By David Mukara

26th November, 2018

The eighth annual Kalasha Film and Television Awards went down last Saturday evening at the Safari Park Hotel, with the crème de la crème of the film industry gracing the red carpet event.

The ceremony was a culmination of a month-long rigorous process which saw the selection panel of the Kalasha Awards Academy narrow down to 140 nominees from the more than 1000 submissions they had received. These nominees competed in 32 categories.

Top government officials led by ICT Cabinet Secretary Mr Joe Mucheru, Mr Gideon Moi, Senate ICT Chair and Baringo Senator, Mrs Fatuma Hirsi Mohammed, Principal Secretary for Broadcasting and Telecommunications, Mr Jerome Ochieng, Principal Secretary for ICT and Innovations graced the glamorous event which is hosted by the Kenya Film Commission (KFC).

ICT CS Joe Mucheru told local film makers to brace themselves for the Chinese film market. Earlier this month, the CS was in China where he had discussions with the Chinese film industry players on the possibilities of Chinese film makers making their films in Kenya and also opening their markets for local film

The Chinese film industry is touted to be one of the largest in the world and it boasts of about 1 billion movie-goers. Last year alone, 2.4 billion movie tickets were sold bringing in an estimated ten billion US dollars (over 1 trillion Kenya Shillings) in revenues. This market will therefore be very good for the local film makers to market Kenya and also rake in profits due to its vast audience.

The CS also said that a raft of policy review measures are on the way to have a vibrant film industry  appreciated for its potential contribution to the Kenyan economy.

“We have commitment to ensure growth (in the film industry) but we want to do this in partnership so that we can transform the sector together,” said the CS, adding that a task force is already in place working on a draft National Film Policy. He said that the governmnet is committed to see the growth of the local film industry.

Senate ICT Committee Chair and Baringo Senator Mr. Gideon Moi said that he will ensure that the Senate will do its part to ensure that the film industry is where it is supposed to be.

“Kenya has not even scratched the surface (in terms of exploiting the full potential of the film industry) and we will do our part on the legislative side and I think everybody is committed to see the industry grows and transforms,” he said.

Some of the winners feted  during the event included Selina – best TV drama, World Tofauti – Best original score, Churchill Show – best TV show, Poacher – best short film, Eddy Peter – best lead actor in a TV drama and Diana Mulwa – best lead actress in a TV drama. Eddy Peter and Diana Mulwa are from the movie My two Wives.

Kenya Film Commission Acting CEO Mr. Timothy Owase while revealing a list of nominees in October had said that it is by recognizing our own level of excellence and the achievements of our film practitioners that we can set benchmarks for future film makers and encourage the expansion of the industry.

Also present during the fete were Nairobi Women Representative. Esther Passaris, Kenya Film Commission Chair Mr. Chris Foot and officials from the French Embassy.

Often called the Kenyan Version of the Oscars, Kalasha Film and TV Awards started in 2009 and has grown to be the ultimate entertainment annual event in Kenya. Like the international Oscars, Kalasha is a perfect example of how awards systems can have profound effects on careers and business opportunities and also give us a salutary warning of how excessive efforts can be made by production companies towards ensuring the success of a film.