Effects of Digitalization on the Three-tier Structure of Tanzania’s Film Industry

Issa Athumani Mbura


Abstract This paper examines the effects of digitalization on the three-tier structure of Tanzania film industry. Explicitly, the paper focuses on the period between 1990 and 2020. It follows on the presumptions that omnipresent and pervasive digital video and Internet-based technologies promoted under the theme of digitalization and underpinned by the digital revolution theory are impacting on film industries across nations. The specific drivers of the digitalization that the paper advances are digital video cameras and computer-based nonlinear editing systems applied in the production of films, Digital Versatile Discs (DVD), Online movie streaming and Video on Demand (VOD) platforms as used in distributing films and digital cinema formats and projectors in exhibition of films. Key informant interview method was used to collect qualitative data from twenty six (26) respondents. The respondents included media experts, filmmakers, camera operators, video editors and various film industry stakeholders. Other data collection methods employed included direct observation and online ethnography. The paper reveals that digitalization elicits and enhances specific changes on the three-tier structure of the Tanzania film industry. Due to the effects of digitalization the Tanzania film industry has morphed into a functional film industry. The paper concludes that in spite of the differences in its effectiveness and purposes that are grounded on issues of contexts, digitalization is more important than other determining factors such as capital formation in impacting on the transformation of the three-tier structure of the country’s film industry.

Key words: Digitalization, Tanzania film industry, Bongo movie, Three-tier structure


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