Issued By Admin | Article
Wednesday, 24 Apr, 2024

Every inaugural year since October 2015 the Kenya Film Commission have been organizing a trade fair that brings together local, regional and international T.V and film stakeholders to gather, discuss, exchange and collaborate to develop new business opportunities.

The event provides high-level interaction with commissioners, producers, directors, actors, scriptwriters, network groups and T.V channels to exchange knowledge on new programs and development policy.

This amazing initiative has fostered a growing rich hub of filmmakers especially those who wish to expand their skill and capacity to the wider Kenyan film landscape. This one of a kind trade fair invites various key participants namely; Multichoice media, Kenya Copyright Board, Kenya lighting and grips, Film aid, Multan productions, Docubox, Kenya scriptwriters guild, Sinema mtaani and last but not least African Female Filmmakers Collective.

The old adage that states necessity is the mother of invention is living proof to the immense success of the Kalasha film market. Nearly 10 years ago there was an evident concern in the industry, where can filmmakers and stakeholders alike convene and deliberate matters concerning film?

Fast forward, the platform created by the Kalasha film market has not only attracted a great following within the film space but it has gone ahead and further visibly marked out other gaps that needs vital intervention to drive development. The key evident one being, the missing voice of representation amongst female filmmakers. Hence, the birth and creation of the African Female Filmmakers Collective. (AFFC)

Founded in 2023 by filmmakers Natasha Likimani, Mkaiwawi Mwakaba, Kate Snow and Serah Mwihaki these four incredible innovative female filmmakers realized there was a huge unrecognition of the female voice within the film landscape. This is surprisingly true, when one realizes that most if not all of the crew departments are largely technical thus an inclination to male domination within the workspace.

However, the bigger question is, without balance, can a system function? The system here being the film industry. If an equilibrium of gender is paramount within our own human ecosystem then this is no different from any workspace including film. When the founders of (AFFC) came together, they knew something had to change and this change can only come from the empowerment of women within the sector to spearhead a more comprehensive and inclusive overhaul of the industry.

The main mission and goal of (AFFC) is to empower women by encouraging mutually beneficial collaborations and cultivating powerful community involvement while creating impactful employment opportunities in the creative community. It is from this that has resulted the need to fight and speak for equal opportunities that challenge grow and express female needs and artistic talents using arts as the platform.

With the growing demographic predominantly being the youth with over 20% between 15 and 24 years of age and the ever increasing looming crisis of job unemployment a more assertive approach in creating employment in especially overlooked sectors such as film is paramount to foster sustainability.

From time in memorial, women have been at the cornerstone of a thriving community, off their nurturing side the innate ability to be storytellers is something beautiful to adhere. Thus, organizations such as AFFC target women in marginalized communities and recognize their creative skills while giving them access opportunities in the creative economy.

Another big added advantage is the exploring of partnerships with various women’s led groups and initiatives. Some of the organizations they continue to engage with are Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK), Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT) and Kenya Film Commission (KFC). Aside from local collaborations, their intention to collaborate with international as well such as ARRAY films, Tyler Perry studios and HOORAE media all goes to show the intentional of how far and wide the scope is to reach a large female market.

With core values such as integrity, excellence, collaboration, accountability and impact all being at the center of what the organization stands for, the achievement of the goal and vision is very feasible. Starting out with a dream to create and bring impactful change while being a pioneer at it is something that is riveting to what it truly means to be a creative.

The calling of becoming an artist and choosing the creatives arts as your sole purpose is somewhat close to being a revolutionist. Speaking for the voiceless and shedding light to the unsaid topics of issue in society is what brings such joy and hope knowing that what four visionary female filmmakers started out with while creating (AFFC) will go ahead and positively change many women lives to be a part of the larger art community.

Written by Kawira Gitonga
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