Nu Metro boosts film productions in Kenya
Nu Metro cinema theatre has finally inaugurated the Africa Sinema Club, a move seen as an attempt to lure more Kenyans into their theatres. Supported by Kenya Film Commission, the Sinema Club is a platform for Kenyan film-makers to launch their films on the silver screen and an opportunity for the general audience to enjoy Kenyan movies.
In the past, Kenyan films have not had a chance to be screened in the country’s commercial theatres whether in Nu Metro or Fox Cinema theatres due to stiff competition from Hollywood and Bollywood productions.
Unlike Hollywood and Bollywood producers who have sufficient money for a marketing blitz, Kenyan film-makers rarely have marketing budgets. Consequently, theatres prefer their traditional partners whose movies have already found a market locally. “Africa Sinema Club and its partners invite all wellwishers who would like to support Kenyan film and Kenyan film-makers to join Sinema Club and create a culture that will appreciate the great talent that we have in Kenya,” said Alex Konstantaras, a film director at Vivid features.
His movie Mob Doc premiered last Thursday when the Sinema Club was officially launched. With the Sinema Club, film lovers will be treated to a premiere of one Kenyan film every last Thursday of the month, at a Nu Metro Cinema. Subsequently, the films will be screened at a Nu Metro theatre for three weeks for Sh200 everyday at 7.30. Thereafter, it will be on circuit at the cinemas
According to Sinema Club organizers, this is an opportunity to promote Kenyan films in the country besides being an opportunity for filmmakers to meet and exchange production and marketing ideas. Gate collections accruing from the screenings will be channeled into a special film development fund after paying the producers their cut.
In the past, Kenyan films have mostly been screened in private theatres something that has denied them mass viewership. This way, most Kenyans are still ignorant of their existing something that forced low end producers to dub their films straight into VCDs and DVDs forgoing the commercial benefits of theatre screenings.
Even though Ugandans- whose filmmakers have faced similar competition from Hollywood- have made some money screening in low end video halls for screenings, Kenyans filmmakers are yet to venture there. In South Africa, Prime Media Content is moving in to tap into the mass market through introducing affordable cinema tickets and increasing marketing efforts especially to reach out a new growing Black African middle class.
The company that runs theatre business among others is also eying the low-end market and is currently researching on the video hall model in East Africa.