Cooperation between Kenya Film Commission (KFC) and CNC

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Film industry in Kenya is headed for a major boost following the implementation of the cooperation agreement between Kenya Film Commission (KFC) and the Centre National du Cinéma et de L’image Animée (CNC) of France. In a letter addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of KFC, Peter Mutie by the President of CNC, Eric Garandeu, CNC has offered Kenya to be one of the main focuses during the 2013 producers’ annual meeting organised by CNC during the world leading film extravaganza organised in Cannes, France. “The Film Market could sponsor three Kenya Producers,” says the letter dated 19 July and whose copy has been availed to the media.

The producers meeting is a global event that brings together film producers from all over the world, providing a great exposure for countries to show-case their film prowess. According to the KFC CEO, this is a big honour for Kenya and indeed a key achievement for the country. “Big film destinations in Europe and America are always competing to be in focus in this event and only a few make it. Kenya will be the first country in this part of the continent to be awarded such an offer,” adds the CEO.

In addition to this, CNC has also offered an opportunity for a Kenyan writer to participate in the support programme for film writing held at Moulin d’Andé in France (the Mill at Andé). This is a residential writing programme that is fully paid and where writers finalise their scripts. “CNC would sponsor the most suitable candidate based on her/his application and her/his project,” says the letter to KFC. It is envisaged that more writers will benefit from similar sponsors as the two institutions continue implementing the cooperation agreement, says Mutie.

To enhance skills in film making, CNC has offered to provide film experts to conduct short term training programmes and workshops in the country. This can be done during the various film festivals that are now peaking phase in the country. Kenya Film Commission has committed to support Filamu Film Festival, which brings together films and works of art from University students. This year, the festival was held in Kenyatta University, attracting participants from other universities that are now teaching film making. In Kenya today, there several other regional film festivals in the offing that can benefit a lot from the French experts. Kenya International Film Festival, which is run by an independent trust has also been a beneficiary of KFC’s support.

The eight-clause CNC/KFC agreement was entered in May 2011 in Cannes, with the Minister for Information, Samuel Pogishio gracing the signing ceremony. Also present during the signing was Kenya’s ambassador to France, Ms. Salma Ahmed and other senior government officials. In the agreement, the two film institutions have committed to preserve film heritage, promote coproduction of films and support cross participation of national works in festivals and other Cinema events organised in their countries. Further, KFC and CNC committed to pay particular attention to exchanges related to training, namely of experts and educators, as well as to the organisation of specialised seminars and workshops.

In addition to the above, Mr. Mutie says that Multi Media University College and Toulouse University are now developing a memorandum of agreement that will allow exchange programs between the two institutions of higher learning. “this arrangement is being considered under the agreements CNC/KFC cooperation agreement,” adds Mutie He says that this offer will supplement other numerous local activities initiated to support the industry. Currently, the Commission is facilitating finalisation of the film policy which will provide a framework that will address some of the challenges the industry is facing. In the offing is also county film guidelines that the Commission is planning to rollout in the course of the year to guide film activities in the counties.