Part of the discourse at this year’s ZIFF (Zanzibar International Film Festival) will revolve around mooting an East African Film Commission. The sessions takes place on Tuesday July 2nd, 2013 at the DCMA Old Customs House from 9.30am to 1pm. The idea is premised on appreciating the fact that East Africa Community (EAC) comprising the five regional countries of Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania Kenya and Uganda is not simply a geographical/ political entity but a cultural one as well that boasts a combined population that is almost as big as Nigeria’s which boasts Africa’s biggest film industry.
“It (EAC) has a sense of shared history, with each country’s borders reflecting similar political and economic values despite its traditional and colonial histories,” a statement on the festival website http://www.ziff.or.tz reads. To steer the conversations will be an eminent panel of experts in film policy who will deliberate the existing film funding activities in the individual countries most of which have been modeled around European experiences adapted to the present African realities alongside policies that will enhance the burgeoning film industry.The panel of experts includes Joan Peters; Commissioner-Australian film Commission, Prof Mick Brodeick; former Commissioner-Australian Film Commission, Lidia Pilcher; Producer–10 films by Mira Nair, Prof Jane Bryce; University of West indies–Barbados, Charles Asiba-Kenya Film Commission, Alex Mulwa-Kenya Film Commission and Kivu Ruhorahoza; GIZ-Consultant East African Community.
Overall, the half-day forum promises to offer filmmakers a chance to discuss their development within the context of a regional setting. It will go beyond just creating space for discussion but also explore how the mushrooming festivals in the region can further collaborate and ensure that they work towards the development of the peoples of this region. The forum has been earmarked as a key cultural activity at ZIFF this year since East Africa remains the least productive region in Africa in terms of film production.
Text: MOSES SERUGO (firstname.lastname@example.org)