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More funding sought to spur growth in Africa's film industry

BUSINESS
By Joe Ombuor | September 8th 2016
Mr Ndiritu Muriithi, an advisor for Pan African Federation of Filmmakers, speaks at the Ambika Afrika Safari Film Festival media workshop.  (PHOTO: COURTESY)

The film sector in Africa is poised for growth as the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI) is leading efforts in mobilising $200 million (Sh20 billion) over the next two years towards funding the continent’s audiovisual and cinema sector.

FEPACI Executive Director Jane Murago-Munene made the revelation during a media workshop in Nairobi ahead of the Ambika Afrika Safari Film Festival scheduled for October 12-19 in Nairobi. She said the injections will unlock the industry’s potential in the continent.

Ms Murago-Munene said 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. “This will showcase the best in quality, impactful feature films and documentaries that advance the African story,” said Murago-Munene.

Short films

She said 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. The funding seeks to enhance the quality and quantity of films, documentaries and other forms of audiovisual productions, she observed.

Top African feature films and documentaries that have won first prizes at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou will be screened during the Nairobi event that will see short films sourced from Kenyatta University and the Kenya Institute of Mass Communications, Murago-Munene disclosed.

She said five modern regional centres of excellence would be established in Africa to offer, among others, production and post-production facilities for filmmakers on the continent.

Director, Department of Film Services, Ministry of Sports Culture and the Arts Mr Ernest Kerich said the Government and other member states had 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.

FEPACI Adviser Mr Ndiritu Muriithi said the sector had the potential to grow from the current $5 billion (Sh500 billion) to $20 billion (Sh2 trillion) and in turn create 20 million jobs from the current five million.

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