On 29th August 2019, Kenya Film Commission unveiled winners of the National Scriptwriting Competition launched earlier in the year on 4th February 2019. The competition attracted an overwhelming 549 entries by close of submission on 27th February 2019. Shortlisted candidates were required to submit full scripts for further evaluation by a nine-member jury drawn from the Kenyan film industry.
The nine-member jury of experts was tasked to scrutinize the screenplay submissions, evaluate the entries and determine winners of the competition. The judging criteria focused on: Originality, Story structure, Characterization, Visual inventiveness and Overall viability for world-class film festivals and/or online distribution. After a rigorous process of sorting through the entries, the jury shortlisted a total of 20 story concepts for judging; having satisfied the selection criteria. These shortlisted scripts were further subjected to scrutiny to find the three winning scripts.
This competition sought to identify authentic Kenyan scripts viable for world class film festivals and online distribution to spur growth in Kenya’s film industry. Mr Joe Mucheru Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of ICT, reiterates that Kenya must not rely on the rest of the world but should sell stories as well and be part of the contribution of the global film industry in a big way. The winners of the National Scriptwriting Competition are as listed below:
|Benjamin Odiwour||Dust in my Eyes||Best Script||KES 1,000,000||Nairobi|
|Cyrus Kilavu||Ndondi||First Runner-Up||KES 500,000||Nairobi|
|Ken Nderitu||Crossing the Tsavo||Second Runner-Up||KES 300,000||Nairobi|
In addition, two films that received the jury recognition are:
- Poacher – Stephen Gachomba (Nyeri County)
- Lost in the Village – Jirongo Luyali (Nairobi County)
The competition was initiated as a way of growing the film industry in Kenya and expanding the local market for films in the country and other markets in Africa and Asia under the SMART Africa Initiative while showcasing Kenya as a film production destination. Long term, the main goal of the competition is to establish a co-production deal with international producers from China who will develop the scripts to full feature film which will be showcased in local and international markets.In addition, the competition also seeks to promote and shape the narrative of the Kenya-China relationship and the opportunities that can be exploited therein. The competition will also establish a significant positive contribution to a modern and exemplary understanding of intercultural dialogue, both on a national and international level.