THE KENYA FILM COMMISSION: THE CANCER THAT AILS THE KENYA FILM INDUSTRY (Part 1)

I assume that you have heard of the latest controversy surrounding the Kenya Film Industry in relation  to the Kenya Film Commission… Well if you haven’t get a feel of what is gpoing on here;

First, let us acquaint ourselves with Kenya Film Commission

The Kenya Film Commission was established vide Legal Notice No. 10 of 2005. The Commission is a state corporation under the Ministry of Information and Communication.

Mandate and Core Functions
The Commission is mandated to perform the following functions:

  1. To advise the government and other relevant stakeholders on matters pertaining to development, co-ordination, regulation and promotion of the film industry in Kenya;
  2. To facilitate the provision of content development, funding and investment for film projects;
  3. To market Kenya as a centre for excellence in film production;
  4. To facilitate proper keeping of Film Archives in Kenya;
  5. To facilitate investment in the development of film industry infrastructure;

Vision
To be the reputed film partner of choice
Mission
Create a gateway to economic growth through excellence in film

Strategic Objectives

  1. To provide guidance on film industry legislation and policy framework
  2. To increase international film production in Kenya
  3. To promote proper preservation of film materials in Kenya
  4. To enhance investment in films projects
  5. To promote the development of a vibrant local film Industry
  6. To improve KFC’s institutional capacity and recognition
  7. To ensure customer satisfaction

Our Core Values

  1. Integrity
  2. Professionalism
  3. Customer Orientation
  4. Creativity and Innovation
  5. Corporate Social Responsibility

Now that you have a background of The Kenya Film Commission and probably have an idea on what it is mandated to do, let us try and analyze the progress so far.

First, The Mandates.

To advise the government and other relevant stakeholders on matters pertaining to development, co-ordination, regulation and promotion of the film industry in Kenya;

With this as the first mandate of the KFC, one is left wanting to comment on the same by asking, how has the commission advised both the government and other relevant stakeholders on matters of importance to the Kenya Film Industry. What has the commission achieved with the advice and how has the mandate been actualized?

To facilitate the provision of content development, funding and investment for film projects;

The Kenya Film Commission has nothing to do with the rise of the local content and it’s development in the Kenya Film and Television Industry. They have neither had a say on the same nor tried to initiate such a talk. The rise of local content on Kneyan TV was initiated by on Hon. Raphael Tuju when he was a Minister of Information and Communication with Hon. James Rege then as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry when the Minister ordered a 40% local content on Kenyan TV. The person who revolutionized the mindset of the Kenyan Media on the same is one Mr. Wachira Warur, The GM/MD of Royal Media Services when he joined the media powerhouse from a short stint at National Broadcaster KBCand The Kenya Film Commission. It is he (WW) that made local TV aware that Kenyans had a love for their own and viola, we had all the local programs on TV today. Can the commission tell the stakeholders what they have done for the realization of their second mandate to facilitate the provision of content development, funding and investment for film projects?

To market Kenya as a centre for excellence in film production;

Marketing is defined as the process by which companies create value for customers and build strong customer relationships, in order to capture value from customers in return”. For business to business marketing it is creating value, solutions, and relationships either short term or long term with a company or brand. It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business developments.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marketing) or the act of buying or selling in a market, the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/marketing).

With the above definition, I’m tempted not to ask the returns the commission has brought to Kenya and the Film Industry as far as this mandate is concerned….

To facilitate proper keeping of Film Archives in Kenya;

Well, the fourth mandate of the Kenya Film Commission is to act as a film bank of sorts if not a film library. In that if by any chance you needed a copy of any film(s) that have their roots in Kenya, you don’t need to start running up and down like a headless chicken trying to get to know who has the footage and how much it would cost you. I’m sorry to disappoint you, a recent look at the commission shows that the resource centre which in some way could help you realize this mandate is a pale shadow of a youth group resource centre in my native Alego Kogelo Village. The least said and the least asked about how the commission has tried to make sure that Kenyans have access to Kenyan films is better. In fact, KISS TV has gone full throng to try and be the source of anything and everything Kenyan Film, with all it’s faults, you are assured of getting a Kenyan Film easily at Kiss than follow up with the commission.

To facilitate investment in the development of film industry infrastructure;

Investment is defined as to put (money) to use, by purchase or expenditure, in something offering potential profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value while infrastructure roughly means the basic, underlying framework or features of a system.

Without fear of contradiction, I will categorically state that the above mandate is by all means the proverbial Vision 2030 of The Kenya Film Commission. The Kenya Film Commission has, to be fair to them, done nothing short of hope against hope that they will get to start thinking about the real meaning of this mandate and probably start to believe that it will be realized.

Second, The Strategic Objectives

To provide guidance on film industry legislation and policy framework

Any sane filmmaker who has been in the industry long enough, The Jim Shamoons, Charlie Simpsons,Jenny Ponts, Lenny Jumas etc will tell you that the legislation and policy framework for the Kenyan Film Industry have never been skewed and shrewd before. The current policies that the film industry must adhere to are to say the leas detrimental and those who have been in the industry long enough will confess that it was easier to shoot films in Kenya six years ago that it will be with another year passing in/under the existence of The Kenya Film Commission. Ranging from Taxation to Licensing, the policies are if not demoralizing, well heartbreaking and to be fair, the real reason why the Kenyan Film Industry will always “believe” that we will better than Nollywood.

To increase international film production in Kenya

It would be laughable to the Kenyan Film Stakeholders to even try to express their disappointments with the commission on this one. To say the least, The Kenya Film Commission has nothing to show as far as naming any single international films that found their way to Kenya as a filming destination. They can not even dare give you details of the latest international movie filmed in Kenya, believe me not, someone from the commission will probably mention “Walking with The Lions” if you asked this question.It is far much easier to let you know the local film industry has had nothing to talk about as far as the efforts of Kenya Film Commission to enhance Kenya as international film production is concerned.

To promote the development of a vibrant local film Industry

Hahahahahahahah… On this one, someone will have to give credit where it is due. The Kenya Film Commission has tried all their level best to promote the development of a vibrant local film industry in Kenya. In fact, the  commission in the last two years have given out grants to filmmakers to realize their dreams of making quality productions that can compete in the international film markets. The grants ranging from as much as 80,000/- t0 as little as 200,000 have gone in good use in various productions in a very great way, helping producers acquire make up kits for their productions yet leaving with them with the hugest of production responsibilty. It is funny how the commission insists on their logo visibility in the productions and it might make you think that the commission did actually spend some millions in the realization of this dream.

To improve KFC’s institutional capacity and recognition

This is probably where the commission scores the highest… The commission rose from position 142 to position 7 in the parastatals’ ranking during the 2011 performance contracting. So it actually lived to its objective of improving it’s institutional capacity and recognition. If not that, you probably will not miss to hear about the commission being embroiled in some funny controversy. Really, who wouldn’t recognize an institution that spends 4 million shillings on food for a three (3) hours event???

To ensure customer satisfaction

A person who purchases goods or services from another; buyer; patron is referred to as a buyer and customer satisfaction is a measure of how products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectation. Customer satisfaction is defined as “the number of customers, or percentage of total customers, whose reported experience with a firm, its products, or its services (ratings) exceeds specified satisfaction goals.
Well, the list of customers of the commission is long but I guess that they will all share the common answer that they are better of without the Kenya Film Commission. From the film stakeholders(production crew and actors), to media owners, to international production companies to the Kenyan public.. The Kenya Film Commission has satisfied their urge of making individuals at the commission richer by the day….
Part 2 of this will focus on the commissions core values and will bring to your attention how the commission is working harder each day to live by the values and how it is really dealing with that. It will focus on the commission’s modest spending of up to 79 million shillings of its 89 million shillings a year budget on administration.
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5 thoughts on “THE KENYA FILM COMMISSION: THE CANCER THAT AILS THE KENYA FILM INDUSTRY (Part 1)

  1. I have seen the great works KFC has put in place and honestly am impressed! I am a young man in late teen and I have something that i think you will like!

  2. I also like to kindly be informed of a link where I will post my confidential information, thank you in advance 🙂

  3. hi msanii! Av read your article and its very intresting , i wanted to try n present kfc with a proposal but now am confused who wil help me initiate this.

  4. I have been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made
    good content as you did, the internet will
    be a lot more useful than ever before.

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