Nairobi News


6th edition of Kalasha International Film and TV market kicks off

If you’re a staunch lover of African films then this is something that should excite you out of your pants. 

The 6th Edition of Kalasha International Film and TV Market, a three-day event taking place at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) kicked off on March 29 and is set to conclude on March 31, 2023. 

The event got underway with the premiere of Netflix’s African Folktales Reimagined, which is an anthology of six African short films by six filmmakers across Africa. Netflix in partnership with Unesco, came up with the series of these short films, which now emerge as the latest African films, with three from East Africa, making it to the prestigious movie streaming platform.

The Kalasha International Film and TV Market is a unique platform for all the regional and international players and festival goers from the Film and TV industry to gather, discuss exchange, collaborate, share stories, and develop new business opportunities. 

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For three days, local and international professionals from the Audio-Visual and Film industry from East African countries, Europe and other places around the world, will get a unique opportunity to boost their business through trading content, partnership opportunities, networking and more.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the market, KFC Chief Executive Officer Mr Timothy Owase expressed confidence that Kenya has raised the bar for her peers across the region with regard to film through Kalasha market. He added that the market is one of the greatest initiatives the Commission ever came up with and has put Kenya on the international map. 

“Kenya is indeed ready for the film business. The industry is on the right track in getting global recognition. The presence of key policy makers like Unesco and film distributors like Netflix with us here today is a stamp of authority that Kenya’s film industry is on an upward trajectory,” said Mr Owase.

With regards to market’s theme, Film Distribution in the 21st Century, the CEO said technology is revolutionizing the distribution of film and that the industry cannot underestimate the influence of 21st century technology and its uptake in the distribution of film.

Also present was Unesco Assistant Director General for Culture, Ernesto Ottone, who emphasized Unesco’s support and commitment to the fast-rising audio-visual industry. 

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“The African audio-visual industry is on the continuous rise, with a capacity to create over 20 million jobs with appropriate investments. It takes the whole of creative ecosystem to unlock this full potential, and Unesco is committed to accompanying the government’s and civil society alike,” Mr Ottone said. 

Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts, Ababu Namwamba, in a speech read on his behalf by State Department of Youth Affairs Secretary, Raymond Ochieng, reiterated his ministry’s commitment to ensuring the industry remains on an upward trajectory.

“We have set the film industry as the cornerstone for the creative economy in the country, my ministry will focus on promoting local films and also initiating co-production agreements between countries such as South Africa, Israel, France, China and Nigeria,” Namwamba said.

He further stated that the industry needs to think ahead and take advantage of emerging technologies that is revolutionizing the film industry.  

 “Artificial intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming a game-changer in the film industry. From scriptwriting and casting to special effects and distribution, AI is transforming the way movies are made and seen. One of the biggest advantages of AI in the film industry is its ability to save time and resources.”

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Governor of Nairobi Johnson Sakaja said that his office is creating an enabling environment for filmmakers through investing in modern infrastructure such as film studios and stages and setting up a film fund to support filmmakers. He added that he has streamlined the regulatory processes for freelance filmmakers and photographers by exempting film fees.

The three-day market will additionally feature film screenings, conferences, workshops, business-to-business talks and pitching sessions.

Key players in attendance of the 6th Edition include film distributors like Netflix, Multichoice, Paramount, Viusasa, Africa XP, Imax, Crimson Media, MyMovies Africa, Media Pros Africa, and Rushlake. 

Industry players in attendance include Phil-It production, Some Fine Day Pix, Zebra Production, Docubox, Film Aid, Hiventy Africa among others. 

The event’s primary objective is to showcase Kenya as a major regional hub for Film and TV production, post-production, and distribution across all platforms and genres while reinforcing the uniqueness of Kenya as a shooting location. 

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