Courtesy of http://www.Nairobee.com Source:http://nairobee.com/hassan-faisal-mufti-kenya-stop-being-copy-cats-be-creative/
Hassan Faisal Mufti – Kenya, Stop Being Copy-Cats, Be Creative
We get to catch up with Hassan Faisal of Coastal Films Productions, as we engage with him on the Kenyan film industry; its successes, struggles and competition from Nigeria and Tanzania film industries:
When did Coast Films start and how has the journey been so far?
The Coastal Films Productions was established in 2009 and the journey has been very challenging since we have had to cope with minimal resources to shoot films.
What drove you to get into film production?
I have an interest in movies, and acting as a whole, my friend the Government spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua actually influenced me to join the industry when he was doing Cobra Squad and Beba Beba.
If you were not in the film industry, what would you be doing?
Actually I am a hotelier by profession and I have worked in various managerial positions at Panafric Hotel, Kilaguni lodge, Sarova Whitesands, Tamarind Village, Sunny Side apartments and Leadway Resort.
How is a day in your line of work like?
As mentioned am a Hotel Manager on one side and a Film Director on the other. My day starts with checking all my mails from both jobs and ensuring we respond to inquiries. Film shooting is normally done once in a while so we have time to arrange and execute.
As a film maker, do you see yourself as a mentor to upcoming actors and actresses?
Yes I have managed to mentor quite a lot of guys and am happy that soon they will all be appearing in the local TV stations.
And what do you look out for in an actor/actress when casting?
As you are aware casting is quite difficult. Sometimes our resources limit us in terms of getting the people to play the different roles. However, we have to look at how the actor/actress adapts to a character role and how best he/she portrays the character.
Hassan Faisal Mufti
Is being an actor/actress, just about the handsomeness/beauty or does it take more than that?
There is more than that, You are aware film is not like drama. So in film you have to be yourself, as real as possible and not about the beauty. The audience need to have the feeling that the real thing is happening on their screens.
Same cast, different films, doesn’t that make it monotonous and boring to see the same faces on the TV screen?
Yes I hear you but why this is done is because of the low budgets where some new cast will not able to accommodate the budget offered and it’s always easy to work with the people you know best.
The film industry is not like the music industry where anyone who has fruity loops can make a beat, what does it take to be a film maker?
To be a film maker you must have a mind that drills deep into issues, I would say that film makers have weird ideas and dirty minds. They try to create more dramatic scenes and stories to captivate the audience.
Nigerian film industry is racking in huge revenues compared to its Kenyan counterpart, reasons behind these?
Their films are bought cheaply by Kenya TV stations and hence killing the local productions. Can you believe that we are paid Ksh40, 000/- – Ksh60,000/- for one feature film while the cost of shooting and logistics is double that? Nigeria has also streamlined their industry back home and they make millions from their movies , so selling their movies to us at Ksh30, 000 is not a problem. But we Kenyans should not suffer because of this.
Why is it that Kenyan Films are rarely featured on Africa Magic?
Again ask yourself…. How many Kenyan Films are out there? We can not say that it is because of quality because the films we have are of better quality than most Nigerian films. It is a matter of how much is being paid; some producers feel it is not to their best interests to allow for their film to be aired for two years and only get Ksh60,000.
How have your films been received in the market?
As a sole film producer and Director the feedback has been amazing. They could not believe that one can get the kind of top quality we are providing from the Coast.
What are you working on now?
Am working on a 20 episode documentary and also preparing to shoot our next Movie “ The Poisonous Tear”
How do you sell and distribute the films?
Selling your movies on Kenyan streets is tricky. Once the piracy guys realize which movie is selling fast they embark on duplicating it. So we have concentrated on selling our movies to TV stations and we are also looking at the Internet platform.
Any big actor you would like to work with? Locally and internationally?
We had contacted Ramsey Noah to work with us and we looking forward to that. Locally I would say that we have no role model that you will really be keen to feature in your films.
Do you strictly work on films only or you have a hand in the music videos too?
I also run the ‘East Coast Crew’, a group for musicians and deejays. So I also do music videos.
What do you think the Kenya Film Commission can do to promote our local film industry?
We would like them to ensure we have reduced rates for shooting movies in Kenya… A feature Film will cost you Ksh15,000/- and Ksh 1000/- shooting per day. This is minus Municipal Council fee if you are shooting on the streets. After shooting the Kenya Censorship Board will again charge you Ksh100 per minute of your movie. Add up all this and we feel that this is too high.
Kenyans have love for Naija films, what would you advice fellow Kenyan film makers to do?
Kenyans should start doing movies on real home issues and stop copying South Africa or other regions. Tanzania have stuck to the Majuto fantasy and it’s helping their industry grow.
Any advice or comment to up and coming film producers, actors and actresses?
Sooner or later the industry is going to be one of the best paying in this country. So they should not give up and continue soldiering ahead.
Hassan with Nicholas Cage in mombasa.
Below:Preview of Some of the movies produced by Coastal Films Production
Directors and Producers topics
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