On 23rd August 2019, Kenya Film Commission announced winners of the mobile phone film competition dubbed, ‘My Kenya My Story’. The Loss by Mr David Waronja emerged the winner walking away with a cash prize worth KES 200,000. My Bad by Mr Philip Muoki emerged the First Runners up scooping a cash prize of KES 150,000 while Escape by Mr Eric Sirama bagged KES 100,000 for Second Runners up position. Utando by Ian Wachuka bagged the jury award having exceptionally highlighted sexual reproductive health and its effect on mental health.
In its second edition, the number of submissions increased and there was an improvement in the quality of productions entered for the competition since the first edition was launched in 2018..
The Commission picked the theme ‘Mental Health and Wellness’ to highlight the stories that affect the society especially the youth. The films submitted explored a spectrum of issues spanning gender-based violence, gender equality, PTSD, depression, cyber bullying among many other societal ills.
Kenya Film Commission CEO, Mr. Timothy Owase noted that;
“We established the mobile phone film competition to expand opportunities and scope of filmmaking in the country. This ensures that Kenyan youth can now make films without use of expensive equipment. This is a significant milestone that must celebrated Kenya is among the leading countries with a large penetration of mobile phone technology in the world. This means that a large percentage of the youth in Kenya have access to and own mobile phones.”
The programme also sought to take advantage of technological advancement and global trends in consumption of media content thus influence how filmmakers produce content for the ever changing and demanding audience.
The Commission has also rolled out key initiatives aimed at supporting the local film industry such as the fully-furnished Resource Centre equipped with film books, editing suites, desktop machines with high-speed internet connectivity, meeting space for production meetings and screening equipment.
Following the success of ‘My Kenya My Story’ in two editions, Mr. Owase announced that in the current financial year, the Commission will be rolling out yet another programme dubbed ‘My County My Story’. This programme will see all the 47 counties producing their own unique stories which will be beamed across the whole country and beyond. I therefore urge all the county governments to embrace this initiative and support film activities in their counties. It is our strong belief that through film, the various counties will be able to market their own locations thus spurs tourism and create jobs and wealth for the youth.