Tonnie Kamau, a filmmaker, has cited a lack of proper market as the reason he has released his film Sleep on YouTube.
The CEO and founder of Ovotox International College, a subsidiary of Ovotox Limited, started an incredible run two years ago when his production company released the Teke Series Pilot on YouTube.
This gave him hope to embark on more productions hoping the market and entry of international companies will seek partnership.
However, he lost everything he had to auctioneers due to a delay in return on investment.
But Kamau has since risen again due to his love for film and the school, is now fully operational.
Kamau said that behind a creative and exciting film lies the blood and sweat of film producers.
He said sometimes, the youths are either battling depression or left with huge incurred bank loans.
Kamau said a few months ago, auctioneers went to his college based in Westlands and took all the film equipment.
“I have resulted to take Sleep feature film to YouTube after distribution frustrations from the market and banks,” he said.
He said due to market disruption and lack of a proper film framework the economic potential of the film and audiovisual sectors remains largely untapped.
The film industry continues to be structurally underfunded, underdeveloped, and undervalued.
He said that he took his film on YouTube after being unable to foot the costs that occur with premiering and catering for guests to sample it in a Cinema hall.
“I have been taken to court because of my love for film. My name has been dragged tarnished because of this particular project, few people have taken my name to social media and blogs over salary arrears,” Kamau said.
“I never embarked on this journey to have the stories kept in hard drives. I produce to share our hidden gems with the world. It got to a point where I counted my losses and decided to share this film with the world.”
Kamau said that loss at times is gain, and holding onto something can be consuming.
“I believe by releasing this film to the world through YouTube, I’ll be setting myself free as the purpose for shooting it will be achieved,” he said.
Kamau said most of the film producers are languishing in poverty as the market hasn’t been so welcoming and especially if you don’t have a godfather.
He said that to rescue other film producers, the government should effectively implement policies and regulations keen on bolstering the creative industry.
He gave an example of the introduction of the Digital Superhighway and Digital Economy as was promised during the campaign period by the new regime.
“The ability to depict our rich stories and relay them to the world has been my goal and that brings me so much satisfaction. I’ve never regretted any project I have undertaken and I don’t think I ever will,” Kamu said.
“However, I never knew how frustrating it would be to have a film on the shelf and not be able to return the investment placed on the project.”