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Up next: A conversation with resilient Kenyan filmmakers

October 18, 2018
Collins Ogutu
for Chams Media Digital

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.

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