On 12th January 2023 Hon. Ababu Namwamba presided over the Kenya Film Commission’s Film Empowerment Programme in an unveiling ceremony that will see twenty-two beneficiaries who are Kenyan filmmakers receive thirty-nine million, six hundred and fifteen thousand, two hundred and sixty-five shillings (Ksh 39,615,265) as a grant to create Kenyan content that preserve and promote the culture and traditions of our beloved country.
This grant is the first roll-out from a joint partnership between the Kenya Film Commission and GIZ that will also see six (6) film industry support programmes, receive funding amounting to seven hundred and eighteen thousand, two hundred and twenty-five Euros (718,225 Euros).
Speaking at the event, Hon. Ababu said, “My Ministry is cognizant of the fact that film financing continues to be a major challenge for our filmmakers in the generation of locally produced content. We are currently working on the passing of the Creative Economy Bill that will enable the establishment of a film fund, whose core function will be to facilitate access to modern equipment and the entire film production infrastructure. Furthermore, the Film Empowerment Cycle 3 programme which we are unveiling today will further serve as a feasibility study in the creation of the film fund.”
“As you are aware, many efforts are in place to ensure that more content is produced, and in order to crown our efforts to be a success, there is need for the establishment of a screen culture through a steady growth of an audience base. The Kenya Film Commission survey on film consumption trends revealed that only 34% of Kenyans watch local films while 66% of Kenyans watch foreign films.” He added.
Kenya Film Commission in line with its mandate and function of promoting the development of local content established the Film Empowerment Programme. The Commission, this year collaborated with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a German development agency that provides tailor-made, cost-efficient and effective services for sustainable development, to implement the 3rd cycle of film Empowerment programme to provide film and video-related funding in the following broad categories:
(i) Development (of feature films, documentaries and TV Concepts);
(ii) Production (of feature films and documentaries)
(iii) Marketing and distribution and
(iv) Emerging Filmmakers
The Commission received 193 submissions. This is an increase from last years’ submissions where the commission received 144 submissions.
Also speaking at the event, Mr. Owase reiterated the Commissions strategy “At the heart of the Commission, is the strategic intention to grow the sustainability of the film industry through strengthening existing institutional frameworks and increasing the production of films in Kenya through the active involvement of stakeholders across the board.” He said.
“Filmmaking is big business indeed. It remains our responsibility therefore, to make sure every person in the society at whatever level has been empowered to partake film making and join the creative economy. We believe there will be great stories coming from here and other facilities outside Nairobi”, says Mr. Owase.
In realization of Kenya Vision 2030, the film industry is viewed as a significant player because through the creation of motion picture the country reaps economic, social and cultural rewards, and through programmes such as the Film Empowerment the government aims to increase the number of quality local films produced in Kenya and use it as a tool for employment and wealth creation amongst our youth.
LIST OF AWARDEES
The Awardees represent 13 counties; Nairobi, Nakuru, Homabay, Nyeri, Laikipia, Uasin Gishu, Taita Taveta, Mombasa, Bungoma, Siaya, Kiambu, Kilifi, Baringo.