Ciclope Africa judge, Mbithi Masya, a film director at Fat Rain Films, Kenya, talks to Bizcommunity.Africa about what Africa can bring to the international stage and how the continent's unique stories can add to the world.
Mbithi Masya, film director at Fat Rain Films, Kenya.
10 April 2018, marked the first-ever African edition of the Ciclope festival – a leading international awards show which recognises exceptional craft in moving image. The African festival, which received over 150 submissions across 16 categories, was hosted at Cape Town’s new critically acclaimed Museum of Contemporary Art, Zeitz MOCAA.
What is the relevance of Ciclope Africa to the continent?
I believe Ciclope Africa will be a very important event on the continent moving forward. A bespoke event celebrating the craft that goes into some of the continent's best work will encourage even more of our industry players to push themselves further and hopefully we'll get to see more submissions from across the continent soon.
How would you rate the standard of work you judged?
The work was of a world class quality. Competing with the best work I've seen from the rest of the world.
What stood out for you in the work?
The storytelling in the work was of such high quality. Emotional and masterful. I was glad to see a focus on story in most of the work.
Ciclope Africa: The continent's talent was on show at the first ever African regional leg of flagship craft festival...
11 Apr 2018
Please tell me about the industry in Kenya as it relates to craft and creativity.
I believe the work coming out of Kenya currently and in the coming months will surprise many. There's a creative burst going on in the country and the evidence lies in the international recognition our creatives and professionals in the craft have been receiving.
What does the African continent have to offer international filmmakers?
Aside from various locales, I believe the continent also provides production support to rival any other region, worldwide. From crews, financial incentives and more.
What can we learn from the rest of the world?
Most of the world has had industries built around film for about a century. I think we can learn from what those industries have been through but I think it's time for us to chart our own way forward as a continent. The world is changing and I believe the world is ready for a different type of storytelling.
Where does the African film/production industry need to improve where craft is concerned?
I think with more work being created, we'll keep improving. The skills available here are world class already. So I believe more work will allow us to be more experimental and explore our creativity much more.
What takeout should the industry take home after Ciclope Africa?
I think the industry should feel encouraged. The work we're creating is good. And the rest of the world is interested in it. Keep making.
Please talk about the future of the industry and where craft is going.
The world is changing and there are a lot more opportunities available to everyone. It means greater competition but I think this will only raise the quality of the work. It's up to us, the players in the industry to rise up to the opportunities presented and not cave into what's expected but keep pushing beyond that. I think it's an exciting time for the continent.
Louise Marsland is currently Africa Editor: Bizcommunity.com; a Content Strategist and Trainer; and Trend Curator for Bizcommunity.com and her own TRENDAFRiCA.co.za. She has been writing about the media, marketing and advertising communications industry in South Africa for over 20 years, notably, as the previous Editor of Bizcommunity.com Media & Marketing; Editor-in-Chief AdVantage magazine; Editor Marketing Mix magazine; Editor Progressive Retailing magazine; Editor Business Brief magazine and Editor FMCG Files ezine.
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