A VISITING Kenyan filmmaker says the film industry promotes a country's national identity.

In an interview, Anne Mungai (above) who is in the country to collaborate with filmmakers in Zambia, said the film industry could also market the country and its origin.

"For example when you talk of Nigerian films, there are things we pick from there, for instance the accent, culture, their food, the way they name their children. It will be interesting to see some of the cultural and national symbols of Zambia being shown in film," Mungai said.

She said she was in the country to share with Zambian filmmakers about their experience and that she would also share her experiences about the Kenyan film industry.

Mungai said she had also come to look for opportunities of doing film co productions with Zambians.

"There is a lot of connection between Zambia and Kenya. I am happy to be here. There is a lot of interest that goes on between Zambia and Kenya. Filmmaking is a very young industry in Kenya and I believe it's the same here in Zambia. I am looking forward to doing a film between Kenya and Zambia," said Mungai, who has written and directed some award winning films.

Mungai said it was good that Nigerians had taken a lead role in changing Africa's image on the world map through their film industry.

"Africans are always portrayed in Western films in a negative light. Nigerians have come up with their movies where they show a completely different perspective. They show the rural life, town, big houses and that gives an African a more positive life than what we used to see before," she said.

Mungai also urged other African countries to be in the forefront in telling the continent's stories.
"I am sure even here in Zambia there are stories, those I have read in history. We need to see more of Zambia and it is Zambians themselves who have to tell us these stories. We don't want to see sad stories of the copper mines, I am sure there are good stories that can come from there. We don't see a lot of Zambian stories and yet Kenya is not very far from Zambia," he said.

Mungai, whose trip was facilitated by Kenyan High Commissioner Dr Kipyego Cheluget, arrived in the country on Thursday and will among other things during her seven day visit, hold a number of meetings with Zambian filmmakers.