Kenya eyes film co-production with China to expand sector: official

Source:Xinhua 2019-02-11

  NAIROBI, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- Kenya is seeking to sign film co-production agreements with China in order to expand the local movie sector, a senior government official said on Monday.

  Joe Mucheru, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Information Communication Technology (ICT), told journalists in Nairobi that the country has launched a screenplay competition that will enable the country produce quality films.

  "This competition is great and opens co-production opportunities in the film and creative industries to explore how Kenya can take advantage of the Africa and China markets, with a possible total market of 2 billion movie viewers; eventually, we hope to sign a co-production treaty between Kenya and China government which will be a first for the country and a big boost to the local industry," Mucheru said during the launch of the screenplay competition.

  The government proposes to pay 1 million shillings (10,000 U.S. dollars) for the winning script, 4,997 dollars for the first runner up and 2,998 dollars for the second runners up.

  Mucheru said that under the proposed co-production deal with China, both nations will jointly produce films that will appeal to audiences of the two regions.

  "The objective of co-production is to introduce new audiences including the Chinese to become familiar and begin to consume Kenya films," he added.

  The government official said that the screenplay competition is one among the many initiatives geared towards growing the film industry in Kenya and to expand the market of Kenya films locally and to other markets.

  He revealed that besides the prize money, the winning scripts will be pitched to international film producers to explore possibilities of the scripts being turned into full feature films and the resultant film showcased in both local and international markets.

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