By Claire Wanja
Over 20 societies including associations for artists, broadcasters, filmmakers, advertising, scriptwriters, performers, music producers and copyright protection bodies are among over 60 organizations that have so far confirmed participation in the 2016 Broadcast, Film and Music Africa (BFMA8) conference opening next week in Nairobi at the Kenya National Theatre.
This highlights the importance players in the blooming content industry are attaching to urgent discussions on a range of pressing issues related to content, copyright ?, royalties? and regulation ?in the Kenya arts industry.
The conference program is expected to champion further development of the Kenya and East Africa’s content industry in the post-digital migration period, through an interaction with experts from Kenya and 31 other countries around the world.
The conference to be held on the 23-24 is the first meeting of broadcast and content professionals in East Africa since the digital migration in the industry and comes at a time when the country is grappling with new legislation seeking to tighten regulation.
Migration to the digital platforms means an even greater need for technology in the broadcast industry as the competition for viewership stiffens. At the same time, the industry is witnessing innovations around low cost content production, a rise of the gaming industry and content distribution via online and mobile channels.
Sangeeta Patel, Chief Executive officer of AITEC Africa which organizes the BFMA conference series has confirmed the participation of the leading professionals in film, TV, Radio and content distributors from the region at the event in which officials from the Ministry of Information and Communication and the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture will attend.
“The confirmation of such a large number of associations and professionals from the arts and creative industry highlights the importance that players are attaching to benchmarking, dialogue and stocktaking through positive engagements,” said Ms Sangeeta.
The Kenya cultural centre, Ezekiel Mutua headed Kenya Film Classification Board and the Permanent Presidential Music Commission have separately confirmed their participation in the conference billed as Africa’s largest annual gathering of creative professionals and digital media industry.
The usually star-studded BFMA retains a tradition of town hall discussions and TED- like program structure befitting cross-industry networking.
#BFMA8 also retains the staging of new films, an engagement of content creators with broadcasters, an interaction between broadcast engineers with technology developers, the rock music festival stage ROFFEKE which facilitates screenings and commentaries on local and international rock ‘n roll films and music videos.
AITEC Africa Chairman said the nascent Gaming industry will also be another key attraction: “This year’s conference will give film makers, artists and original games developers a launch pad to premiere their short films, music, original animations and home built games to an audience of international delegates, venture capitalists and broadcasters,” said Mr. Moroney.