US$200m funding for filmmakers

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NAIROBI, September 2016 – The film industry is set for a major transformation with the expected injection of more funds to improve quality and quantity of productions in an effort to stimulate growth in film making across Africa.

The Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI) is leading efforts in mobilizing $200 million over the next two years towards funding the continent’s audiovisual and cinema sector. The funding plan is one of the key planks of the Ambika Afrika Safari Film Festival (AASFF) to be held from October 12th to 19th 2016.

Speaking at a media workshop ahead of the conference, FEPACI Executive Director Jane Murago-Munene revealed that African Development Bank (AfDB) will also be investing $500 million in the development of the film industry across the continent to unlock its potential.

The festival – 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 Ms. Murago-Munene. “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.”

During the festival, top African feature films and documentaries that have won first prize at the Panafrican 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 Communications.

Mr Ernest Kerich, Director, Department of Film Services, 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 17th this year as a specialized agency of the African Union to develop the film industry on the continent.

FEPACI advisor Ndiritu Muriithi said the sector could grow from US$5 billion to $20 billion and in turn create 20 million jobs from the current five million while increasing revenues.

Ms Murago-Munene said that 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.