The Kenyan film industry can be referred to as Riverwood, taken from River Road. River Road is known for supplying everything & anything under the sun.
Others use the term Machawood, to refer to the film industry because it’s free to film in Machakos County. A massive win for Kenyan filmmakers.
The film industry has great untapped potential, but it’s hindered by political & economic challenges.
Finding money to support high-quality Kenyan films is hard. It doesn’t enough support from the government to support itself plus other key players that have the funding.
Also, the film sector doesn’t offer enough incentives to sweeten the deal for filmmakers. In comparison, in South Africa, filmmakers are given tax rebate of up to 25% to shoot their films there. So if they fulfill required guidelines to shoot in South Africa, then, they get a percentage of their money back, plus they get the chance to support black-owned businesses.
Furthermore, tight regulations enforced by KFCB under Ezekiel Mutua make it hard for creatives to push the limit whilst creating content. As an illustration, Rafiki by Wanuri Kahiu was given rave reviews at the Cannes Festival, yet it was only available in Kenyan cinemas for a week after Kahiu went to court.
The film industry isn't seen as a serious employer, generating wealth & job opportunities.
Monetizing Kenyan films is hard since we have less than 20 movie screens in the country. These screens show movies from Hollywood, hence securing a screening for a Kenyan movie takes time & patience.
Further, not many filmmakers are aware of the importance of marketing & distribution of their movies.
Still, within Kenya, we have many filmmakers that are pursuing their passion & a talented workforce that can be hired by foreign production crews.
Kenya has several colleges & universities that teach students the art of filmmaking. After completing school, they, then gain exposure & work experience within the industry.
Kenyan filmmakers have released films such as Malooned, Dangerous Affair, Nairobi Half-Life, Kati Kati, From a Whisper, Supa Modo, 18 Hours and others that have left a mark on Kenyan cinema.
Kenyan films are accessible on subscription-based streaming sites.
RECA can help connect your dream of shooting in Kenya with Kenyan filmmakers that have expertly honed in on their craft.