By Isaac Miriri
Published November 26, 2008
Kenya’s film sector is set to benefit as the Kenya College of Communications Technology (KCCT) introduces a diploma programme in film production and animation.
“This diploma programme comes after extensive research on developed film industries and consists of options in film production and directing, film techniques, design and animation, and computer generated images”, says Nathan Bronze Onsare Asiago, a senior lecturer in charge of the programme.
“Filmmaking is very wide; it is a craft which is more than just art. The contention is on the training in feature films as most media houses are willing to pay more for feature films. Digital video has made it easy and with proper strategies, we could make films and market them widely,” Asiago, who says he holds a Master’s degree in film and a post-graduate diploma in media management and has taught at Moi and Maseno universities in western Kenya, says.
The curriculum, Asiago says, was developed to international standards and is meant to equip students in all genres of film, including science fiction.
The envisaged training will address directing, acting, casting, editing, lighting, cinematography, make up and costume, and audio-visual production.
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Students will be trained in script analysis and film appreciation. “They will spend two hours watching films and two hours critiquing them every week,” Asiago says. “Our students will be given an all-round training in production, directing and business aspects like proposal-writing, marketing and distribution techniques.”
This comes at a time when the Kenyan film sector is in need of skills in all areas of film production while all kinds of institutions, including universities in East Africa, claim to be teaching film. Most of them do not have even basic equipment and equate theatre and literature to film. It is hoped that KCCT will not be joining these institutions. Hopefully, students will graduate with appropriate skills to enhance the fledgling film sector in eastern Africa.
KCCT, that was on November 24, 2008 elevated to a university college by President Mwai Kibaki, has state-of-the-art telecommunications equipment and plans are underway to construct a film studio in the future.
The film production and directing course includes a bit of everything; acting and casting, make up, costume, lighting, editing, and cinematography.
The film technique and design course takes care of all technical areas: lighting, set design, costume, audio and cinematography. It also has special effects on film and broadcast.
Animation and computer generated images comprises animatronics, puppetry and computer based animation. Students taking this course will be trained in script-writing and editing for animation material.
“The film industry in Kenya is only starting out; we lack good scripts but have good stories,” Asiago says. He adds that the student intake will be in January and July each year.
KCCT, that once belonged to the now defunct Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation, is also considering offering a diploma course in broadcast drama to cover radio theatre and television drama.