Kenya mulls incentives to boost film industry

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Kenya is seeking to develop a raft of incentives that will boost the film sector, officials said on Wednesday.

State-owned Kenya Film Commission (KFC) Chairman Chris Foot told an international film forum in Nairobi that one of the key challenges facing the film sector is lack of finance.

“We are considering offering financial incentives such as tax credits and rebates in order to spur the development of the film industry,” Foot said during the opening of the International Film Convention-Kenya which runs until Friday.

The three-day event themed “Taking the Audio-Visual and Film industry in Kenya and Eastern Africa to the Next Level” aims to establish exchange programs between local film producers and distributors both locally and internationally for economic gain.

KFC has hired consultants to develop draft incentives which will validated by stakeholders.

Foot said commercial banks are reluctant to finance film projects because the industry’s revenue streams are unpredictable.
“In order to unlock finance for the film sector we shall implement a guarantee system that will provide mechanisms to repay loan for the industry in case they default on loans,” he added.

Foot said that in order to create more job opportunities for the film sector, the level of local content by broadcasters needs to be increased to 60 percent.

In Kenya, it has been projected that the revenue output of the media and entertainment sector will hit 3.3 billion U.S. dollars in the next five years, according to a 2017 PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report.

The chairman noted that the film sector is a lucrative industry, which can become a significant service export.

The Nov. 15-17 meeting is a collaborative effort between the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB), the European Union (EU), the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the French Embassy in Kenya.

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