Tourism hub Malindi moots international film festival

Mining Cabinet Secretary Dan kazungu (left) and locals inspects a venue at Malindi in Kilifi County on Saturday December 30, 2017. This is in preparation to host the Malindi International film festivals expected in early 2018 [Maarufu Mohamed| Standard]

The tourist resort town of Malindi in Kilifi County will host an international film festival bringing together world renowned film makers and stars.

The week-long fete dubbed Malindi International Film Festival is expected to offer opportunities for the film market and help boost tourism in Malindi.

Mining Cabinet Secretary Dan Kazungu, who is the architect of the event, said their aim is to hold a ‘mock festival’ in March before launching the bigger one in December.

Mr Kazungu said he came up with  the idea in 2015 and has been pushing various Government departments and the private sector to make it a success.

He said the film sector is one of the world’s economic giants with annual earnings of more than $295 billion (Sh30 trillion).

‘’Countries like Nigeria and regions such as California in the US and Caine in France have gained world recognition due to the film industry,’’ he said.

The CS, who once served as Malindi MP, recently led a team of experts in marketing, creative arts and planning to survey and scout the resort town for the event. 

The experts are supposed to come up with a draft proposal on how the film festival will be set to match international standards and attract the who-is-who in the industry, and at the same time promote the African film market.

Among ideal locations visited was the Billionaires Resort owned by Italian magnate Flavio Briatore where they intend to hold the opening ceremony, which will have a red carpet cocktail followed by an extended party that will be done elsewhere.

The team also visited the Malindi Marine park, White Elephant Resort - owned by renowned artist Armando Tanzini - Ocean Beach Resort, Eden Rock, The old Sin Bad Hotel, Vasco Da Gama pillar, Baobab Beach and the Cleopatra Theatre Hall.

Public screening

Kazungu said there would be public screening at Cleopatra and Baobab beach while VIP screening will be at Ocean Beach and the Tropical Village Dream of Africa Resorts.

“There will also be workshops to train people to be better producers and movie makers,’’ he said.

One the idea bears fruit, said Kazungu, Malindi would be like California and any award given shall be like the Oscars award given there.

“I thought of coming up with the event to market Malindi and its beautiful culture to grow the existing talents,’’ he said.

The CS said he has established that there is a network of 600 upcoming film makers.

However for the success of the festival, he said, a lot will require to be done, especially the expansion of the airport to enable the international movie stars to land with their private jets directly from Europe.

“Our aim is to make the Malindi International Film Festival an annual event so that it becomes part of the calendar for world film lovers, celebrities and high-end tourists,’’ he said.

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