Thirty-three filmmakers have benefited from the first Sh100 million government stimulus package for artistes.
This comes at a time when the local film industry has recorded a Sh1 billion loss.
The massive loss, dating to when the first case of Covid-19 was announced in Kenya, has led to over 800,000 job losses in the film sector, according to a research carried by the Kenya Film Commission (KFC).
The 33 beneficiaries of the government stimulus package were selected from 98 submitted projects forwarded to KFC after the submission call was made by the commission two months ago.
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They will share Sh8.5 million for their projects whose production commences immediately following new health and safety guidelines for film production.
With each receiving an average Sh257,000 for their projects, the lot is the first bunch of creatives from the sector to benefit from the ‘work for pay’ prize money from the Ministry of Sports and Arts fund – working towards supporting Kenyan artistes with an objective of cushioning them from the adverse economic impact of Covid-19.
“A jury committee consisting of four members – Martin Munyua, Isabel Maina, James Kanja and Immaculate Murugi– and representatives of the various film associations reviewed the submissions. Of the 98 projects, only 62 projects met the set criteria. The 62 projects were then subjected to the technical evaluation process and 33 projects from 21 counties were finally awarded the price money,” a press statement by KFC said.
The projects, whose storylines are centred on the pandemic, include I Can’t Breath (Fred Odongo), Running on Covid (Bernard Kibet), Vitunguu Maji (Abubakar Mwenda), Mental Health in a Pandemic (Christine Njeri), The Covid Mentality (Grace Omondi), Double Trouble (Phares Mwangi), Little Heroes (Paul Mbugua) and Divoc–91 (Ruth Mueni).
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KFC has also released an extra Sh25 million to film production houses in line with its mandate and function of promoting development of local content.
This follows an evaluation process in which 72 filmmakers submitted projects. And according to new guidelines issued by KFC yesterday, film production teams will be required to have a qualified medical practitioner during production.
The health guidelines call for limited number of cast and crew members on set with social distancing a priority.