By Bethsheba Achitsa
Published September 23, 2011
Independent audiovisual media practitioners creating works on children, gender, climate change and other developmental issues in eastern Africa are set to deliberate on their work in Nairobi, Kenya, on September 24, 2011.
Meeting under the umbrella of Independent Producers Organisation (IPO-Eastern Africa)”a specialised platform for film/TV/video producers that came into being in Nairobi in August 2009″the practitioners will be out to strategise how best to navigate the ever changing world of audiovisual media. They shall explore the capacity of IP members to collaborate with one another and to establish partnerships with broadcasters that will strengthen the region’s audiovisual media markets. The meeting shall also look at other areas of significance to practitioners such as telecommunications and media convergence in the 21st Century, the digital broadcast migration in Africa, and the implications of the fast changing landscape to independent producers.
Organised by the Nairobi-based Lola Kenya Screen film festival, skill-development mentorship programme and market for children and youth, the platform is a joint effort between Lola Kenya Screen and UNESCO.
“IPO-Eastern Africa is aimed at bringing together indies in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, eastern Congo-Kinshasa, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia to articulate, lobby and press for issues that concern culturally relevant and appropriate television content generation in eastern Africa,” says Ogova Ondego, the Lola Kenya Screen director and IPO-Eastern Africa convener.
The first summit from which the platform was formed in August 2009 brought together producers from Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Uganda.
To date the platform has compiled a comprehensive database of producers from all over the region and has published The Eastern Africa Independent Television and Audiovisual Media Practitioners Plan of Action (The Nairobi Declaration). The platform hopes to advance the careers of independent producers through networking, training and promoting ‘ local’ content at international level. One tool of achieving the objective is the UNESCO’s Audiovisual E-Platform, a multicultural, online platform for independent producers and broadcasters whose aim is to promote international distribution of television content through North-South and South-South cooperation. Its main objective is to endorse high quality audiovisual media content that is public service-oriented, innovative and challenging beyond the conventional forms of television language.
The comprehensive database that includes profiles of producers, their filmography and contacts will be available in both print and online formats for communication and networking among practitioners besides assisting in co-production among producers in various eastern African countries in order to create more ‘local’ productions in the region and open up the region’s audiovisual media sector.