contrary to what they could think.”
He admitted that his success was simple: “I like writing, I like producing; I simply like telling stories. My training gave me tools making me capable of doing it. So at a given time I said to myself that it was necessary for me to try my chance. There are so many things to do in this domain and so many difficulties to overcome in this environment in Africa that I think it’s better to begin young.”
He is not satisfied with producing; he also wants to touch the widest possible public: “As regard to DVD, it is very difficult to convince hypermarkets to sell DVD, simply because they have never done it before and because they do not want to venture onto unknown field. And nevertheless, with a good distribution network through Cameroon, the sale of an average of 10 000 or15 000 copies would make profitable the budget of a movie. As regard to the streaming for the Diaspora, sites as AfricaFilms.TV and ZeenTv.net appeared as pioneers and we impatiently wait to see the effects brought by these sites.”
He made a small cutting remark to great channels: “Their head offices are generally located in Paris and are almost inaccessible to authors based in Africa who would like to submit to them projects or simply to discuss about them. You will admit that it is difficult to find good authors if we do nothing to meet them on the field by launching calls for projects, for example. Local channels are unfortunately managed by staffs whose training often has no link with television and fiction. Thus, they are not often capable of explaining why a scenario or another one is good or not, and even less to help improve a scenario presenting some minor defects.”