By Karanja John, Film and TV producer, Magic galaxy ltd
The workshops in the 2019 Kalasha International Film Market, which kicked off on Tuesday, have provided quite insightful dialogues regarding the industry and also raised more awareness on the importance of a film and Television market.
However, it would be prudent to point out that the lack of a business center at the Kalasha International Film Market is a mega disappointment.
The purpose of a market is to sell; we need international content buyers like Netflix, amazon, Disney+ and Hulu among others, we needed to see other players within the EA African market like Azam and Startimes, Iroko and many others, we needed banks and financial institutions, a serious round table with bankers and financiers. That is what a market is about.
These notwithstanding, the discussions provided great insights as summarized below;
Broadcasters need to understand that times have changed and evolve, otherwise they will die.
Traditional thinking and top down approach worked in the past. Today, it is about audiences and the quality of the story.
Original creations require independent and crazy thinking which is not available from the corporate thinkers sitting in boardrooms but in the practitioners in the streets, kiosks, warehouses and garages. It’s this creativity that will spur growth in the new applications for content distribution.
Training must have 70% real-time productions with commercial results and 30% industry mentorship by doers, anything else is a waste of life.
The greatest challenge is funding and monetization, once the ecosystem of cash flow in film and television production is sorted out, the rest will happen quickly.
WAKE UP CALL TO FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
Speakers in a session dubbed; Using Intellectual Property (IP) As Collateral for Film Funding urged financial institutions to understand that film is business and not a hobby and projected the value of IP.
“It is high time you understand the value of Intellectual Property, it’s Trillion shilling worth and it has the ability to multiply better than stock for years “.
POLICY- THE INDUSTRY NEEDS A LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Finally, worth noting is that the industry operates without a legal framework, 14 after the Kenya Film Commission was formed with the principal responsibility of creating a legal framework for monetization of film and TV industry.
14 years later, we are still asking for the draft of the film policy to be ratified by cabinet and parliament. The film business in Kenya is not an industry but a kiosk that is yet to grow into a sector. Consequently, players are not even classified as professionals in the Kenya Revenue authority portal.
It is high time that we created proper structures which can service this Trillion shilling industry.