The Commission held a stakeholders forum in Kirinyaga County in a bid to appraise stakeholders from Central region on the recent developments in the film industry with regards to the national film policy and the proposed certification program. Core to the delivery of the national film policy 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 promote the establishment of distribution channels for local content.
Welcoming the guests to the event were Mr John Kabiru and Ms Eva Ndemi from Trade Tourism, Industrialization & Enterprise Development, Kirinyaga County. Also in attendance were representatives from Communications Authority of Kenya, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, Kenya Wildlife Services, Kenya Film Classification Board, Department of Film Services and filmmakers drawn from the Central region of Kenya. The partner government agencies got an opportunity to sensitize participants on their mandate and the impact thereof on content development in the country in an engaging panel discussion.
The Commission led by Ag. Technical Services Mr Alex Mulwa, orientated stakeholders on the proposed certification program, the current statistics and recent developments pertaining to film production in the country. The certification program will identify qualified film professionals, ensure recognition of expertise in the industry, enhance credibility and prestige of the film industry, protect the public from extortion and establish professional practice standards.
The certification program upon implementation will certify persons, associations and organizations participating in the production of film, photography, video, stills, animation, new media and related media.
Mr Ikumilu from Communications Authority of Kenya noted that 80 per cent of local broadcasters met the local content quota and urged filmmakers and broadcasters to collaborate more so as to bring synergy in the film and TV sector.
The importance of producing quality content was emphasized with filmmakers being encouraged to adopt strategy in marketing their content and conducting vigorous research before commencing on writing their scripts. This will ensure that filmmakers are able to adapt to the consumer trends and guaranteeing that their content transcends the borders of the country.
Filmmakers were further urged to reconsider their perception of filmmaking as a hobby to a business venture that needs strategy. Ms Eva Ndemi, Trade Tourism, Industrialization & Enterprise Development, Kirinyaga County encouraged filmmakers from the county to be active in seeking out and taking advantage of opportunities that are presented by the Commission and the county.
Mr Mulwa further reaffirmed the Commission’s position in creating an enabling environment for the local film industry and urged filmmakers to properly utilize avenues such as Kalasha Market to connect with other filmmakers from all over the world to buy and sell content.
Kenya Wildlife Service challenged counties that have pristine land to set aside sections of it to begin conservations which in turn can act as filming locations hence marketing the counties. Filmmakers in attendance at the forum were also asked to consider national parks as filming locations since these places would be perfect to showcase the beautiful locations the country has to offer.
Also speaking at the forum was Mr Mwadime from Kenya Civil Aviation Authority who urged filmmakers to submit their memoranda on the draft regulation for drone operation in the country before it becomes law.
The stakeholders meeting was preceded by a week of capacity building workshop in Kerugoya and film screenings in, Nyeri and Embu Counties on 29th and 30th May. The screenings are geared towards growing audiences for local content in the country.