February 4th 2019                                          By Cheruiyot Korir

The Ministry of ICT through the Kenya Film Commission (KFC) and the Kenya Film School has launched a film script writing competition aimed at identifying and rewarding the talent and growing the industry.

The Cabinet Secretary for ICT Mr. Joe Mucheru said the long term objective of the competition is to identify talented film script writers and producers who could co-produce with Chinese production houses.

Speaking during the launch of the competition at the Telposta Towers today, Mr. Mucheru said quality productions will be screened in theatres across Africa and the China. He added that the co-production arrangements would be benefit the Kenyan film industry through provision of technical expertise, skills transfer and access to modern equipment.

The Cabinet Secretary said that Kenya had a pool of highly talented film producers and premier shooting locations. “This is part of the reason my Ministry has challenged the Kenya Film School (KFS) and the Kenya Film Commission (KFC) to come up with the film script writing competition that we are launching today”, Mr Mucheru added.

He said the Ministry is exploring the viability of establishing a film and media city in Kenya with state of the art facilities and equipment that would rival Hollywood.

He said such a city will support the exponential growth of the industry that will lower production costs and enable actors, producers and directors to earn more.

Mr. Mucheru noted that beside the development of infrastructure and market solutions for the film industry, the government had also embarked on a process to review and pass film policy and legislations over the next few months.

“With the policy in place, we should be able to streamline the industry and ensure that local jobs are created and made available for our youth”, the Cabinet Secretary observed.

Mr Mucheru said the government will act to stump out the proliferation of movies, and advertisements that broadcasters, advertising agencies, and brands produce from out of the country and screen locally.

He explained that theirs act presents the local filmmakers with an unfair competition and also denies the government a source of revenue. “I have instructed relevant entities including the Kenya Film and Classification Board (KFCB) to review the whole area of ads and series shot outside Kenya and broadcast locally with a view of introducing an ‘airing levy’. Said Mr Miucheru.

Mr Mucheru said a levy will be charged on all materials shot and produced outside the country and aired in local stations. He said, the revenue collected will be invested in a revolving Film Fund, which will be made available to the film sector players.

The Cabinet secretary challenged the film industry to integrate culture and heritage in local productions. He said film is important in the conservation of culture and fostering of patriotism. He observed that the growth and development of the country is depended on the preservation of local cultures.

The call for entries for the competition opens tomorrow Tuesday , 5th February 2019 and closes on Tuesday , 26th February 2019. Winning script will be awardee Sh 1 million while first and second runners up will be awarded sh 500, 000 and sh300, 000 respectively.
Principal Secretary for Broadcasting and Telecommunication, Fatuma Hirsi Mohammed and her ICT counterpart Mr. Jerome Ochieng were present during the event.