How can the film industry in Rwanda be boosted?

Although the movie industry in Rwanda has been progressing for quite some time now, with actors and actresses being recognised and winning international movie awards, the sector still has a long way to go to get where it should be.

But the good news is that, it is not yet too late to pick up the pieces. There is still a chance for Rwandan movies to make it to Netflix. Who knows?

 

Hakym Reagan, a movie producer and the founder of Hakym Films LTD, says that today, the film industry in Rwanda is in a precarious position and has been in it for a very long time. Nothing is regulated but everybody is trying to make it through the mess.

 

He notes that the best way to boost the film industry is through regulation and coming up with policies and guidelines to allow content creators to thrive beyond the country itself with their content.

 

“As long as there is no proper regulations and policies, most of the Rwandan content will never be on international standards because copyright issues are overlooked and rules are broken.  Artists are not gaining proper visibility on the international market due to this,” he enlightens.

He also stresses that the movie quality and standards should be polished, like other international films and local movies should be submitted to international film festivals to ensure international exposure of Rwandan movies because that is how they will be known.

According to Wilson Misago, the producer of local series “Seburikoko”, “City Maid” and many more, to lift the movie industry in Rwanda, the empowerment of the key players in the industry is needed.

He stresses that funding is also another issue hindering the growth of the movie industry, as filmmakers who are ready to produce good and high-quality content, which can sell on other continents, lack the funds to do so.

“Most movie producers are not ready to invest in new content. But if efforts are put in improving the movie industry, the problem of unemployment will be reduced because one TV series can create more than 100 Jobs, depending on seasons,” Misago says.

Willy Ndahiro, the vice Chairman Rwanda Film Federation and founder of Hillywood African Movie Academy Awards (HAMA Awards), is of the view that the government should trust and invest in the movie industry in terms of funding projects especially in the areas of skills development in order to create a strong and professional industry.

He explains that the local market is still underdeveloped and calls upon investors and TV channels to consider investing in local film production and content development. Ndahiro believes it is not an issue of lack of creativity but rather lack of enough investment.

Ndahiro’s concern that even movie theatres don’t pick interest in showing the local content, which kills the local market. He, however, urges Rwandans to support their own movies first before looking elsewhere.

“The movie industry can create job opportunities if supported and recognised, with the market, and skilled people. The Film industry can also be enhanced through supporting initiatives that are already in place, for example, film festivals, movie awards, Rwanda Film Federation (RFF) and Film Schools,”

“There is a lot of potential to tap into. Our colleagues in Nigeria and Ghana among other countries have proved that it can be done but it all begins with appreciating our own content,” he adds.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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