The Kenya Film Commission Board (KFCB) boss Ezekiel Mutua has said the future of the African film industry lies in collaborations between the different nations in the continent.
The board CEO was speaking during the annual international Machakos Film Festival that was held at the Machakos People’s Park, Machakos, on Saturday, a glitz ceremony that featured delegates from across Africa. Among those present was the Nigerian National Film and Video Censors Board Executive director Adedayo Thomas and the Envivo boss Gbenga Obadina, a leading partner in the Nollywood film industry – who was one of the main partners during this year’s ceremony.
“The future of the film industry in Kenya lies in collaborations between the different industry players across the pan-African region. For so long, our African story has been told by the far Western media and there has been a lot of misrepresentation on who we are as a continent. We need to tell our own story as it should be told and reclaim our dignity as we reserve that of the generations to come,” Mutua told hundreds of film makers and supporters during the big film night.
“I thank all the international delegates who are here to support the Kenyan film industry and more so, all the major partners from Nigeria who have pledged to support Machawood, the Machakos Country government branch that deals with film, music and creative arts. They have pledged to help us in capacity building in scripting and production as well as giving financial aid,” Mutua said.
“As a pilot project in empowering the film industry, Machawood will be benefiting from the big support we are getting from Envivo and other international investors from Africa and America, all of whom have already shown great interest in working with the Machakos Film industry,” he added.
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Delivering the keynote speech during the gala night, Adedayo Thomas, the Nigerian National Film and Video Censors Board boss said as much as Africa looks at Nollywood as the biggest film producer after Hollywood and Bollywood, a lot of film creative wealth lies in every pan-African country noting that it is time nations collaborated to create a strong African film industry. He said the Kenyan film industry was already coming of age as he stressed the need for local film consumers to support the industry.
“From the Government to corporates to individuals, everyone has a role to play in ensuring that the film industry enjoys the growth it deserves. You need to support the authorities that govern the industry especially the regulatory bodies such as the Kenya Film Classification Board that has been making sure that quality films that represent the Kenyan African stories are given the prominence they need,” Thomas said.
“I have noticed that a lot of films from Nigeria that have not been censored have made their way into the Kenyan TV and this is rather sad – that people are watching material that should have been censored. We have shared this with the local authorities and soon, these films will be out of the screens to pave way to clean content,” he added.