On 26th July 2021, the Kenya Film Commission launched the Kenya Film Commission-Bomet County Film Hub at Emkwen Vocational Training Center in Bomet County. The event was graced by Ms. Esther Koimett, Principal Secretary, State Department for Broadcasting and Telecommunications, Dr. Hillary Barchok – Governor for Bomet County, David Shadrack Rotich – Deputy Governor for Bomet County, Hon. Nelson Mutai – Speaker, Bomet County Assembly, Mr. Timothy Owase, CEO – Kenya Film Commission, Ms. Alice Kirui – CECM for Gender, Culture, Social Services, Youth & Sports Bomet County, Ms. Jayne Sigilai – Chief Officer for Gender, Culture and Social Services – Bomet County.
Kenya Film Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with Bomet County with one of the deliverables being establishment of a film hub, the second of its kind from the first one that was established in Dedan Kimathi University of Technology in Nyeri County. The hub will be open to students and film professionals from across the country. This is a great initiative by the Commission geared towards devolution of filmmaking activities in the counties and encouraging growth and creativity in content creation. This is an onset of many strategic partnership opportunities with the County and other key stakeholders in advancing the film industry in the country. The Film Hub will serve a crucial role in nurturing talent of the creatives in Bomet County and its environs.
Mr. Timothy Owase, CEO Kenya Film Commission noted that “Bomet County is at the forefront and is setting the pace within the region in establishing the film industry as a potential employer and a main contributor to Kenya’s economic growth. As the Government agency mandated to develop the film industry in the country, our partnership with Bomet County is a step in the right direction as we work towards ensuring that the creative community at the grass-root level has state-of-the-art equipment and software that can enable them compete favorably.”
“Bomet Film Hub is now equipped with video editing hardware and software, sound studio hardware and software, filming equipment and e-research material, among others. The creatives within this region are now empowered to tell their stories. Our assurance to all of you is that Kenya Film Commission remains committed to devolving filmmaking activities and expanding the opportunities for Kenyan filmmakers, thereby echoing Bomet’s slogan of doing the greatest good for the greatest number.”
Speaking at the Film Hub Launch, Bomet County Governor Dr. Hillary Barchok added that “Besides telling our story, you can also earn a living off it. This is a lucrative industry with a capability to generate over Kshs. 60 million to the Kenyan economy. On our part, this film hub has the potential to contribute significantly towards this industry. So, take advantage and start creating your own content as early as today. Nigeria has created its own Hollywood – they call it Nollywood. In Nairobi they call it Riverwood and in Bomet we will call it Bomawood.”
He also noted that,” I am personally elated with this launch because it is another milestone that we have achieved as per our pre-election pledge that we made to develop arts/cultural theatres in every sub county with a major performing arts theatre and recording studio in Bomet town as well as to set up community-based libraries with ICT centers in every sub-county with a major facility in Bomet town.
I am happy that finally, this has come to fruition because this administration is committed to delivering on the promise that we made to the electorate. Moving forward, we will integrate Bomet film hub into our development plans; our CIDP and ADP and align it with the National development strategic plans such as the Kenya Vision 2030 as we strive to make our contribution to the digital economy as the one envisaged by the Konza City.”
Ms. Esther Koimett – Principal Secretary, State Department of Broadcasting and Telecommunication – Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs added that “Film is indeed big business with significant contribution to our country’s economy. World over, Governments are incorporating film industry as part of their economic recovery strategy post-COVID19 pandemic. We must therefore not be left behind in investing more in this industry. Further investment into the sector will spur economic growth and ensure we realize optimum economic activity. As a Ministry, we remain steadfast in our commitment to grow the sustainability of the film industry through strengthening existing institutional frameworks and increasing number and quality of film productions in Kenya through the active involvement of film industry stakeholders.
“I wish to reiterate that the Ministry has developed the National Film Policy and Film Bill which is at the Cabinet level and upon enactment, will open up numerous opportunities for the youth in the creative economy. It is imperative that we develop an industry that will ensure every member has an opportunity to contribute to the national Big Four Agenda. We can only do this by ensuring we empower the filmmakers with requisite technology and hardware to tell their unique authentic stories.”
It is in this regard, the Commission as a government agency mandated to develop the film industry in the country, is committed to expanding the opportunities for creatives in the country thus ensuring realization of momentous growth in the film industry.