17th  January 2022…Kenya Film Commission in conjunction with the International Writer’s Lab (IWL) successfully trained five (5) fellows in an intensive ten (10) week program on Scriptwriting. The IWL was established by The Blackhouse Foundation, PMF Media Group and VentureLift Africa. The five Fellows of the inaugural cohort include Damaris Irungu, Voline Ogutu, Carolyne Kemunto, Wanjiru Kairu and Grace Irungu. The Ceremony was attended by the Fellows, the Kenya Film Commission, VentureLift Africa and partners for IWL and other invited guests.

The IWL is a creative accelerator and fellowship program whose core mission is to support global, emerging storytellers of compelling film and television projects and help position the participants on a path to launch those projects or otherwise propel their careers forward through increased awareness and preparedness. Other partners include The StoryBoard Collective (Episodic Storytelling Partner), the Africa Digital Media Institute (ADMI), Colour Entertainment, and The Africa Channel.

The IWL embarked on training specifically focused on film and episodic projects to drive skills, impact and interest amongst the scriptwriters. Scriptwriting plays a major role in filmmaking in creating the main concept of your video production in written form. It provides a predetermined look at what will be said and what scenes will be shot to match the overall message portrayed.

In line with KFC’s mandate to promote filming in Kenya, the Commission has undertaken deliberate measures to build capacity of filmmakers through partnerships with organizations such as the IWL which provides training in the creative sector.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Owase noted that ,”The partnership we have with VentureLift Africa, PMF Media Group, and The Blackhouse Foundation through the IWL for this program is not only proof that the opportunities in the value chain for film production are varied but most important is that Kenyans can do it. It also demonstrates the enormous interest and opportunities for job creation.’’ said Mr. Owase.

He added that “every video production has a purpose, but without great scriptwriting, that purpose is likely to be missed, as this is what sets the basis of all videos and films. While the execution of these positions can make or break a production, without the scriptwriting, there is no purpose or direction to what is being shot.”

Dr. Wilmot Allen, the founder of VentureLift Africa, appreciated all the IWL partners for the success of the program and indicated planning for future similar programs with enhanced numbers and other mediums including animation and gaming.

The fellows were due to travel to USA, where they had been invited to The Blackhouse Foundation events at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah as part of the final segment of the program. The Festival would provide an opportunity for the Fellows to participate in programs, salons and networking with industry creatives and executives as well as other writers and filmmakers and gain insights into navigating the Hollywood ecosystem. However due to COVID-related issues, the festival was entirely virtual this year.

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