Last week we attended the Broadcast, Film & Music Africa 2012 conference in Nairobi, Kenya. As media-partner of the event we were having a stand to promote our media-company Africa Interactive and showcase our different productions and TV-series.
It was an interesting event, although we were expecting more content producers. Together with A24 Media and African Visuals Media we were in the minority – as the hardware companies (camera’s, microphones etc) were many. Even the special room for Kenyan filmmakers was mostly empty – maybe they were all busy – but it seems to me that these kinds of conferences are a good way to meet investors and possible broadcasters.
“Just as I experienced at DISCOP Africa in Accra, Ghana, last year it is very clear that there’s a big need for local content. I spoke to different parties that are interested in our two TV series; Spark Africa and Aid or Trade”, says Bertil van Vugt, who leads the Kenyan office of Africa Interactive.
The director of the Kenyan Film Commission explained that the free to air TV channels in Kenya are obliged to have 40% local content in their schedules. KISS TV has aired a Kenyan film every day for a long time, although the quality was not high as apparently the big producers did not want to sell their movies for a low price.
One of the major topics during the conference was the migration to digital broadcasting in Kenya. The deadline has been postponed twice as the consumers are not making the shift due to expenses for new TV’s and decoders. It is clear that the broadcasters are eagerly waiting for the digital era as it opens up many possibilities such as ‘TV on demand’ and an expansion of channels.
“It was good to attend the event to meet new people and organizations, although I found it disappointing to see that there were not many filmmakers, musicians and (TV) production companies”, says Bertil. He continues: “AITEC, the organisation of the conference, should make sure these content producers are attending next year to make this the ‘not to miss’ annual conference for the Kenyan media industry!”