Mr. Keith Ndenga and Ms. Hazel Nyokabi are the winners of the recently concluded Scriptwriting Competition organized by the Kenya Film Commission, in conjunction with the Embassy of Israel in Kenya to promote and forge relations between the two countries while setting the stage for knowledge sharing and value exchange. Mr. Ndenga and Ms. Nyokabi received a scholarship (to be conducted virtually) in Film Production at the Sam Spiegel Film School in Jerusalem, Israel’s leading film school. The two winners were awarded by Israeli Embassy Ambassador, H.E. Joseph Oded and KFC CEO, Mr. Timothy Owase at a breakfast meeting at Fairview Hotel, Nairobi.
The Scriptwriting Competition was part of the 4th Edition of the Sherekea Israel Film Festival that ran virtually between 10th and 13th December 2020. Besides the competition, the Festival comprised of screenings of various films from Israel and Kenya as well as virtual Masterclasses on film production. Entrants were required to submit scripts that captured certain requirements based on the story synopsis, treatment, character and scene description. Kenya-Israeli themed scripts were encouraged.
Ndenga’s “The Rebirth of Syokimau” is a sci-fi thriller about the disillusioned greater granddaughter of a famous Kenyan prophetess as she traces her heritage. Nyokabi’s proposal is centred on a love story between an Israeli girl and a Kenyan man titled “Assur”.
To shortlist the winners, the Commission engaged a Committee of industry professionals comprising of: Mr. Abel Mutua (Creative Director, Actor & Content Creator), Ms. Damaris Irungu (Scriptwriter), Mr. Emmanuel Wanyonyi (Film Lecturer, Daystar University) and Ms. Mona Ombogo (Author and Scriptwriter). The 4 worked together with Mr. Youval Orr (Director at Baraka HolyLand Productions) in the evaluation process.
KFC CEO, Mr. Timothy Owase congratulated the two winners and urged them to make the most of the scholarship in telling Kenyan stories. He also thanked the Embassy of Israel for the initiative and the success of the Sherekea Film Festival, four years in a row. Mr. Owase, noted that film has proven to be an industry that generates significant employment opportunities and wealth creation across every sector in the country. “I urge all filmmakers to embrace the various initiatives by the Commission and tap into the potential of Kenya’s rapidly-emerging creative economy and consumer market as well as attract global companies to explore partnerships with the local industry. With Animation as one of the new products in the screen industry, I commend Disney World for recently partnering with the Pan African animation studio, Kugali Media, in launching an African based science fiction story “Iwaju” set for release in 2022,” said Mr. Owase.
The two winning proposals were part of the total 154 proposals submitted for the competition.