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Govt mulls creation of film city, tax on ads shot outside Kenya: Mucheru

Mucheru added that the Cabinet will explore the introduction of airing levy to be charged on ads and series produced out of the country/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 4 – The Government is exploring the establishment of a film and media city that will support the growth of the industry bringing together actors, producers and directors who, according to ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru, will earn more by incurring lower production costs.

Speaking during the launch of a screenplay and scriptwriting competition, Mucheru said the city will also develop an ecosystem that supports the growth of related industries such as film equipment, props, make-up, music, and sound.

“Thinking ahead, the Ministry is exploring the establishment of a film and media city in Kenya with state of the art facilities and equipment that would be world class,” said Mucheru.

He said the levy would be collected by Kenya Film Classification Board.

Mucheru added that the Cabinet will explore the introduction of airing levy to be charged on ads and series produced out of the country but viewed in Kenya and used as revenue pullers.

“Ad agencies by-pass local production houses, spend all the money in India, Malaysia and other markets, hence denying locals jobs and income. And when they come here, the tax levied is only equivalent to the value of the hard disk,” said Mucheru

The CS reiterated the ministry’s commitment to helping grow the film industry in Kenya by ensuring that barriers to film production such as multi-agency licenses are reviewed to encourage growth in the sector.

The screenplay competition is geared towards identifying Kenyan scripts, which will be co-produced by international production houses in China for screening to the Chinese and African markets.

The Script writing competition, whose call for entries closes on February 26th, will see 5 winners receive a total of Sh2m, with the overall winner taking home Sh1,000,000.

Other script writing winners are 1st runners up – Sh500,000, second runners up – Sh300,000, and – Sh100,000 each for best student and best young writer.

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Kenya Film Commission CEO, Timothy Owase committed to ensuring the competition run smoothly and that winners will be announced by 25th April 2019.

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