KENYAN FILMMAKER MARK AYABEI FETED IN CALIFORNIA, USA.

 FILMMAKER MARK AYABEI

Kenya Film Commission recently sponsored Mark Ayabei, a film producer and director of photography to attend the Silicon Valley African Film Festival where his film Clench was participating.

While in California, USA, Mark had the rare opportunity to be hosted by the Senate and Governor of California who praised and appreciated the film for the outstanding performance in using film as a vehicle for community engagement, education and strengthening culture and creativity.

“I thank the Kenya Film Commission for facilitating my air tickets and VISA to participate in the Silicon Valley African Film Festival. I think more of this support will empower filmmakers and inspire them to do more. The certificates of recognition are a testament that I can do more and that the Kenyan government, through the Commission is supporting me.”

Talking on his experience at the Silicon Valley African Film Festival Mark notes that he got an opportunity to visit Universal Studios, Facebook, YouTube, Google and Apple where he met various high profile personalities and attended multiple workshops. Here, he learnt important aspects of these Silicon Valley companies. As a creative in Kenya, he learnt how to enrich his content to reach the global stage.

Since the festival in October 2018, Mark has submitted another documentary titled Wakariru to the 2019 edition of the festival and will be travelling back to California later in the year. The film Wakariru, written by Wambui Kamiru, tells the story of the Kenyan Mau Mau fighters with a keen focus on highlighting the role of women in the war against colonizers. Earlier this year, he also submitted another documentary; Road Home to Mashariki African Film Festival in Kigali, Rwanda which generated great feedback from the audience at the festival.

The performance of these films clearly demonstrates the prowess of Kenyan creative in conveyance of the stories which has created international appeal.

Courtesy of the Commission’s support in July 2018, Clench featured at the Zanzibar International Film Festival. The film elicited a lot of interest from fellow filmmakers and corporates from Europe, noting the strength of the story and how relevant it is to the creative sector. Mark was part of a team of 11 Kenyan filmmakers who were sponsored with over half a million Kenyan shillings to attend the 21st edition of ZIFF.

Recapping his experience in both festivals, the elated Mark remarks “I’d like to thank the Commission for the support they are giving filmmakers to get their stories out and to show the world that Kenyan stories are great and should be told.”


TWO KENYAN FILMS SELECTED TO COMPETE IN ZANZIBAR INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (ZIFF) 2019 EDITION

Zanzibar

From a pool of more than 3,500 entries received from 136 countries, two Kenyan films; Subira and Caged, managed to outshine other films to enter the 2019 edition of the Zanzibar International Film Festival to compete in the Golden Dhow category.

The multiple-Kalasha-award winning feature film Subira, has also been selected as the opening film at Zanzibar International Film Festival kicking off on 6th July 2019. In its 22nd year, the festival will run from 6th to 14th July 2019 at the Old Fort in Zanzibar.

The animation film titled Caged by Stanslaus Manthi, will also be competing for the Golden Dhow in the Best Short Film category. Stanslaus says the animation has been inspired by real life stories of the youth who struggle to maintain false high-profile lifestyle who ultimately, end up being depressed resorting to addiction. In March this year, the short animation film premiered in the 5th Mashariki African Film Festival in Kigali, Rwanda.

Over the years, the following Kenyan submissions have won the Golden Dhow prize. In the 2018 edition, Supa Modo by Likarion Wainaina won the prestigious award.


 

Damaris Irungu To Represent Kenya At The12th Edition of Talents Durban

1 Announcement LIST COLLAGE

The 40th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) and Durban FilmMart (DFM) are proud to announce the participants of the 12th edition of Talents Durban, within the official DIFF/DFM programme.

Damaris Irungu Ochieng’, an accomplished content developer, screenwriter and script editor, will be representing Kenya at the Talents Durban under the TV and Web Series section.

Participants will have an opportunity to interact with over 600 delegates from the DIFF and Durban FilmMart, the co-production and finance forum, which take place from 19-22 July during the festival. They will also be part of several project-oriented, hands-on skills development programmes.

Talents Durban is a five-day development programme presented in cooperation with Berlinale Talents, an initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival, made up of workshops and seminars for African filmmakers, delivered by film industry professionals and academics.


 

KENYA FILM COMMISSION SIGNS MOU WITH GREAT POTENTIAL AFRICAN YOUTH [GPAY] AFRICA IN HOSTING 17TH EDITION OF CINEMADAMARE AFRICA CHAPTER 2019

GPAY KFC MOU

On 18th June, 2019 Kenya Film Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Great Potential African Youth [GPAY] Africa in association with Associazione Culturale Cinemadamare forging a collaboration that will see the biggest gathering of young filmmakers from all over the world to Kenya later this year at the 17th edition of Cinemadamare Africa Chapter 2019.

This program will run in five counties for a five-week period commencing 7th November and ending on 15th December, 2019. The event will be flagged off in Nairobi and will end at the coastal town of Malindi with a big international film festival.

The 17th Edition is expected to host approximately 200 filmmakers from more than 100 countries with young filmmakers from different countries being given the opportunity to tell Kenyan stories under the theme “Gains of Devolution”. This event will also offer an opportunity for the participants to travel across scenic locations in the various counties while filming as well as offering a platform to network, share their cultures and experience of filming in a new environment.

CEO, Kenya Film Commission notes that, “As a Commission, we are glad to support this initiative because it offers an opportunity for Kenya to showcase its scenic locations to filmmakers from various countries around the world and reaffirm herself as the preferred film destination. This is also a great platform for Kenyan creative to demonstrate their skills.”

Short films produced in each county will be screened to the public and awards given to the best films that exhibit the best visual storytelling and filmmaking techniques. Participants will also get unique learning opportunities through special workshops facilitated by world renowned filmmakers.

Associazione Culturale CinemadaMare” hosts the biggest gathering of young filmmakers from all over the world In Italy annually. For the past 17 years, the event has run for 75 days of summer, covering 12 different cities of Italy finally ending in the prestigious city of Venice at the oldest film festival in the world – the Venice International Film Festival.

Great Potential African Youth (GPAY) is a youth community-based organizatio based in Dandora that runs youth projects aimed at addressing socio-economic, cultural and environmental issues through film and photography training. To date, GPAY has empowered more than 216 youth in filmmaking who have produced 120 short films and 5 feature length films. GPAY has also scooped 4 awards, in four consecutive years of the annual Kalasha International TV and Film Awards – Diaspora Category since 2014.


LUSALA’ PREMIERES AT THE 3RD NBO FILM FESTIVAL

LUSALA PREMIERE

Kenyans, and the world at large, have enjoyed One Fine Day films over the years and 6th June 2019 marked the world premiere of yet another film in this program – ‘Lusala’. Cast and crew of the film accompanied by Ginger Ink Films Africa Limited joined film and TV stakeholders and enthusiasts for the premiere at the 3rd edition of the Nairobi Film Festival. As one of the partners, Kenya Film Commission celebrates this new project and is proud to be associated with the Nairobi Film Festival. This edition runs from 6th to 16th June 2019 at Prestige Plaza and will screen exceptional films as well as host a panel discussion, workshops, lectures and presentations on aspects of the distribution of films for TV and cinema.

The premiere event, which was totally sold out, vividly indicates that the Kenyan audience is continuously developing a taste for and embracing local content and a cinema going culture.

‘Lusala’ is the story of a young man – named Lusala – who was adopted by an affluent Nairobi family but is imposed on to leave the nest and start out life on his own. At first, he makes the most of his new life but demons from his past return, and he has to face them on his own. Brian Ogola embodies the Lusala character so deeply in telling a story of one’s traumatic past as well as the power of family and how they provide a solid foundation for one to rise above seemingly insurmountable challenges. Ogola and the super talented cast comprising of Alan Oyugi, Mkamzee Mwatela, Stycie Waweru and Alyce Wangari among others seamlessly bring this story to life.

‘Lusala’ is Mugambi Nthiga’s directorial debut, described as an unnerving, errant, and relentless ride through twenty one days of shooting. Mugambi started off as an actor in Nairobi Half Life, and then proceeded to write Kati Kati and Supa Modo (all One Fine Day projects). In many ways, Mugambi has come to a full circle moment for himself in the One Fine Day Films program.

This film portrays the duality of humanity; the co-existence of two selves: an inauthentic self, constructed by us so we can get by and fit in, and our real self, the imperfect and guileless, yet necessary person that enables the full experience of being human. One is controlled by ego, and blots our weaknesses and follies with fabrications we have learnt to wear. The real self, though, is where stories are made. It exists powerfully, underneath it all, and when it is revealed—via affliction or affection—it shows us for who we really are. ‘Lusala’ experiences the woes of a human whose authentic self must be revealed, and when he survives this upset, that is enough of an ending, even if it’s just for a moment in time.

He is telling the story of reaching one’s end, where one’s carefully constructed sense of self is called to question, and with the summoning of one’s own tenacity, and the support of loved ones, a new normal can be found or lost.

The next screening of ‘Lusala’ will be on Friday, 14th June 2019 at Prestige Plaza, Ngong Road; a Q & A session will follow thereafter. Regular screenings will run from 21st June 2019.


KENYA FILM COMMISSION MEETS STAKEHOLDERS IN KERUGOYA

Kerugoya Story

The Commission held a stakeholders forum in Kirinyaga County in a bid to appraise stakeholders from Central region on the recent developments in the film industry with regards to the national film policy and the proposed certification program. Core to the delivery of the national film policy will be to promote the harmonization of rates, permits and fees between the national and county governments so as to promote Kenya as an ideal filming location as well as promote the establishment of distribution channels for local content.

Welcoming the guests to the event were Mr John Kabiru and Ms Eva Ndemi from Trade Tourism, Industrialization & Enterprise Development, Kirinyaga County. Also in attendance were representatives from Communications Authority of Kenya, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, Kenya Wildlife Services, Kenya Film Classification Board, Department of Film Services and filmmakers drawn from the Central region of Kenya. The partner government agencies got an opportunity to sensitize participants on their mandate and the impact thereof on content development in the country in an engaging panel discussion.

The Commission led by Ag. Technical Services Mr Alex Mulwa, orientated stakeholders on the proposed certification program, the current statistics and recent developments pertaining to film production in the country. The certification program will identify qualified film professionals, ensure recognition of expertise in the industry, enhance credibility and prestige of the film industry, protect the public from extortion and establish professional practice standards.

The certification program upon implementation will certify persons, associations and organizations participating in the production of film, photography, video, stills, animation, new media and related media.

Mr Ikumilu from Communications Authority of Kenya noted that 80 per cent of local broadcasters met the local content quota and urged filmmakers and broadcasters to collaborate more so as to bring synergy in the film and TV sector.

The importance of producing quality content was emphasized with filmmakers being encouraged to adopt strategy in marketing their content and conducting vigorous research before commencing on writing their scripts. This will ensure that filmmakers are able to adapt to the consumer trends and guaranteeing that their content transcends the borders of the country.

Filmmakers were further urged to reconsider their perception of filmmaking as a hobby to a business venture that needs strategy. Ms Eva Ndemi, Trade Tourism, Industrialization & Enterprise Development, Kirinyaga County encouraged filmmakers from the county to be active in seeking out and taking advantage of opportunities that are presented by the Commission and the county.

Mr Mulwa further reaffirmed the Commission’s position in creating an enabling environment for the local film industry and urged filmmakers to properly utilize avenues such as Kalasha Market to connect with other filmmakers from all over the world to buy and sell content.

Kenya Wildlife Service challenged counties that have pristine land to set aside sections of it to begin conservations which in turn can act as filming locations hence marketing the counties. Filmmakers in attendance at the forum were also asked to consider national parks as filming locations since these places would be perfect to showcase the beautiful locations the country has to offer.

Also speaking at the forum was Mr Mwadime from Kenya Civil Aviation Authority who urged filmmakers to submit their memoranda on the draft regulation for drone operation in the country before it becomes law.

The stakeholders meeting was preceded by a week of capacity building workshop in Kerugoya and film screenings in, Nyeri and Embu Counties on 29th and 30th May. The screenings are geared towards growing audiences for local content in the country.


CANON CONDUCTS ONE-WEEK TRAINING ON FILM AND PHOTOGRAPHY IN KENYA

CANON TRAININGOn 3rd June 2019, Canon Central and North Africa signed a Memorandum of Understating with Film Lecturers and Trainers Association [FLeTA] Kenya at KCA University marking the onset of an educational partnership that will see students from various universities offering film education trained on film and photography.

In 2014, Canon introduced the Miraisha Sustainability Programme which aims to use Canons leading expertise to support people in key African markets to develop livelihoods in professional film, photography and print. This programme has trained more than 4500 students in filmmaking, photography and print.

The one-week workshop will offer the students an opportunity to access: wider FLeTA network, instruction by Canon trainers and technical experts, cutting-edge professional technology used internationally and mentorship opportunities.

Giving his remarks at the official opening ceremony of this revolutionary partnership, CEO, Kenya Film Commission – Mr Timothy Owase; highlighted the core programs of the Commission, key among them being capacity building. He noted that:

“Core programs of the Commission border on capacity building because we are interested in seeing development of quality local content. Kenya has quite a lot of untold stories and we look forward to you the filmmakers of tomorrow, to tell these stories. I urge you to tell authentic Kenyan stories that can transcend the borders of our country and beyond.

We operate in an environment where a technology rules, so we must equip ourselves with the right equipment like the cameras Canon is offering to undertake the trade of filmmaking.”

Reiterating the Commission’s commitment in improving film production in the country, Mr Owase affirmed that KFC has conducted capacity building in over 25 counties. He further adds that the intention of the Commission is to have film activities take place in the counties to showcase the great locations, culture and the amazing people the country has to offer. Kenya has all that is needed to create the amazing films however, there is need to create capacity to fulfill the need of the content that is needed in the market.

Recognizing the long-standing partnership with Canon, Mr Owase applauded Canon for their support and commitment in providing opportunity for the young filmmakers to build their capacity. He further urged the students to register with the various associations so that they are able to enjoy the various benefits that come along with such membership such as health benefits, negotiated rates for jobs, developing a sense of belonging as a professional among other items.

This initiative is aimed at raising awareness on the latest affordable technology which includes Canon’s newest products and their capabilities, keeping Kenyan filmmakers abreast with technological advances globally and offering support through practical opportunities which will help the young people find rewarding careers in Kenya and abroad.


KENYA FILM COMMISSION CONDUCTS CSR IN KONZA CITY

KONZA TREE PLANTING

Kenya Film Commission on 30th April 2019 conducted a tree planting exercise as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility at the new Silicon Savannah, Konza city. The Commission was joined by Konza Technopolis Development Authority, Kenya Film Classification Board and members of the surrounding community around Konza city.

The tree planting exercise was an initiative aimed at restoring the tree cover in the country. Through such initiatives, the Commission has proven that it is conscious of environment conservation efforts and the impact such activities to the country at large.

Konza city was selected for the tree planting exercise to act as a model for other cities to create green livable spaces with a variety of species for trees. This exercise was also aimed at encouraging various organizations to be conscious of their Carbon Foot Print in all their activities thus reducing their environmental impact.

Pupils from Malili Township Primary school were also involved in the tree planting exercise so that a culture of environmental conservation could be inculcated in them at a tender age and also ensure continuity of this practice for posterity.

By the end of this exercise, a total of 1500 seedlings will have been planted. The number will be increased gradually to 1 million seedlings which will be planted within Konza city and the surrounding areas through community engagement.


CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP - KIRINYAGA COUNTY

MASTER THE ART OF DIRECTING AND SHOOTING A FILM

Workshop Date 27th-31st May 2019

KIRINYAGA CAPACITY BUILDING POSTER

In a bid to facilitate the uptake of 60 per cent local content quota by FTA TV broadcasters, the Kenya Film Commission facilitates master classes around the country for upcoming film makers. To date, the Kenya Film Commission has trained over 900 up-coming filmmakers in 19 counties.

The Commission collaborates with Communication Authority of Kenya to undertake the trainings focusing on bolstering the local content producers’ professional skills. These programmes are meant to equip film makers with regulatory, business and industry knowledge, which will enable them to provide quality and affordable local content for TV broadcasting, as well as enable them to compete successfully in the local, regional and international film environments.

Participants will learn on how to Direct, Shoot and Sell a film, Film Financing, Marketing and Distribution channels from Kenya Film Commission (KFC). They will also get a chance to interact and learn from Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) on matters Local Content Development, Programming Code and Complaints Procedure as well as Broadcast Monitoring and Broadcast Licensing, Film Licensing and Classification from Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB), Copyright and Related Issues from Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) as well as Media ethics and professionalism in Journalism from Media Council of Kenya (MCK).

Click Here To Apply


KENYAN THESPIANS DISPLAY OUTSTANDING PERFROMANCE IN COUNTRY QUEEN PILOT

Country Queen bsplineCountry Queen – a new drama series set in contemporary Kenya tells the story of Akisa; a city girl who finds herself caught in between two worlds and must return home to save her village when an invasive mining company threatens its existence.

The series is a Kenyan-German co-production, whose pilot was shot in January 2019 in Nairobi, Machakos and Kajiado counties revealing stunning locations that Kenya offers. The production involved 45 actors, 51 crew members and 160 extras, a majority of whom are Kenyans.

The drama series was first created in 2017 by a writers’ room comprising 10 Kenyan creatives with diverse experience in visual storytelling with the assistance of Good Karma Fiction – a German production company.

Good Karma Fiction has since released a pilot of the series which received overwhelming feedback at the recent Kalasha International TV and Film Market, with many citing its cinematic production style and quality.

Country Queen has broken down barriers and created new norms based on its unique focus on the rural communities of Kenya, as well as its collaborative and Kenyan-focused production process.

The Country Queen pilot was directed by Vincent Mbaya. The writers included Lydia Matata, Annette Shadeya, Mkamzee Mwatela, Shirleen Wangari, Oprah Oyugi, Wanjeri Gakuru, Kimani Waweru, Florence Onyango, Ian Kithinji and Kamau wa Ndung'u. As part of the process, all the writers underwent a series of workshops run by Brazilian Telenovela specialists James McSill and Carla Bohler.

Commenting on his experience in directing the pilot of the drama series, Vincent says, “ I am a passionate story teller and for a long time, I have felt a gap as there hasn’t been much narrative work up for grabs with the quality that would really get me excited. When I had my first meeting about Country Queen, I knew that gap would be filled. The process turned out to be quite fulfilling, very detailed, nothing left to chance, an opportunity to exercise my creative muscles in a world class drama production. I cannot wait to get going on the full series.”

Country Queen is currently sourcing for funding for production of the first season of the series.


SEMA STORI: CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

Sema Stori lanczos3Docubox – The East African Film Fund, has sent out a call for application seeking 10 filmmakers drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda to author amazing short documentary films that can influence social change.

The 10 shortlisted filmmakers will be granted £10,000 each in funding to work collaboratively with local communities as well as be part of workshops and mentorship programs that will turn the great ideas generated into films written in unique voices.

The films will focus on four key areas spanning Mental Health, Early Childhood Development, Gender Justice and Right to Safe & Secure Shelter & Settlement.

Applications should be made online through the Docubox website by 3rd May 2019.

Interested applicants are required to send the following:

  • A 5-minute video talk on their film idea.
  • Links to any factual work they have done that shows why they should be selected.
  • Any concept or idea they have and trailers/scenes selected from any on-going work around any of the four thematic areas.
  • A 2-page typed document on on-going film projects.

More information on Sema Stori project can be found here


NETFLIX ANNOUNCES FIRST ORIGINAL AFRICAN ANIMATED SERIES

 Mama Ks Team 4 lanczos3

The popular video streaming giant, Netflix, has announced its first Original African animated series titled Mama K’s Team 4. This follows its concerted effort to increase its acquisition of content from Africa as it expands its reach on the African continent amid stiff competition from other streaming services.

Offering a new and fresh perspective to the classic cartoon genre, this new animated series tells a story of four teenage girls living in a futuristic version of Zambia recruited by an ex-secret agent to save the world. The animated series has been produced by award-winning South African based studio, Triggerfish Animation and CAKE, a London-based kids and family entertainment company.

The animation series has been created by Malenga Mulendema – a Zambian writer. In 2015, Malenga was among eight winners of the Triggerfish Story Lab, a pan-African talent search backed by the Cape Town-based animation studio and The Walt Disney Company. Designed by Cameroonian artist Malcolm Wope, Mama K's Team 4 draws visual inspiration from the retro-R&B and hip-hop girl groups of the '90s.

“In addition to giving African writers a global platform on which to be heard, we are excited to present this powerful and entertaining new animated series that brings Malenga’s incredible and unique vision to life on Netflix. Mama K’s Team 4 has the potential to give a whole new generation of African children the opportunity to see themselves on screen in the powerful, aspirational characters they look up to,” says Melissa Cobb - Netflix Vice President of Original Animation.

Netflix, in collaboration with Triggerfish and CAKE, have launched a continent-wide search for local female writing talent to join the creative team on the series giving African women writers a unique global opportunity. Interested writers can find out more about the Writers Lab and how to apply via here

Commenting on what inspired her to develop the animation series, Malenga says, “I grew up watching cartoons on TV and found myself asking why no heroes looked like me and why they didn’t live in a world that felt like my own. In creating a superhero show set in Lusaka, I hope to introduce the world to four strong African girls who save the day in their own fun and crazy way. Most importantly, I want to illustrate that anyone from anywhere can be a superhero. Now, like never before, it is so important to have strong female lead characters who are emotionally connected to their world and who can choose to change their world. So to me, selecting an all-female writing team was a natural fit, because who better to create and connect to those characters than females themselves.” 

The commissioning of this animation series comes after the recent appointment of the award-winning Kenyan film producer, Ms Dorothy Ghettuba as the Manager for International Originals by Netflix. This clearly demonstrates the streaming giant’s intention of acquiring more content from the African continent.

It is an exciting time for African filmmakers as the continent is now witnessing increased interest in African content by global production and streaming companies such as Amazon, Netflix, HBO, Universal Pictures, Fox and Warner Bros who have commissioned projects on African stories.


LUPITA NYONG’O TO NARRATE NEW SERIES ‘SERENGETI’

Serengeti

Renowned and award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o alongside fellow Hollywood icon John Boyega, are set to narrate Serengeti – a new natural history series by Discovery Channel and BBC. Lupita Nyong’o will narrate the U.S version while John Boyega will narrate the British version of the series.

The six-part series follows the interconnected stories of a number of savannah animals over one year, bringing to life the challenges and experiences facing some of the Serengeti’s most well-known and iconic species such as warthogs, mongoose, lions and cheetahs in intimate detail making use of innovative filming techniques and drone technology.

The series seeks to capture the drama that unfolds in the daily lives of the wildlife up close highlighting the emotional moments they face at key points in their lives, within their natural habitat.

Sharing her excitement on her role in this new project, Lupita Nyong’o says:

“These beautiful creatures’ stories are universal, and I am honored to help take the audience on their journey.”

While speaking to the press Simon Fuller noted that, “Lupita brings pure magic to Serengeti, her sensitivity and passion for nature shines through in every word she speaks. We are so proud to be working with such an extraordinary artist on this show that means so much to us.”

Participation in this new project by Lupita Nyong’o has clearly demonstrated her prowess and ability to evolve and fit onto different roles in her acting career.

The new series will be directed by Emmy-winning wildlife filmmaker, John Downer and produced by Simon Fuller – the creator of American Idol.

Serengeti will premiere later this year on Discovery Channel and will be distributed internationally by BBC Studios.


KENYAN FILM SHOTO NOMINATED FOR NEW FILMMAKERS LOS ANGELES (NFML) AWARDS

Shoto Film

Shoto – a Kenyan film telling the story of a matatu driver who operates in Nairobi city was recently nominated for the 16th Edition of Best of New Film Makers Awards Los Angeles (BNFMLA) Awards under the Best New Media category.

The film titled Shoto, which refers to the nickname of a matatu driver plying the Umoja – CBD route, highlights the daily life of the driver and in the process, showcases many aspects of the matatu culture in Nairobi.

The short film ‘Shoto’ was a project by young emerging Kenyan filmmakers who are supported by Stories Found. The film, written by Arnold Mvoi and Firul Maithya also premiered at the Oxford Film Festival in the United States.

The young filmmakers went through a rigorous 5-day training session led by professional film instructors including Evie Maina, and Ishmael Azeli, as well as US-based filmmakers James Martin and Bud Simpson.

Stories Found is a documentary film-making curriculum which is sponsored by the United States Embassy in Nairobi to train young filmmakers and teach them skills in film production through courses available online and a detailed workshop.

NFML A is a non-profit organisation designed to showcase innovative works by emerging filmmakers from around the world. This organization also offers a forum for filmmakers to be recognised for their contributions, have open audience discussions about their projects and connect with industry professionals for insight on production, distribution and acquisition.

Winners in the 16 Award categories including new media, animation, documentary and narrative are selected by a 14 – member jury drawn from the Hollywood film industry.


KENYA FILM COMMISSION TO PARTNER WITH INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL

CEO Hosting Rahul

On 17th April 2019, Kenya Film Commission CEO Mr Timothy Owase hosted Capt. Rahul Bali from the Indian Film Festival Worldwide to discuss collaboration in the upcoming Indian Film Festival set for 10 – 15th August 2019 in Nairobi.

The discussion also included co-production opportunities between Kenya and India, creation of a linkage between actors and also cooperation between the film commissions in the two countries.

Forming part of the festival will be screening of selected films, roundtable conferences, cocktails and dinner as well as sight-seeing for filmmakers during the five days of the event.

The key objective of this festival is to create and foster a conversation around the impact of filmmaking on tourism in Kenya and India. It focuses on highlighting new locations for film production in both countries and as a result boost tourism in the countries.

Indian Film Festival Worldwide (IFFW) celebrates the imaginative, educational, and historical importance of motion pictures. It gives independent film artists a platform for sharing their work and creating a dialogue with the community. It introduces audiences to innovative new films and past masterworks of cinema.

IFFW is an organization devoted to a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture by showcasing films, supporting emerging filmmakers, recognizing the leadership of entertainment industry performers, business executives, and promoting the diverse perspectives of the Indian diaspora.

For more information on Indian Film Festival Worldwide click here


DOROTHY GHETTUBA APPOINTED NETFLIX MANAGER, INTERNATIONAL ORIGINALS

Ms. Dorothy Ghettuba lanczos3

Chief Executive Officer of Spielworks Media and renowned film producer Ms. Dorothy Ghettuba has been appointed as Manager for International Originals by the popular video streaming service Netflix.

Ms. Dorothy Ghettuba is set to join Netflix in June 2019, assuming the title of Manager, International Originals for Europe, Middle East and Africa operating from the Dutch city of Amsterdam.

Confirming the appointment, spokesperson from Netflix while talking to BBC affirmed that:

“We are excited to confirm that Dorothy is joining the International Originals group, which produces original series across the world. She will focus on adding shows across countries in Africa to our strong and growing International Originals slate. ”

This appointment comes at a time when Kenyans in the creative sector are making significant moves on the global stage reaffirming Kenya’s prowess in the film industry.

Netflix has recently increased the number of African movies and series on its platform. It is the hope of many that more African productions will now form part of the catalogue for Netflix as the streaming giant expands its reach on the continent.

Dorothy is behind productions such as such as ‘Sumu La Penzi’, ‘Lies That Bind’, ‘Saints’ and ‘Higher Learning’ which air on Kenyan TV stations as well as on continental channels like Africa Magic.


KENYAN DIRECTOR, WANURI KAHIU TO DIRECT AND WRITE NEW AMAZON DRAMA SERIES ‘WILD SEED’

Wanuri Kahiu lanczos3

Wanuri Kahiu is set for yet another project in Hollywood where she will be a co-writer and director of a drama series titled Wild Seed. The series, based on Butler's 1980 novel, will tell the story of two African immortals who travel the ages from pre-colonial West Africa to the far future. The series will be co-written by Nigerian author Nnedi Okorafor and directed by Kenyan film director Wanuri Kahiu. Oscar-winning actor Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions will be developing Wild Seeds for the streaming service, Amazon Prime Video.

“JuVee had pursued the rights to the book for over two years, but it wasn’t until they identified rising talent Kahiu, who was tapped to direct as well as write the pilot with her friend and colleague Okorafor, that the vision became clear on how to turn the beloved book into a TV show,” Deadline reports.

“We couldn’t think of more perfect partners to bring Octavia’s feminist century-spanning epic to life than Viola Davis, JuVee Productions and the brilliant creative team of Wanuri Kahiu and Nnedi Okorafor.”

Wild Seed is a book that shifted my life. It is as epic, as game changing, as moving and brilliant as any Science Fiction novel ever written. Julius and I are proud to have this masterpiece in our hands. It fulfills our promise and legacy to be disrupters. Octavia Butler was a visionary and we look forward to honoring the scope of her work and sharing it with the world,” says Viola.

Wanuri Kahiu is also teaming up with Millie Bobby Brown to adapt acclaimed YA novel The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin. Jellyfish tells the story of a young girl named Suzy who loses her best friend in a drowning accident. Suzy becomes convinced that the actual cause of her friend’s death was a rare jellyfish sting. She retreats into a silent world of her imagination and begins crafting a globe-trotting plan to prove her theory, with the book exploring the ideas of life and death, the frailty of friendships and the potential of hope right next door.

This will be Wanuri’s third directorial project in Hollywood as she is already directing two others. In late 2018, Wanuri was handpicked to direct Covers, a romance film for global film studio Universal Pictures and Working Tittle, a British Production house. Universal and Working Tittle settled on Wanuri after an international search for a director to direct first-time screenwriter Flora Greeson’s screenplay, which the American studio has acquired.

Wanuri has enjoyed a series of success with her film Rafiki which has seen her being named a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science synonymous for The Oscars.


 

11 YEAR OLD KENYAN BOY TO FEATURE IN A KSH 2 BILLION BUDGET FILM

Nassor Said, an eleven year old boy from Kilifi is bound for stardom after being selected to feature as the main supporting actor in a Ksh 2 billion budget Italian movie named Tolo Tolo.

Nassor was selected to feature for this role after a scouting mission conducted late last year by the movie director, Checco Zalone - a prominent Italian actor.

Currently, Nassor is in Morocco in the second phase of the shooting after completing the first phase which was shot in the coastal town of Malindi.

The movie is being produced by Taodue – a prominent film production in Italy. The production of this film in Kilifi and Malindi counties adds to the glory of Kenya being referred to as the preferred filming destination. Nassor forms part of 130 artistes and crew drawn from Kenya and Italy working on the project.

Speaking to members of the press earlier this year, executive producer Antonio De Feo, stated that more than 2,500 people comprising actors, extras, casuals, technicians, mechanics and doctors gained from the movie. This further reinforces the fact that film is one of the largest employers compared to other fields of employment.

The movie is expected to generate over $65 million and will be screened in 400 theatres in Italy as well as other African countries.

Pontact, a Kenyan production company, was hired to provide technical production facilities and crew for the movie production.


KENYA FILM COMMISSION AND KENYA FILM CLASSIFICATION BOARD SIGN A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON COLLABORATION

 Film Agencies MOU lanczos3

Kenya Film Commission and Kenya Film Classification Board signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Kenya Film Commission office on 5th April 2019. The M.O.U. seeks to establish a formal relationship between the two organizations in executing their respective mandates with a close collaborative effort in the various activities in the film industry. 

KFC, led by CEO Timothy Owase, will lead the implementation of all developmental, promotional and marketing-related film industry programs and KFCB, led by CEO Dr. Ezekiel Mutua, will initiate and coordinate stakeholder engagements and activities aimed at promoting compliance by the film industry with the applicable legislative precepts. 

The two organizations will support each other on policy matters and jointly undertake projects in terms of research relating to policy and legislative review. Additionally, the organizations will collectively support the Kenyan film industry in production of film content geared towards the promotion of the Kenyan brand and identity.

As a means of promoting Kenya on the international film market scene, the two organizations are collaborating in preparation for Kenya’s participation at the 72nd Annual Cannes Film Festival to be held from 14th May to 25th May 2019 in France.

“This Memorandum of Understanding is a big step in strengthening Kenya’s film industry and is a great opportunity for Kenya to present its film potential to the world and within”, says Mr. Owase. 

The two organizations expressed their intention to cooperate in film matters in the country and as a result, streamline operations in the sector.


RECAP OF KALASHA MARKET 2019

KALASHA MARKET 2019 lanczos3 large

The 3rd edition of Kalasha Market kicked off on a high note with the CS Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology Mr. Joe Mucheru gracing the event as the Guest of Honor. He was joined by a delegation of high profile individuals drawn from French Embassy in Kenya, The European Union, County Governments of Laikipia, Nairobi and Nakuru. It was during this opening ceremony that the 20 shortlisted candidates of the National Scriptwriting Competition were also announced.

The opening ceremony by the CS was followed by a tour of the exhibition spaces where various companies were demonstrating and showcasing their film products and services. Kenya Film Commission announced that the exhibition area was fully sold out with all the booths occupied by various companies in the Audio-visual sector drawn from various parts of the world.

Pitching competition – a side event of Kalasha Market, ran the entire three days with highly creative concepts being pitched to the jury in the TV and Documentary categories.

Side events like workshops and conferences also kicked off simultaneously with key international speakers drawn from around the globe engaging the participants on key topical discussions of interest spanning intellectual property, scriptwriting, animation production, film marketing and distribution as well latest technological advancements in film production.

Capping off the first day was a welcome cocktail sponsored by County Government of Nakuru followed by a screening of the film Ole Naibon which is a co-production by Furet Films and County Government of Nakuru.

Noting the significant benefits Kalasha Market offered to the counties Ms. Tume Abduba - Chief Officer Culture and Art Nakuru County noted that:

"This event was an eye opener for us as a County and we have developed networks that are crucial to us moving forward."

Day two of the market offered the participants even a greater experience as various speakers tackled exciting discussions revolving around economic impact of film guilds, future of Video on Demand platforms and using Intellectual Property as collateral for film funding. This was witnessed by the overflowing conference and workshop halls as the participants were eager to listen to the amazing conversations that were going on at the market.

Marking the end of the Kalasha Market was an award-giving ceremony for the winners of the pitching competition. An 11-member jury of experts was tasked to sift through the submissions received and shortlist six candidates in each category who then competed for the top prize of Ksh 500,000.

This year Kenya Film Commission committed Ksh 2 million to support the pitching competition. The prize money will aid the winners in the pitching competition to advance form the concept stage of their projects to full production.

Making his closing remarks, Mr. Timothy Owase – CEO Kenya Film Commission noted that:

“There was an increase in the number of submissions this year. Some of the projects submitted are impressive and can compete internationally”

The winners for the Kalasha Market 2019 pitching competition were as follows:

  • Nairobi by Night by Timothy Mwaura won in the Documentary category.
  • Injinia by Mercy Chege won in the TV category.
  • Home by Jeremiah Amdany won in the Film category.

Ananse's Moral Narrative by David Sewe won in the Animation category


THE NATIONAL SCRIPTWRITING COMPETITION JURY UNVEILED

jury unveil

The Ministry of ICT, through Kenya Film Commission yesterday 28th February 2019 unveiled a jury of experts for the National Screenplay Competition launched on 4th February 2019.

The list of jury include: Ms Njoki C. Muhoho- Filmmaker, Management Consultant and Academy Director for the Multichoice Talent Factory, Dr. Fredrick Mbogo- Scriptwriter, Playwright, Actor, Senior Lecturer The Technical University of Kenya; Ms Mona Ombogo- author and scriptwriter; Mr Eston N. Munyi- Lecturer, Kenyatta University and Kenya Institute of Mass Communication; Mr Eugene Mbugua- Content Creator, Writer, Producer, Director Young Rich Television Ltd; Ms Appie Matere- Film Producer, Director Zamaradi Productions Ltd, MNET, Africa Magic; Ms Ann Hamberger- Film Producer and Actress , Mr Reuben Odanga- Film Director, Multan Production and Ms Victoria Goro- Deputy Director/Film Lecturer Kenya Film School .

The nine-member jury of experts drawn from the Kenyan film industry will be tasked to scrutinize the screenplay submissions received, evaluate entries and determine winners of the competition. The judging criteria will focus on: Originality, Story structure, Characterization, Visual inventiveness and Overall viability for world-class film festivals and/or online distribution.

By close of submission on 27th February 2019, the competition had garnered an overwhelming 549 entries.

Shortlisted candidates will be required to submit full scripts for further evaluation. There are three categories to be evaluated and the winners announced on 25th April 2019. The Best Script will be awarded Ksh 1M with First Runner-up getting Ksh 500,000 and Second Runner-up getting Ksh 300,000. The Best Student Writer (under 25 years of age) will get Ksh 100,000 and the Best Young Writer (18 years and below) will get Ksh 100,000.

This competition seeks to grow the film industry in Kenya and expand the local market of films in the country and other markets in Africa and Asia while showcasing Kenya as a film production destination. It is hoped that the competition will identify authentic Kenyan scripts viable for world class film festivals and online distribution to spur growth in Kenya’s film sector.

Cabinet Secretary, ICT Mr Joe Mucheru who was the Chief Guest noted, “Long term we must not rely on the rest of the world but should sell our stories as well and be part of the contribution of the global film industry in a big way. China sold around 10 Million US dollars in tickets; they have a huge market that Kenya can take advantage of as well as SMART Africa initiative.”

Also in attendance was a Chinese delegation led by Mr Pang Xinxing Chairman of Star Times Group, Prof. Yin Hong, Vice Chairman of China Film Association.


CALL FOR CONCEPTS

pitching poster

Kenya Film Commission invites all practicing and upcoming filmmakers to submit their original concepts for the pitching competition; a side event at the Kalasha International TV & Film Market 2019 to stand a chance at winning half a million Kenyan shillings in each category.

Kalasha International TV & Film Market; a 3-day trade fair showcasing companies from international and East African region offering high-level interaction for trading and sharing ideas, is set to take place from 26 – 28 March 2019 at KICC in Nairobi.

The pitching competition is open to all practicing and upcoming filmmakers registered for the market. There will be dedicated rooms where selected individuals from East Africa will be given a chance to pitch a concept or project to potential investors in the following categories;

  • TV Series and Soaps - Ksh 500,000
  • Animation (Short or Series) - Ksh 500,000
  • Film (Long Feature Film & Short Films) - Ksh 500,000
  • Documentaries - Ksh 500,000

PRIZES

A winner in each of the four (4) categories will be announced during the market.

DEADLINE

The projects’ submission deadline is 20th March 2019.

Space is limited to twenty four (24) pitches, which will be selected from the pool of submissions by a specially appointed jury of experts.


KENYA LOOKS AT TAPPING INTO CHINESE FILM MARKET WITH LAUNCH OF A SCREENPLAY COMPETITION

SCRIPTWRITING COMPETITION LAUNCH

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.

Find the Film Screenplay Script Writing Competition Terms & Conditions here!


CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP - KAKAMEGA COUNTY

MASTER THE ART OF SCRIPTWRITING AND DIRECTING

Workshop Date 18th – 22nd February 2019

KAKAMEGA CAPACITY BUILDING FINAL POSTER

In a bid to facilitate the uptake of 60 per cent local content quota by FTA TV broadcasters, the Kenya Film Commission facilitates master classes around the country for upcoming film makers. To date, the KFC has trained over 900 up-coming filmmakers in 18 counties.

The Commission collaborates with Communication Authority of Kenya to undertake the trainings focusing on bolstering the local content producers’ professional skills. These programmes are meant to equip film makers with regulatory, business and industry knowledge, which will enable them to provide quality and affordable local content for TV broadcasting, as well as enable them to compete successfully in the local, regional and international film environments.

Participants will learn about Film Financing, Marketing and Distribution channels from Kenya Film Commission (KFC), Copyright and Related Issues from Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) as well as Media ethics and professionalism in Journalism from Media Council of Kenya (MCK). They will also get a chance to interact and learn from Communication Authority of Kenya on matters Local Content Development, Programming Code and Complaints Procedure as well as Broadcast Monitoring and Broadcast Licensing.

Click Here to Apply!


HEVA FUND LAUNCHES CULTURAL HERITAGE SEED FUND

CALL FOR APPLICATION

Heva

On 25th January 2019, HEVA Fund officially launched and opened call for application for two funds namely: Cultural Heritage Fund and The Young Women in Creative Enterprise Fund.

The Cultural Heritage Seed Fund is a two-year seed financing facility looking to support individuals, groups, communities and organisations working in the creative enterprises in Kenya, in the fields of music, film, fashion, crafts, gaming, performing arts, and tangible heritage. HEVA is looking to invest between KES 500,000 and KES 3 million in each successful venture.

The Cultural Heritage Seed Fund will act as a financing facility for cultural heritage businesses. This will support creative economy startups who are directly involved in sustainable exploration and inclusive development of cultural heritage with a focus on increasing revenues from the local and international tourism sectors.

The Young Women in Creative Enterprise Fund, established in collaboration with the Goethe Institut as part of the Jenga CCI creative economy intervention, focuses on supporting Kenyan women in creative enterprise in order to build the competitiveness of creative industry products in Kenya and in the East Africa market.

This fund will provide tailored direct investment, targeted business support and market intelligence to women-owned and women-led early-stage ventures in fashion and apparel manufacturing, digital media, television and film; live music, festivals, fairs and markets; hair, beauty and cosmetic products, and creative arts educational enterprises operating in Kenya.

The Young Women in Creative Enterprise Fund is a loan facility. HEVA will invest up to KES 1,000,000 in each successful business, to be paid back over a maximum period of 18 months.

In February 2019, HEVA will open a call for a third fund, Growth Fund, in collaboration with Agence Française de Développement (AFD). This facility will target mature business that have been in operation for at least 5 years with annual revenues exceeding KES 10 million and invest a minimum of KES 5 million and a maximum of KES 10 million in each successful enterprise. In total, the three funds will invest a total of over KES 106 million in the Kenyan creative and cultural enterprise sector.

The call for application window is open from 25th January 2019 to 25th February 2019. Applications can be made through here


NEW ENTRANTS WIN BIG AT THE 2018 KALASHA TV & FILM AWARDS GALA

KALASHA AWARDS 2018 gala 001

The 8th Kalasha TV & Film Awards winners were announced in a lavish gala event held in Nairobi, Safari Park Hotel graced by the crème de la crème of the film industry with other renowned guests drawn from government agencies and corporate blue chip firms. Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of ICT Mr. Joe Mucheru was the chief Guest with remarks from Kenya Film Commission Chairman, Chris Foot and Ag. CEO Timothy Owase.

Here is the full list of 2018 winners;

Kalasha Awards 2018 Winners

A total of 140 nominees were competing in 32 categories including Special Awards that are Kituo Halisi – supported by Communications Authority of Kenya, Watershed Compliant Station and Lifetime Achievement Award where film maker Njeri Karago was feted. The selection process of more than 1000 submissions was carried out by a jury of experts consisting of stakeholders drawn from film industry associations, academics and industry professionals. This year’s jury comprised 8 members namely; Biko Nyongesa- Director and Head of Production at Kenya Actors Guild, Amos Mwaki of the Scriptwriters Guild and Managing Director of Lifedream Production, Dennis Mbuthia of Association of Animation Artistes and a Game Designer & Animator, Ms. Joy Nduto of Kenya Film & TV Professional Association and a TV Content Producer, Mwendwa Mutua of Riverwood Ensemble Filmmakers Association and TV and Film Producer, Dr. Zippora Okoth of Kenyatta University and Executive Director Legacy Arts And Film Lab (K) Ltd, David Gitonga – Tosh – representing Producers Guild and Solomon Sakana, Communication Officer from Communications Authority of Kenya.

Kalasha Film and TV Awards is an initiative of the Kenya Film Commission that seeks to recognize talent in the different facets of Film and TV industry. Central to the Commission’s mandate is the promotion of a vibrant local film industry. Through the establishment of a fair and democratic set of regulations for the Awards, the Commission is continuously boosting a vibrant local scene by encouraging healthy competition amongst film makers. This ensures higher levels of good practice within the industry. Within Kalasha International TV and Film is the Kalasha Market. It is a three day event held in March every year with various exhibitors and delegates converging in Nairobi for conferences, workshops and pitching sessions that position Kenya as a key hub for Film and TV production within the region. This unique opportunity to boost the Film and TV production industry is a great plus to thespians and all stakeholders in the entire content creation and distribution process.

The Kenya Film Commission is a State Corporation mandated to make Kenya a centre of excellence in film production by creating an enabling environment for the development of a vibrant local film industry as well as marketing Kenya as a leading destination for foreign film makers to achieve sustainable wealth and job creation.


 FILM INDUSTRY STAKEHOLDERS CONVERGE TO DISCUSS THE NATIONAL FILM POLICY

FILM INDUSTRY STAKEHOLDERS

Kenyan Film Commission, the government agency that is mandated to promote local content and the film industry held a meeting with stakeholders within the film industry to discuss the National Film Policy and appraise the industry on status of the same. The meeting was graced by Honorable Cabinet Secretary Ministry of ICT Joe Mucheru, and Permanent Secretary Broadcasting Ministry of ICT, Fatuma Hirsi, among other officers drawn from the government that is Kenya Tourism Board, Communications Authority of Kenya and Kenya Film Classification Board.

The meeting was co-hosted in collaboration with Creative economy Kenya; an organization that brings together over 21 stakeholders in the Kenyan film industry with the goal of creating a better space for content creators in the country.

The importance of a Film Policy was stressed as this will be key to streamlining all three agency - Kenyan Film Commission, Kenya Film Classification Board and Department of Film Services mandated to promote, classify and license content respectively. In addition Chris said this will also help in prevention of overstepping of each other’s mandate.

Among its objectives, the film policy aims to quantifying the current and potential contribution of the Film Industry to the economy and disseminating this information to the critical Policy and decision makers in Government. It will enhance funding and revitalizing of the relevant State agencies in the Film Industry while overseeing the development of a harmonious Regulatory environment for the Film Industry in Kenya.

Further, the policy will establish a National Film Fund for financial & tax credits, rebates and other incentives for the Film Industry thereby encouraging Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), in the area of Film in Kenya.

Key in its delivery will be to promote the harmonization of rates, permits and fees between the National and County Governments so as to promote Kenya as an ideal Filming location as well as promoting the establishment of Distribution channels for the Film productions.

In his remarks, CS, Joe Mucheru noted the lack of incentives as a major issue crippling the film industry and noted rebates being critical because film makers look at filming as business and they are always interested in locations where they can save money. Making film with an agenda opposed to profit as the end goal helps to catalyze funding from various institutions”, he added noting also that the ministry was pursuing the creation of 47 theatres in each county in partnership with the private and creative sectors as one way of encouraging local content production.


 CABINET SECRETARY JOE MUCHERU PRESIDES OVER THE 2018 KENYA INSTITUTE OF MASS COMMUNICATION GRADUATION

CABINET SECRETARY JOE MUCHERU PRESIDES

On 28th November 2018, the Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communication and Technology presided over the graduation ceremony at Kenya Institute of Mass Communication that saw 351 students being awarded with diplomas and certificates in various programmes offered by the institution. Accompanying him was Ms. Fatuma Hirsi, the Principal Secretary, Broadcast and Telecommunications and the Ag. CEO of Kenya Film Commission, Mr. Timothy Owase.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the Cabinet Secretary offered all the graduands a one-year internship opportunity at the Kenya News Agency offices all over the country so as to tap into the talent and skills that exists among the students.

“We will create a program that will absorb all these graduands so that they can work in a news environment and be sensitized on what they need to do in all the 47 counties.”

He however, urged the graduands to aspire to be self-employed and even create employment opportunities for others using the knowledge and skills they have acquired so as to support the Big Four Agenda of the government.

Throwing caution to the wind, CS Joe Mucheru advised the graduands to uphold high standards of professionalism and be proactive in authenticating their pieces of information, context and sources especially in this era of fake news to avoid spreading of propaganda that can polarize the nation.

While addressing the graduands at the ceremony, he noted that, to sustain the growing content and TV stations that creates jobs for the many Kenyans, the students have a critical role in ensuring that the content they generate is not only marketable enough to attract revenues from advertisements, but can also help the country in progressing the Big Four Agenda.

“We have been hailed as a country that has a high aptitude for film productions with most of our crew base contracted to support high-grossing films outside of the country. Let us aim at bringing Kenya back as a quality film and movie production power house. My ministry is seeking to establish a film fund to assist the youth not only in exploiting self-employment opportunities through film production but also to enable the country to embrace diversity and to tell the Kenyan story.


FREE SCREENINGS FOR KALASHA NOMINATED FILMS

Kalasha Screening Poster 2 001

Kenya Film Commission has organized free screening of films nominated for the Kalasha Awards 2018 in partnership with IMAX, Kenya Buzz, USIU and Movie Mtaani across three major cities in Kenya namely Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa. The movie screenings will take place in various venues within the three cities commencing from 3rd to 10th November, 2018.

The films are competing in the Kalasha International Film and TV Awards organized by Kenya Film Commission. The winners will be announced at the main award gala set for a later date this month.

The public voting process ends on 10th November, 2018, and will conclude with a final tally by the nine-member jury of experts, who are drawn from film industry associations, academics and industry professionals.

Make sure you support local content by voting for your favorite films and artists before the deadline. To vote for your favourite film or artist, go to www.kenyafilmcommission.com or www.kalashainternational.com

Click here to view screening schedule.


KENYA FILM COMMISSION UNVEILS THE 2018 KALASHA AWARDS NOMINEES

BeFunky collageNairobi, Kenya, 17th October 2018The Kenya Film Commission today unveiled the 2018 Nominees for the Kalasha Film and TV Awards at Prestige Cinema, Prestige Plaza. The selection process of more than 1000 submissions was carried out by a jury of experts consisting of stakeholders drawn from film industry associations, academics and industry professionals.

This year’s jury comprised 8 members namely; Biko Nyongesa- Director and Head of Production at Kenya Actors Guild, Amos Mwaki of the Scriptwriters Guild and Managing Director of Lifedream Production, Dennis Mbuthia of Association of Animation Artistes and a Game Designer & Animator, Ms. Joy Nduto of Kenya Film & TV Professional Association and a TV Content Producer, Mwendwa Mutua of Riverwood Ensemble Filmmakers Association and TV and Film Producer, Dr. Zippora Okoth of Kenyatta University and Executive Director Legacy Arts And Film Lab (K) Ltd, David Gitonga – Tosh – representing Producers Guild and Solomon Sakana, Communication Officer from Communications Authority of Kenya.

The nominees’ unveil ceremony also marked the launch of the public voting process which is now open in preparation for the main award gala on the 24th November 2018.

Click here to Vote!

Note: Voting ends on November 10, 2018.

The 140 nominees will be competing in 32 categories including Special Awards that are Kituo Halisi – supported by Communications Authority of Kenya, Watershed Compliant Station and Lifetime Achievement Award.

Below is a full list of the 2018 Nominees:

Nominees Final List

Within Kalasha International TV and Film is the Kalasha Market. It is a three day event held in March every year with various exhibitors and delegates converging in Nairobi for conferences, workshops and pitching sessions that position Kenya as a key hub for Film and TV production within the region. This unique opportunity to boost the Film and TV production industry is a great plus to thespians and all stakeholders in the entire content creation and distribution process.

Kalasha Film and TV Awards is an initiative of the Kenya Film Commission that seeks to recognize talent in the different facets of Film and TV industry. Central to the Commission’s mandate is the promotion of a vibrant local film industry. Through the establishment of a fair and democratic set of regulations for the Awards, the Commission is continuously boosting a vibrant local scene by encouraging healthy competition amongst film makers. This ensures higher levels of good practice within the industry.

“By recognizing our own level of excellence and the achievements of our film practitioners, we set benchmarks for future film-makers and encourage the expansion of the industry”, notes the KFC Acting C.E.O Timothy Owase.

The Kenya Film Commission is a State Corporation mandated to make Kenya a centre of excellence in film production by creating an enabling environment for the development of a vibrant local film industry as well as marketing Kenya as a leading destination for foreign film makers to achieve sustainable wealth and job creation.


COMMISSIONING BRIEF

Maisha Magic East

Maisha Magic East is a General Entertainment Channel on DSTV Channel 158. The Channel targets lower middle-class to middle-class Kenyans aged between 18-45 years.

Maisha Magic East is committed to visual storytelling that communicates an authentic and relatable Kenyan experience. Its programming is community and family oriented. It is aspirational in a realistic and achievable way. The language used on the channel is Kenyan Kiswahili /Sheng.

Maisha Magic East is seeking to commission:

  1. An authentic Kenyan Kiswahili Telenovela (260 x30min) targeting Kenyan middle class families.

 

BRIEF TITLE:

General Telenovela Brief

CHANNEL:

Maisha Magic East

GENRE:

Telenovela

SERIES:

260x30 minutes

LANGUAGE:

Kiswahili

 2. Kenyan Kiswahili Lifestyle series (52x30min) targeting Kenyan middle class families.

BRIEF TITLE:

General Lifestyle Brief

CHANNEL:

Maisha Magic East

GENRE:

lifestyle

SERIES:

52 episodes x 30 minutes

LANGUAGE:

Kiswahili

  1. Kenyan Kiswahili /Sheng Comedy series (52x30min) targeting Kenyan middle class families. It should be original, simple, light hearted unique, relevant and sensitive to Kenyan cultural and societal norms.

BRIEF TITLE:

General Comedy Brief

CHANNEL:

Maisha Magic East

GENRE:

COMEDY

SERIES:

1 x 52 episodes x 30 minutes

LANGUAGE:

Kiswahili

 4. An authentic Kenyan Kiswahili /Sheng Reality series (26x45min) targeting Kenyan middle class families. It should be original, simple, light hearted, unique, relevant and sensitive to Kenyan cultural and societal norms.

BRIEF TITLE:

General Reality Brief

CHANNEL:

Maisha Magic East

GENRE:

REALITY

SERIES:

26 episodes x 45 minutes

LANGUAGE:

Kiswahili

  1. An authentic Kenyan Kiswahili /Sheng drama series 130x30min) targeting Kenyan middle class families.

BRIEF TITLE:

Open Drama Brief

CHANNEL:

Maisha Magic East

GENRE:

DRAMA

SERIES:

130 episodes x 30 minutes

LANGUAGE:

Kiswahili

EDITORIAL GUIDE:

Maisha Magic East is seeking to commission authentic Kenyan Kiswahili projects targeting Kenyan middle class families. We are looking for an authentic story that our audience can relate to. The story should be original, simple, exciting and unique, fun and aspirational. Episodic storylines can be self-contained or continuous.

Proposal Requirements:

  1. A Pilot
  2. Projected Cost per episode and Full Budget
  3. Show-reel of previous content produced (please include dates and broadcasting station,)
  4. List of previous productions you have participated in and your role in those productions.
  5. Names of 3 previous clients as referees. 

Submission process

All pilots must be uploaded on the link  here

Please note that no submissions emailed or dropped at our office will be accepted.

Technical and editorial standards required by Maisha Magic East will be set out in the production agreement.

Maisha Magic East will have the final editorial and creative control over all aspects of Commissioned Programming.

N.B: failure to submit any of the above documents will lead to disqualification

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: 26 October, 2018

  1. Evaluation/selection process
  1. Receipt of proposals will be acknowledged by email notification
  2. Proposals will then be evaluated by a panel of Judges selected by Channel Management
  3. Pitching sessions for shortlisted proposals.
  4. Selection and notification of winning proposal.
  5. Contracting.

CS JOE MUCHERU OFFICIALLY OPENS TALENT FACTORY ACADEMY

Multichoice Academy Launch

On 9th October 2018, Multichoice Africa opened the Multichoice Talent Factory Academy, a multi-tiered programme meant to empower young filmmakers from the East African region with various skills in film production. The programme is set to run for a one-year period, during which 20 young filmmakers will be trained on how to develop their filmmaking skills of cinematography, editing, audio production and storytelling through technical and hands-on skills in telling our own African stories.

The Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Mr. Joe Mucheru, the guest of honor at the event, noting the great initiative by the Multichoice company, urged the young filmmakers selected for programme to put in effort, utilize the amazing locations and wildlife in the country for their content and also collaborate with each other to ensure they build on their skill set to deliver quality local productions that can compete on the international platform.

“For a long time, our stories have been told by others. We now have the opportunity to tell our stories and to ensure we don’t lose our culture by importing film content. We just need to put passion into our work and build on what the other filmmakers have done and we will be able to position our country and continent in a greater place on the global stage in terms of film production,” said CS Joe Mucheru.

The Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Mr. Joe Mucheru, notes that the government is committed to projects involving the youth and acknowledges that the film policy will be presented in the cabinet soon and with it will come a fund that will aid in film production in the country. He also adds that talks with various partners are on-going to ensure 47 theatres are set up all over the country among many other projects that are lined-up by the government.

Also present at the event was Mrs. Fatuma Hirsi Mohamed, Principal Secretary, Broadcasting and Telecommunication who expressed her joy having film under the ministry of ICT since it will now bolster the existing partnerships with various stakeholders and even offer a lot of new opportunities for collaboration among various film institutions and corporates like Multichoice Africa among many others.

Kenya Film Commission Ag. CEO Mr. Timothy Owase speaking at the Multichoice talent factory academy opening noted that such an initiative is in line with the commission’s mandate of building capacity of the local film industry. He further notes that such programmes will create a pool of greater skill sets that will improve the quality of productions in the film sector in Kenya and the region.

“Storytelling has no boundaries. Quality productions are capable of traversing the continent and reach a global stage. Stories create understanding so filmmakers should create more content because the future of this sector is bright,” said Mr. Timothy Owase.

The Director of Communications Authority, Mr. Francis Wangusi while speaking at the event, also highlighted that they believe this programme will boost the local content being broadcasted by local media houses to align with the 60% local content uptake set by Communications Authority of Kenya.

Speaking to the students also was MP John Kiarie who urged the students to go the extra mile beyond their talent to fully realize their potential as filmmakers citing need for hard work and creativity in their projects.

Noting the financial challenges talented filmmakers have to go through, Managing Director Multichoice Kenya Mr. Eric Odipo said:

“The Multichoice Talent Factory focuses on making sure that the young filmmakers are nurtured and their talents developed in order to contribute meaningfully to the creative industry.”

This programme is aligned with the big four agenda of the Kenyan government of manufacturing with a focus on local content production. This will raise the threshold of competition in creative sector spurring more growth in skill-set among the filmmakers.


 KAHONZI WINS THE BEST FILM FOR MY KENYA MY STORY FILM COMPETITION

IMG 1791

Nairobi, Kenya, Thursday 21st June 2018; Kahonzi, a short film by producer Said Square shot in Kilifi County has won the best short film shot using a mobile phone. The winner walks away with a cash prize worth Kshs 200,000, Kshs 150,000 for 1st Runners up and 100,000 for 2nd Runners up. Said Square is a beneficiary of the commission’s master classes done around all the 47 counties. Previously with no formal training, Said and his team were empowered with basic skills of film making in September 2017.

The Strange Visitor produced by Leon Michuki came 2nd while Fiona by Steve Es got the second runner’s up position. The Jury also went ahead to give special recognition to Fading Away, produced by Anisia Kabue which they found to be inspirational with a story that many people could relate to.

The My Kenya My Story is a film competition for short Kenyan films shot exclusively using mobile phones run by the Kenya Film Commission which will be rolled annually and seeks to inspire creativity among film makers in the country and to widen the scope of film making.

The call for entries ran from the 28th of March to 30th of April 2018 where artists submitted their projects for the competition. This competition garnered interest from a total of 706 submissions received from over 35 countries, as far as USA, Mexico, UK, France, Russia, and Japan among many others. These huge numbers suggest that the global community is interested in the Kenyan film industry and the content produced therein.

32 Kenyan film projects were submitted and 22 successfully qualified for judging after filtering through the submissions. The public voting ran from 29th May to 14th June 2018. The voting process was broken down in such a way that judges had a contribution of 70% while the general public contributed 30% to the final vote.

The submissions drew from a variety of genres and exhibited very creative ideas and stories, production design, great editing capabilities, mastery of various software and equipment, proper use of lighting and outdoor landscape despite all the film projects being shot on a zero budget. We have noted that this is a great avenue for job creation among the youth as many have exhibited great talent in their submissions.

Kenya Film Commission Ag. CEO had this to say, “The ultimate business objective we want to contribute to through the competition is not only to indirectly grow awareness of the Kenya Film Commission Mandate but also to create interest and spark creativity in people of all ages with limited resources, and actually inspire creative Kenyans and amateur filmmakers to live to their potential and realize the opportunity to fulfil their dream”.

The competitors were required to meet the film competition primary objective that is to engage Kenyans across the country with a mobile phone to create a short film telling a Kenyan story and showcasing Kenya’s beauty and diversity. A jury of five judges namely: Gerald Langiri, Joy Nduto, Juma Tayari, Stephen Maina and Johnson Mutungi was constituted to vet the submissions and shortlist projects competing for the grand prize.


 

KENYAN ACTRESS WINS BIG IN NOLLYWOOD

Connie Kabarry

 

Connie Kabarry, a Kenyan producer and actress based in Nigeria, has won two awards. The actress managed to bag awards in two categories namely: Nollywood Pan African Filmmaker of the Year (East Africa) and Nollywood Actress of The Year (East Africa) during the Nollywood Excellence and Leadership Awards 2018 (The NELAS) held in Abuja on 30th September 2018.

Citing the challenges she faced as a filmmaker, she launched Connie Kabarry Productions which will help the young filmmakers who have not gotten an opportunity to explore and utilize their talent. With 58 members already registered, the production house has already launched their first team project titled The Devil You Know. This film managed to be screened in Nairobi and Kisumu on 7th and 8th September 2018. She is currently working on a collaborative TV series program which will have cast and crew form Kenya and Nigeria.


CALL FOR STORIES: GENERATION AFRICA IS ACCEPTING STORIES TO DEVEOP INTO DOCUMENTARY FILMS IN 2019

Are you a passionate storyteller? would you like to have your stories told? Then here is a great opportunity for you. STEPS, a South Africa based non-profit organization that is passionate about the power of documentaries to disrupt, shift and move the world around us has partnered with like- minded organizations and individuals around the world to create documentaries around social and environmental issues called Generation Africa.

Generation Africa is a new documentary project that deals with the question of migration from an African perspective, asking thought-provoking questions about how young people in Africa are shaping the future of the continent and creating change where they are. Generation Africa is looking for ideas for stories across the continent, stories which are unpredictable, touching, moving, revolutionary, and challenging. The films should show action and achievements rather than complaints and hopelessness. Stories people in Africa would want to see: to laugh, to think, to act, to sing, and - to disagree. 

Only African filmmakers are eligible to apply where 12 - 15 filmmakers will be invited to three workshops held in the following region;

GHANA 

Submissions for the Ghana workshop for focus countries Cameroon, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone should be sent in by the 1sT OCTOBER 2018. 

Successful participants will be informed by the 4TH OCTOBER 2018. 

KENYA 

Submissions for the Kenya workshop for focus countries Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda should be sent in by the 8TH OCTOBER 2018. 

Successful participants will be informed by the 11TH OCTOBER 2018. 

BURKINA FASO 

Submissions for the Burkina Faso workshop for focus countries Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal should be sent in by the 22N° OCTOBER 2018. Successful participants will be informed by the 25TH OCTOBER 2018.

A selection of 20 stories will get development funding for further research and filming after the workshops.

All submissions should be sent to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Please see this link for more info click here


2018 KALASHA INTERNATIONAL FILM & TV AWARDS CALL FOR ENTRIES

Submission has opened for film, TV and creative players to submit films to compete under the various categories for the 2018 Edition of Kalasha International Film & TV Awards.Deadline for submission is 7TH SEPTEMBER 2018. Click here to submit your films


CALL FOR ENTRIES FOR SUBMISSION TO THE ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS

The OSCARS Selection Committee Kenya is inviting Kenyan filmmakers to submit their feature films for consideration for the forthcoming 91st Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Awards (OSCARS) in the Best Foreign Language Film Category.

The 91st oscars call for submissions - 2018

The 91st oscars call for submissions technical checklist - 2018


KENYA INTERNATIONAL SPORTS AND FILM FESTIVAL LAUNCHED

Safinaz Foundation in collaboration with Alpha Sports Limited have launched the first ever film festival in Kenya and the second of its kind in Africa.
This festival aims to celebrate sports personalities in Kenya who have displayed exemplary records and achievements in various sports disciplines.
The festival will celebrate and nurture the emerging talents of men and women in sports by showcasing them through documentaries and will run from 22nd to 25th November 2018 and mainly targeting sports personalities who have excelled in international competitions for the past 50 years.
The founder of the festival Mr. Aasif Karim notes that the festival will provide an opportunity for Kenyans to have a look at sport films locally and internationally.
The festival has already received 150 entries and will be expecting much more before the deadline for submission which is 30th September. To submit visit www.kisff.or.ke or  www.filmfreeway.com.kisffke.