A couple of months ago I posted an article regarding the movie industry in Kenya comparing the mainstream productions(Wingu La Moto) and the growing Riverwood Industry(Kiheenjo and the likes).
My article received alot of criticism as most readers felt that I was being rather biased about the quality and content of the mainstream industry in regards to its goals- providing entertaining or educative productions. This, I noted, was not what we were seeing and instead alot of ‘wanabeeism’ of western culture which actually brought about a public outcry on the timing of most of these shows as there was alot of x rated scenes, was the only thing Kenyans were getting exposed to.
I have watched alot of the ‘Riverwood’ produced comedies and I felt that I was getting more value for money as opposed watching poor Hollywood imitations.
Well, It looks like I am was not the only one who felt that Riverwood is the next big thing in Kenyan Movie Industry.
Last week, a film crew from the headquarters of the World Intellectual Property Organisation in Switzerland came to Kenya to shoot a documentary film on Riverwood as an emerging trend of the African movie business. The documentary shows how filmmakers in the Third World can develop their own industry with shoestring budgets.
“We are fascinated by the whole concept because it shows how working together can help overcome impossible odds and help generate a thriving trade in a complex sector,” said Jean-Fracois Arrou-Vignod, the head of the film, multi-media and Internet section at the WIPO head office.
However, the same old story of Piracy in Kenya is threatening the Riverwood venture, Film producer Peter Kigia said a good film is capable of selling 50,000 copies but the current figure is around 10,000.
On the piracy issue, WIPO is planning a seminar on copyright later in the year to raise awareness of the importance of developing local film industry as it lobbies authorities to step in and curb piracy.
I came to learn that the secret behind the success of Riverwood in distribution of their production is because they are using retailers who are based all over the country for this. I don’t mean to be tribalistic, but like the Asians, Kikuyus can be found virtualy in every part of the world including all parts of Kenya and I think is is what is improving the sales and popularity of their productions.
WIPO actually predicts that, Riverwood is actually the future in Kenyan Movie Industry(Didn’t I mention this in my earlier post) generating employment to a cross section of Kenyans.
So yes, for those who were looking at Riverwood with disdain sighting their non-conventional Hollywood style of movie production, I guess the last laugh is on you.
Soon, the likes of Nini Wacera will be sighted at River road(river rori) auditioning for the part of Mashang’i. hehehehehhe