Timothy Owase, Kenya Film Commission Chief Executive Officer, recently said that taxing imported content will help encourage and promote local content. The KFC CEO said this when he discussed the state of Kenyan film and the upcoming Kalasha Awards.
Elaborating on the taxation of imported content, Owase said, “The Kenya Information and Communications Act, 2013 provides that 40 per cent of free-to-air broadcasting has to be local content. We encourage producers to come up with more content. We need to tax imported content in order to promote more local content.”
Owase’s sentiment follows what has been an excellent year for the local film industry in Kenya, with several shows gaining momentum among viewers, including investments from international streaming services like Netflix with Kenya’s first original show, “Country Queen”, Showmax with “Pepeta”, “Single Kiasi”, “Crime & Justice”, “County 49” and Prime Video hosting Kenyan film “Bangarang”.
In addition to international investment, Owase explained that the commission is determined to support local content, mainly through the Kalasha awards, which is scheduled to hold on the 3rd of December 2022.
“Kalasha Awards is our flagship award scheme in the film industry, and we will be celebrating the 12th edition. The aim is to recognize excellence within the industry. We will be awarding 38 categories,” he said.
In addition to supporting the local film industry, KFC is also determined to grow its own local talent, Owase notes. One such programme is the “We Watch Kenyan” initiative in partnership with the MyMoviesAfrica streaming platform, which promotes local film consumption with a watch party every month.
“KFC has come up with many programs geared towards promoting our own authentic stories – We undertake capacity building and establish Kenya Film hubs in counties, we facilitate film-makers to access govt facilities,” he said.