The film industry is set for a major transformation with the expected injection of more funds to improve quality and quantity of productions in an effort to stimulate growth in film making across Africa.
The Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI) is leading efforts in mobilizing USD 200 million (Ksh20 billion) from financiers over the next two years towards funding the continent’s nascent audiovisual and cinema sector.
The funding plan forms one of the key planks of the Ambika Afrika Safari Film Festival (AASFF) to be held from October 12th to 19th 2016.
Speaking at a media workshop ahead of the conference, FEPACI Executive Director Jane Murago-Munene revealed that African Development Bank (AfDB) will also be investing $100 million to establish five modern regional centres of excellence to unlock its potential. The centres will offer production and post-production facilities for filmmakers on the continent.
The festival – themed “The Africa We Want: One Africa, One Vision, One Destiny” – will have a series of events including film screenings, the Africa Film Finance Summit and the Africa Film Forum. She said it will be attended by policy makers, content developers and investors to discuss growth of a sector that contributes $5 billion to the continent’s economy but with a potential of growing to $20 billion.
“This will showcase the best in quality, impactful feature films and documentaries that advance the African story,” said Ms Murago-Munene. “The Film Finance Summit will be a platform for financial institutions, investors, entrepreneurs and filmmakers to learn from their experienced peers what it takes to finance the film sector.”
During the festival, top African feature films and documentaries that have won first prize at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) will be screened. The festival will also source short films from Kenyatta University and the Kenya Institute of Mass Communications.
African Union member states have adopted several policies to promote growth of cinema and audio visual industry. Munene good polices had stimulated growth of the industry in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali and Zimbabwe.
Mr Ernest Kerich, Director, Department of Film Services, Ministry of Sports Culture and the Arts, said the government together with other Member States have put in place strategies to grow the film sector through the African Audiovisual and Cinema Commission (AACC) established on June 17th this year as a specialized agency of the African Union to develop the film industry on the continent.
Hon. Ndiritu Muriithi, FEPACI’s Advisor, said the sector can grow from US$5 billion (Ksh500 billion) to $20 billion (Ksh2 trillion) and in turn create 20 million jobs from the current 5 million while increasing revenues.