Saturday, February 07, 2015

Special Feature-The Film Industry

As you may know by now, the whole idea behind Pwani Celebrity Awards is simply identifying and rewarding local talent along the Coastal region that mostly go unnoticed. However, that does not mean that we are blind to matters affecting the country as a whole, and thus today, we would like to focus our attention on the Kenyan Film Industry; the far we have come from, the progress we have made along the way and where we are headed to.
For sure, Kenya is a blessed state, with captivating scenery for video shootings, talented actors and actresses and many other factors capable of taking this industry to the ever illusive next level. We have more than once seen the developed world use our resources, from actors, land and brains to there success. We have more than once seen the high and mighty visiting our country and leave singing songs of praise about its beauty. We have more than once seen our neighboring countries which have very less to offer compared to us, do better than us. Even with all these advantages on our side, the Kenyan Film Industry still lugs in a sorry state. Where could the problem be?
According to a survey done way back in 2013, key players in the industry, and of course members of the public who engaged to try forge a way forward cited airplay as the main problem facing the budding industry. It also came to light that local investors do not want to put the money into local productions, levies and licences required for a production cost a lot and so on and so forth. But has anyone ever taken there time to ask why?
Before we start pointing fingers to the government and the Kenyan Film Commission for failing to regulate content, are the producers clean themselves? I mean, if I were an investor in the Tv industry, I wouldn't want anything less than the best played on my station. No one likes to watch sub-standard plays on Tv when they can opt for quality production from West Africa, which by the way has the Film Industry as their second major revenue earner, after the Oil Industry. Just in case you are not aware, quality production=airplay, airplay=more viewership, more viewership=investors; basic math. No matter how bitter the truth may sound, someone has to say it; the production of local content is wanting!
At this point, it's also important to appreciate the government's effort along the journey, Kenya now boasts of 45% of local content being played on local Tv. The number is capable of going up to the promised 60% if we continue going in the same trend.
As we gear up for the much hyped Pwani Celebrity Awards 2015, we would like to encourage our producers along the coast for the good work they are doing, and we urge them to push even harder; less complaints and hard work is all that we ask for.

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