Zanzibar, Tanzania – Entertainment and media expert Meredith Beal delivered the keynote address at this year's Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) held on the tropical island off the coast of Tanzania in the Indian Ocean. ZIFF signed a pact with Broadcast, Film & Music Africa (BFMA) as event partners to promote the advancement of African entertainment content globally. During a press conference held at the Africa House Hotel in Zanzibar during ZIFF’s 18th Annual Festival of the Dhow Countries, Martin Mhando, CEO of ZIFF and Meredith Beal, Event Director of BFMA, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to renew the partnership between the two signature events on the African continent gathering creative content professionals.
“We are excited about this partnership that seeks to expand the growing presence and revenue potential of African entertainment content,” says Beal. “The analogue to digital television migration offers a great opportunity to the film industry in particular by dramatically increasing the potential outlets for content produced by African filmmakers,” he says. “With an explosive smart phone market on the African continent and new platforms delivering film and television content online, the growth of the industry is imminent,” he adds.
Beal's speech titled "Visual Entertainment in 2020," looked at the future of film and television content and discussed the impact of changing consumer behavior and technological innovation.
During this year’s ZIFF, more than 150 films were screened during the weeklong conference attracting film enthusiasts from all over Africa and beyond. “In every edition of Ziff we take pride in celebrating Africa’s place in the world-whether it is through our icons or cultural products, our tourist attractions or the humanistic values that give Africa its world leadership,” says Mhando. “This partnership will help to expand and strengthen the network of African content creators and leverage the opportunities presented by new media landscape,” he adds.
This year’s event featured an East African Film Network Forum at which Beal outlined various content strategies highlighting the emergence of new distribution platforms. He stressed the need for imagination and creativity in charting new paths and shared some examples of successful novel approaches others have used. Beal’s presentation ended with an intriguing snapshot into the future of television by sharing surprising capabilities already available today.