Tanzania's filmmakers should arrange huge budget for film advert

09Sep 2021
Nassir Nchimbi
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Tanzania's filmmakers should arrange huge budget for film advert

IF people say Tanzania's film industry is very strong, they will be exaggerating the view because the industry has not achieved success.

Renowned actress, Riyama Ally, is one of the popular members of Tanzania's film industry.

Besides consuming content from the USA, India, and Nigeria, Tanzania has its emerging film industry, informally known as 'Swahiliwood'.

These Swahili films are referred to as ‘Bongo Movies', as they are produced with low budgets, short schedules, on camcorders, and mass released in DVD format.

Media for Development International Tanzania (MFDI-TZ) promotes development through socially conscious programming in Tanzania and Africa at large.

The institution employs locals, it produces film, video, television, serials, and music.

But also if people talk about the negative sides of the country's films and dramas, they will be oppressing people that produced the content because, on the so-called bad side, people have acted weirdly.

Many 'Bongo Movies' and dramas are being watched these days and people will rarely hear praises until the films are either nominated for major international awards or enter big concerts.

But when domestic movie producers' works become more meaningful, they do not promote their works, they do not pay attention to the works, they do not grow up with them and most importantly fail to advertise the content.

The Tanzanian film industry has lots of potentials as the country has a beautiful landscape for filming, plenty of creative people, and good, talented actors and actresses.

Filmmakers in the country do not consider advertising their works at all, while other countries members of the film industry have film advertising policies that say the film advertising budgets should be at least half the budget for making films.

That is, for example, if one is making a film for 50m/- then he or she should make sure he or she has at least a budget to advertise the film, which is worth at least 25m/-.

And that is at least, some filmmakers are going up to 100 percent of the advertising budget. That is, the film production budget is 50m/- and the same amount goes to film advertising as well.

That is just an example of investment in film production in the country's local context because it is in the early stages of promoting its film industry.

Producers do not have to use a policy of at least 50 percent.

There is a growing demand for local content through cable network TV and online platforms in the movie industry.

This means that if an individual can either develop or produce a good movie here, and be able to capture the attention of the market in East Africa which is more than 100 million people, it is a very huge business.

For example, since last week (Thursday), prominent actor, Vincent Kigosi, has been announcing his new drama which he plans to release soon.

He was posting via his Instagram account and what he was writing was that the drama is the best content people have ever seen.

But the downside was that his words did not match the pictures he was showing people on his account.

The pictures he posted show very unusual things, and even some of his fans were, in the comments section, wondering why the pictures he is posting do not substantiate his claims.

Such things do not require a half-budget, people just decide to go accomplish film production do things professionally.

He would look for a special person to give him the responsibility of photographing him behind the scenes, and then use these pictures to advertise.

If members of the country's film industry cannot make progress, they can even draw knowledge from their counterparts in local new genre music 'Bongo Flava', who are showcasing maturity in advertising their works.

People see how the 'Bongo Flava' artists create great covers for their songs, display great talent in their works, and more.

Domestic actress, Lamata Leah, is working hard, she has managed to do well in her drama, dubbed 'Jua Kali', which is way better than other shows in Tanzania.

She might either have had a bigger budget for the drama or maybe it is just an extension, but all in all, she has worked hard to achieve the feat.

She was focusing on seeing to it her drama was promoted in big posters, she has had a lot of events for advertising her drama, which includes having people in various areas watching the episodes together.

Leah further had a lot of talent to encourage viewing of her work and the approach has made a difference for her, it is in this case all about self-promotion.

The Tanzanian film industry is making efforts to improve production with high-tech cameras, better production facilities, and developing filmmaking skills.

The Tanzanian government believes the film industry has the potential to create employment opportunities while simultaneously boosting Tanzania’s brand and the Swahili language.

The film industry can be used to see to it the country makes headway economically.

Recently, there was a bill that seeks to see local and foreign film companies share their raw footage with the government and allow the government to use the videos to promote the country.

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