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GOVERNMENT OF KENYA ON THE FILM INDUSTRY AND POLICY

Gerald Langiri
September 05 / 2012

The film industry is an important vehicle for social, cultural, political and economic development because a well nurtured film industry can be a major source of employment and an effective tool and platform for the cultured expression of a people. The industry can promote a country's potential as an investment and tourist destination and as an advocacy tool and shaper of opinion; film can in itself be used to effectively demystify cultural and ethnic differences by using it to promote integration and unity of people. The Government of Kenya therefore, sees film not only as a tool for information and entertainment but also as a powerful communications instrument for national integration, for social and economic development and for the exploitation, preservation and further enrichment of cultural heritage.

The sector encompasses the following activities: local film productions; foreign film and video productions; film and video production support services; film funding and investment services, film distribution, and film and television commercials.

It is imperative that the primary efforts be directed towards developing indigenous Kenyan film industry in order to add value to the cultural and artistic heritage of Kenyans through film productions made by Kenyans themselves. There is also the need to provide Kenyan artists with an avenue to fully exploit their potential fully and create wealth and employment.

Encouragement of foreign companies to make films in Kenya should be maintained as an important source of foreign exchange earnings for the country.

The Government therefore, recognizes the need to develop a policy and strategies for film development and interventions to promote growth of the film industry. In this regard, the government through engagement with the private sector win formulate action plans to address constraints and on suggested specific support services that will enhance the innovativeness; efficiency, quality and competitiveness of the film sector. The government will also endeavour to provide a conducive environment for investment.

The liberalisation of the airwaves and the increased number of broadcasting stations has not fully benefited local film makers since the issuance of broadcast licenses is done without conditions that would stipulate express provision for local content in the programming by these broadcasting stations. This Film policy seeks to ensure that: Kenya strategically exploits its resources and places itself optimally in an increasingly globalized market for content development.

Since film derives its content from the indigenous literature, theatre, arts and music of a people, it provides an important medium of expression and celebration of a people's culture and heritage.

The Film policy therefore, additionally aims to provide the platform by which Kenyans will develop a sense of identity and understanding and communicate to each other and to the rest of the world. The policy also aims at making film an integral part of the entertainment industry in Kenya as well as an important investment and commercial product within Kenya's economy. In general, this policy seeks to facilitate sustained development of the Kenyan film industry to meet international standards.

Extracted from the Draft Kenya Film Policy, Film Kenya By Ministry of Information and Communications.

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