Over the years, Kenya has been identified as a hotbed of talent and innovation and this has been confirmed to be true from all the developments and achievements that the country has made. Among these achievements is the growth within the film industry.
Needless to say, Kenyans nowadays are frequenting the cinemas for a taste of local creations made by resilient filmmakers.
The industry has a buzz around it, with new content being developed each and every single day, a clear indication that the country is developing rapidly.
The Chamwada Report focused on resilient filmmakers in Kenya today. Considering that it is the Kalasha International awards season, this show could not come at a better time.
On 1st September this year, Kenyan filmmakers bagged six awards out of the 8 categories they had been nominated for at the Africa’s biggest Film stage ‘Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA)’ in Nigeria.
Dennis Maina is one of the filmmakers who scooped an award for the category of Best Documentary award for his documentary ‘The Flesh Business.’
He explains that his story was motivated by the plight that women are faced with that leads to them opting to sell their bodies. Thanks to his story, the women featured even went back to school and stopped what they had been indulging in.
Phoebe Ruguru is yet another producer of a film that won three awards during the AMVCA i.e. 1800hrs. Thanks to an inspiration that Kevin Njue, their playwright, had, they made the film come to life. The film took the market by storm as it related to what a common Kenyan citizen can go through.
What all these film makers agree is that for the film industry to grow, several policies must be adhered to. In order to come up with a film, there exists challenges that all these filmmakers agree they have been faced with. Albert Kimani, former actor of Tahidi High agrees that before, the pay was meager.
However, there have been strides within the industry and thus as at now, people are earning huge sums of money thanks to the film industry.
All these film makers explain that there indeed is potential within the industry. However, why would they believe that the government is holding them back?
KFCB chief executive Dr. Ezekiel Mutua who has been at the centre of shaping the Kenyan film industry says that what is killing the industry is simple: 'multiplicity of licenses.'
However, it is clear that the future of the film industry is not bleak. As long as the private and public sector invest in the industry, then the value in so doing will be noticed.
Still in the spirit of promoting film industry in Kenya, Alex Chamwada, the CEO of Chams Media, was nominated for the category of Best Host in a TV show during the Kalasha Film and TV awards. The story that made him get nominated is the story on Drone Regulation in Kenya.
Knowing that you, our viewers, always look forward to watching his shows i.e. The Chamwada Report and Daring Abroad, this is the time to support him.
To vote click on the link:
That being said, let us support the film industry by watching our local content!
The Chamwada Report this week focuses on Kenyan film. To celebrate the resilience of Kenyan filmmakers and highlight the challenges the industry is facing as well as the role of consumers and the government.
The theme of the show is in line with the great success of Kenyan filmmakers who were feted on 1st September 2018 when they bagged 6 awards in the Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards AMVCA ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria.
The Kenyan film industry was nominated in eight categories including the best overall film in Africa which Kenya won.
“I think we did very well because we were competing in eight categories including the best overall film,” said David Maina, a Kenyan creative content developer.
“And it was the first time as a country that we got so much attention and we made our footprint in Africa.”
Kenya bagged big awards including the best overall movie (Phoebe Ruguru) and best indigenous language movie (Sanka Hemi) for Supa Modo, among others.
In the show today, Elijah Mwangi sits down with some of the filmmakers who open up to share the stories behind their success, the challenges and why Kenyans have begun to consume more locally produced content.
Phoebe Ruguru, a film director, says challenges in this industry start from pre-production preparations where finances are needed to fund a particular project as investors question the financial viability of the same. So what are they doing?
The filmmakers say it is high time the industry was seen as a business as opposed to just an entertainment alone where passion is not enough.
But despite all the challenges, the Kenyan film industry is on a positive trajectory. It has grown in leaps and bounds as Kenyans begin to consume local content. The show discusses some of the factors that have promoted the demand for local movies and how these finances help bolster the industry.
“I would call it a revolution happening in terms of how Kenyans are receiving Kenyan content irrespective of the challenges that might be there,” said Kevin Njue, a Kenyan film producer.
Ezekiel Mutua from the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB), also discusses the role of government in harnessing the potential of Kenyan film. He says the industry, like any other, demands for equal treatment.
“We understand what is killing the industry is the multiplication of licenses, you get one from KFCB, and then you are asked for another, yet a lawyer with a national license can represent a client anywhere...treat filmmakers equally,” he told The Chamwada Report.
Catch more interesting and informative interviews on The Chamwada Report show tonight on KTN News channel at 8:30pm brought to you by Elijah Mwangi.
You can also join the conversation via our digital platforms using the hash tag #ResilientFilmMakers.