Monday 11 December 2017

Africa: Pan-African Filmmakers Seeking Funds to Improve the Industry

Africa: Pan-African Filmmakers Seeking Funds to Improve the Industry
(The East African 09/10/16)

The Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI) is seeking to raise $200 million from partners over the next two years to fund the continent's audiovisual and cinema sector.

The funds will be used to establish centres of excellence in the five regions - East Africa, North Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa -- and the locations will be decided by the African Council of Ministers of Culture.

The money will be used to improve the quality and quantity of films, documentaries and other forms of audiovisual productions and create market channels for selling the films.

The funding plan is one of the key planks of the Ambika Afrika Safari Film Festival (AASFF) to be held in Nairobi from October 12-19, 2016.

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.

FEPACI principal advisor Ndiritu Muriithi said that a continental body will also be investing $100 million in the development of the film industry across the continent to unlock its potential.

"The film industry in Africa can grow from $5 billion to $20 billion and in turn create 20 million jobs from the current five million, while increasing revenues; sadly this potential remains unrealised," he added.

Top on the festival agenda, Mr Muriithi said, is the linking of film makers, finance and insurance industries to attract funding to the sector, which is largely underfunded on the continent except in South Africa and Nigeria.

"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," he said.

During the festival, top African feature films and documentaries that have won first prize at the Pan-African 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 Communication.

Ernest Kerich, the director of the Department of Film Services in Kenya's 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 17 this year as a specialised agency of the African Union to develop the film industry on the continent.

The film industry in Africa set for a major transformation with the injection of millions of funds to improve quality and quantity of productions in an effort to stimulate growth in film making across the continent.

By Tea Correspondent

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