The Film Industry in Kenya is yet to exploit its full potential even as it emerges that the government has not offered incentives to help build up the sector.
In view of this, Kenya is yet to take its rightful position on the continent despite boasting of several high profile destinations that have been used by foreign filmmakers to create films.
Upcoming artistes continue to struggle to produce films due to financial challenges and stringent regulations that are sometimes an impediment to any meaningful venture.
However, all that is set to change after various stakeholders attending the Lake International Pan African Film Festival in Nakuru agreed on the need to partner and grow the budding film industry.
The Kenya Film Commission has identified several counties that they hope to partner with in a bid to grow the Film industry and nurture new talents.
The Nakuru County CEC for Tourism, Dr. Peter Ketyenya pledged the County’s commitment towards development of the Film industry and nurturing of talents saying it could be a source of income for many of the jobless youth.
Ketyenya said the county had already undertaken to spruce up the Nakuru players theatre for use by budding artists.
The Kenya Film Commission’s CEO, Timothy Owase conceded that the Film Industry in the country was still largely unexploited.He added that the government was keen on enabling players in the sector to maximize the available potential.
Owase noted that if fully utilized and capacitated, the film industry has potential to roll out thousands of jobs annually and therefore help youths earn a decent income from their talents.
He noted that there was huge potential that could easily catapult the Kenyan film industry to the international arena, hence the need to exploit it fully.
The CEO said the commission was also committed to marketing the country as a destination of choice for film makers given its diverse features that have put it on the world map as a tourist destiny of choice.
Owase added that film makersfrom the identified counties will benefit from top notch training by leading actors in the industry in a programme that will see them equipped with skills that will enable them make quality productions.
He urged beneficiaries to take advantage of the county’s natural resources and sites to offer panoramic background for their productions with a view to further marketing the sites as tourist destinations.
The Kenya Wildlife Service Sales Officer, Mathenge Matimu urged film makers to incorporate wildlife documentaries in their productions saying it was a best seller internationally.
Players urged the government to consider giving incentives to film makers saying that film production was an expensive venture and therefore out of reach for most upcoming film makers.
The Lake International Pan African Film Festival 2018 is the brain child of Dr. Zippy Okoth who founded it in 2016 as an avenue to showcase African themed films in any African language.
It is held annually and is hosted in any region that boasts of a lake in Kenya.
This year, Nakuru, which boasts of three lakes was the host of the three day event that had presentations from various African countries that included South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, Madagascar, Burkina Faso and Zambia among others.
Other presentations that were made, included documentaries from Switzerland and Sweden and a feature from the US.
Several people were given awards for their presentations during a gala event held to mark the closure of the festival.
By Jane Ngugi/Collins Ogutu