The Kenya Film Commission has announced plans to build a massive studio in Konza City as part of several measures to make it easier for film makers to do what they do best, make films.
Chief Executive Officer Peter Mutie said that they have made a request for close to 200 acres for the studio.
“We want to build it to be like the Universal Studios in the States,” he told journalists at a breakfast meeting.
Mutie said the project would be realised in the next five to ten years, when the second phase of the Konza is being implemented.
Konza is a Techno City about 60 kilometres out of Nairobi, which is envisaged to be the Silicon Valley of Kenya in the near future. President Mwai Kibaki officiated over a groundbreaking ceremony at the much-hyped city in January this year.
Nairobi Half Life director Tosh Gitonga said the initiative would be very welcome in the industry.
“First of all it will really cut down costs, so that is very good. Also, with the digital TV requirements, it will be much easier to produce content in one place. I support it,” he said to Capital Lifestyle.
Martin Munyua of Dream Catcher Productions meanwhile was much more cautious.
“As an idea I think it is brilliant. That is definitely something we need in this part of the world… But I wonder if it if high in the priority list? I think there are many more pressing issues that need to be looked at,” stated Munyua on telephone.
Meanwhile, Mutie also revealed that the Film Commission had completed a study on the industry, which identified funding as the biggest impediment to the success of Kenyan film-making.
“To this end we want to establish a film fund so we can assist filmmakers to the best of our ability. The fund will be in the form of a lottery and we are trying to get a license from Betting Control to be able to do that,” he said.
The initial target for raising funds, Mutie said, would be anything between Sh200m and Sh500m, something he said would be a great help to the industry, which currently releases only about 10 feature films a year.
Munyua echoed that the fund was a pressing need that if met could revolutionise the industry very quickly.
“I hope the plan comes through!”