KENYA AT THE OSCARS
Kenya has a long tradition as a location for Hollywood productions. Kenya show cased Best Foreign Language Film at the 2003 Academy Awards, with Nowhere in Africa. This critically acclaimed film was shot on location in Kenya show casting the wonderful landscapes and celebrating the rich cultural heritage. The film has won over 14 international awards at film festivals around the globe since its release in Europe.
The Kenya film scene has been increasingly vibrant with quite a number of significant releases: Some of the movies shot in Kenya include Saikati the Enkabaani, Judy Kibinge's straight-to- video film Dangerous Affair which was an award winner at the 2000 Zanzibar International Film Festival, The Price of a Daughter by Jane Murage Munene which won a special certificate of excellence. She is also the producer of Behind Closed Doors. Another is Naliaka is Going by veteran film maker Albert Wandago, Anne Mungai's Saikati I and Saikati II, Wanjiru Kinyanjui's The Battle of the Sacred Tree, M-Net's New Director Short Film, The Baisikol by Ingolowa Keya, Lucky One by Baraka Films is set for release any time soon and so is Kibaara nto Kaugi's Mau Mau themed film Enough is Enough, which is set for release in June 2005.
Films shot elsewhere in Africa using Kenyan expertise include Mississippi Masala, which was shot in Uganda using Kenya's support crew, cast and equipment. Snake Eyes, a French feature film, was shot in Burundi using crew and equipment from Kenya, while The Power of One and Clint Eastwood's White Hunter, Black Heart were shot in Zimbabwe, where again Kenya provided crew and equipment.
In Botswana's Lost in Africa, Kenya provided crew and cast. Gorillas in the Mist in Rwanda and more recently Rwanda's 100 Days was directed and produced by Kenyan resident director Nick Hughes with full crew and equipment from Kenya.
Shooting The Constant Gardener a film by Focus Features/Potboiler Productions The availability of affordable digital technology is making it easy for many people to make films. Many stand up comedies and features on youth sexuality and empowerment of women were shot on video. They included ALWAN Communications Kenya Women Pioneers, The Great Betrayal by Ace Communications, Susan Wambui’s Award winning Lamu: A Spleandour of Heritage Kibaara Kaugi’s Award Winning Dunia Ni Mbaya and Too Late Mom, The Bush fire by Worldview Kenya and High Priest, Kanise and Express.com by Vidfiltec Services. To reach a wider audience, most productions are in Kiswahili and to beat piracy, the tapes are sold at extremely low prices.
It is comparatively cheaper to shoot in Kenya as compared to other East African countries. Producers want to save and spread their budgets to other productions so it usually makes good sense to shoot in Kenya. With the Ministry of Information and communications having removed virtually all bureaucratic obstacles to film licensing, Kenya is fast becoming the African and wordwide premier filming location of choice.