Kenyan Film Commission, the government agency that is mandated to promote local content and the film industry held a meeting with stakeholders within the film industry to discuss the National Film Policy and appraise the industry on status of the same. The meeting was graced by Honorable Cabinet Secretary Ministry of ICT Joe Mucheru, and Permanent Secretary Broadcasting Ministry of ICT, Fatuma Hirsi, among other officers drawn from the government that is Kenya Tourism Board, Communications Authority of Kenya and Kenya Film Classification Board.
The meeting was co-hosted in collaboration with Creative economy Kenya; an organization that brings together over 21 stakeholders in the Kenyan film industry with the goal of creating a better space for content creators in the country.
The importance of a Film Policy was stressed as this will be key to streamlining all three agency – Kenyan Film Commission, Kenya Film Classification Board and Department of Film Services mandated to promote, classify and license content respectively. In addition Chris said this will also help in prevention of overstepping of each other’s mandate.
Among its objectives, the film policy aims to quantifying the current and potential contribution of the Film Industry to the economy and disseminating this information to the critical Policy and decision makers in Government. It will enhance funding and revitalizing of the relevant State agencies in the Film Industry while overseeing the development of a harmonious Regulatory environment for the Film Industry in Kenya.
Further, the policy will establish a National Film Fund for financial & tax credits, rebates and other incentives for the Film Industry thereby encouraging Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), in the area of Film in Kenya.
Key in its delivery will be to promote the harmonization of rates, permits and fees between the National and County Governments so as to promote Kenya as an ideal Filming location as well as promoting the establishment of Distribution channels for the Film productions.
In his remarks, CS, Joe Mucheru noted the lack of incentives as a major issue crippling the film industry and noted rebates being critical because film makers look at filming as business and they are always interested in locations where they can save money. Making film with an agenda opposed to profit as the end goal helps to catalyze funding from various institutions”, he added noting also that the ministry was pursuing the creation of 47 theatres in each county in partnership with the private and creative sectors as one way of encouraging local content production.