Kenya Looks At Tapping Into Chinese Film Market With Launch Of A Screenplay Competition

Kenya Looks At Tapping Into Chinese Film Market With Launch Of A Screenplay Competition

The Ministry of ICT, through Kenya Film Commission (KFC) and Kenya Film School has launched a Screenplay/Script Writing Competition today. The ceremony was officiated by the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Joe Mucheru.

Speaking during the launch, Mr. Mucheru noted that the competition is geared towards identifying Kenyan scripts, which will be co-produced by international production houses in China for screening to the Chinese and African markets. The Cabinet secretary also announced a raft of measures that are in the pipeline to spur growth in Kenya’s film sector.

“Thinking ahead, the Ministry is exploring the establishment of a film and media city in Kenya with state of the art facilities and equipment that would be world class. Such a city will support the exponential growth of the industry – actors, producers, directors will be able to earn more by incurring lower production costs. At the same time, support industries such as equipment, props, make-up, music, and sound will benefit immensely from a film and media city.”

The Cabinet further added that alongside pursuing the passing of the film policy at Cabinet, the government, through relevant agencies, was exploring introduction of airing levy, to be collected by KFCB, to be charged on all ads and series produced out of the country but viewed in Kenya and used as revenue pullers.

“Ad agencies by-pass local production houses, spend all the money in India, Malaysia and other markets, hence denying locals jobs and income. And when they come here, the tax levied is only equivalent to the value of the hard disk”.

The CS reiterated the ministry’s commitment in helping grow the film industry in Kenya by ensuring that barriers to film production such as multi-agency licenses are reviewed to encourage growth in the sector.

Speaking during the same event, PS for State Department of ICT said the country wants to inculcate the culture of film going to listen to our own stories as told by our people.

The Script writing competition, whose call for entries closes on February 26th, will see 5 winners receive a total of KES 2m, with the overall winner taking home KES 1,000,000. Other category winners are 1st runners up – KES 500,000, second runners up – KES 300,000, and – KES 100,000 each for best student and best young writer.

Kenya Film Commission CEO, Mr. Timothy Owase committed to ensuring the competition run smoothly and that winners will be announced by 25th April 2019.

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