Industry Report: Focus: Africa
Ugandan film producers challenged by distributors
by Mark Muhumuza, East African Business Week
- According to Patrick Sekyaya a young producer of a movie called Book of life (2009), the distributors have production studios and will always promote the movies under their label.
In an emerging movie market, the distributors have the funds to promote their movies."At times you will find your movie off the shelf as the distributor is promoting a movie under their label," Sekyaya says.
This coupled with the limited funds and equipments have made the young producers frustrated at the rate at which their work has been made hard. Local movies are distributed in shops and malls around the country. However Sekyaya says they are not reaping the desired results.
It's under this that Amakula Kampala Cultural Foundation under its Amakula Mobile Cinema initiative will launch Cinetoile on March 25 to 26, 2010 at Sharing Youth Centre, Nsambya a Kampala suburb.
This project set up by the Belgium-based Africalia and funded by the European Union with the aim of encouraging the promotion and distribution of African cinema in Africa.
The biggest influence on African cinema has been the Nigerian movies but the locally produced movies around East Africa are yet to catchup.
Cinetoile will operate in eight African countries including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Mali, Burkinafaso, South Africa, Congo and Zimbabwe.
Films will be accessed by unprivileged audiences that have little or no access at all to films.In an effort to promote access to African films, Cinetoile is conscious of the role distribution and exhibition infrastructures play.
In the East African region where the few cinema halls that existed have been turned to shopping malls or churches, there is a need to look at available structures in the form of video halls and video libraries which promote local film production by linking film makers to audiences therefore providing a market and yet; they are not utilised by the filmmakers.
It is against this backdrop that Cinetoile has organised a workshop which will seek to open dialogue between filmmakers, video hall owners / operators and video libraries. To guide the workshop will be The Tanzanian Film Values Chain Study Report conducted by Australia-based Murdoch University Professor Dr. Martin Mhando, also the Director Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF).