Pertinent Issues Raised About Kenya’s Film Industry At The 2018 Kalasha International TV & Film Market

One key thing that stood out at #KalashaTVFilmMarket2018 is “We’ve got enough local content, the issue is about how the local content is appreciated.” As the 3 day trade show came to a close yesterday, Kenya Film Commission chairman Mr. Chris Foot during the closing ceremony said that the event has been a great success, everyone was blown away by what the commission has been able to achieve this year.

“We have had three times the number of booths we had last year, delegates from 20 countries and over 40 sponsors supporting us. We have had great insights in the workshops and conferences, also have had a couple of deals signed during the three days.”

“What this shows us is that the country is finally seeing the potential of the audio-visual industry in this country. Our industry is contributing and will continue to the economy through job creation, tourism and profiling our country.”

Speaking on the future of the event, Chris mentioned the commission’s intention of hosting the event next year on a larger scale.

“We will definitely do this next year on a bigger scale, look out for the next one and of course the Kalasha Awards slated for November. I want to personally thank everyone who has worked to make this event a possibility, our sponsors and everyone who attended the Kalasha TV and Film Market.” He added.

The over 60 exhibitors expressed their delight in showcasing their trades at the event with most looking forward to the next edition.

Ted from Buni TV, who were one of the exhibitors congratulated the commission and urged to hold more of these events. “This was a very good idea by the Kenya Film Commission, to have a space where film makers can interact and build yourself as a film maker.”

Lowering of drone fees among other issues discussed

Other issues discussed were avenues like Netflix, Amazon, Sky, iFlix and Showmaxx as significant sources of revenue from VOD Platforms in Kenya and how to access content at home and mobile on Android & iOS platforms. This especially comes with the rise in Technology and how we can use it in promoting local and international content at your fingertips.

The Kenya Film Commission in conjunction with other stakeholders have also started the process of engaging the government to lower the newly introduced fees on drones.

“We worked on the drone policy with Kenya civil aviation authority, we agreed on the policies and mechanisms. Drones are not only used in film, but also survey, agriculture, wildlife, there is a plethora of people who use and need drones. We understand the need for regulation for security reasons, but we do not then in turn have to impede on the film industry and the other sectors that require drones. So we have moved to discuss the fees with the security agents so that we can to come to a workable solution.” Chris Foot added.

Matters on drone licensing were one of the key issues discussed at length during the policy round table session that was moderated by Professor Kimani Njogu.
Martin Munyua from the Kenya Film & Television Professionals Association noted his concern over the many barriers to doing film business in the country.

Kenya as a prime location for film production

Chris Foot said that the main reason why filmmakers are going to South Africa is the tax rebate and how South Africa, for example, how Kwa zulu Natal Film Commission from SA offers fund development, packaging allocation etc; as a one shop for all enquiries for film production.

If Kenya needs to become a film hub, one of the things that needs to be done is helping the local producers and raising funds. Another key issue is by doing familirisation tours that can help locals know the value of the locations they live in. A counties conference will be held later in the year to do this.

Other issues discussed during the panel include facilitation of local content producers towards improving quality and quantity, reaching out to content producers outside Nairobi and how to make the country a more attractive film destination.

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