Many young people today cannot even tell you where the iconic Nairobi Cinema is, despite it being in the centre of the central business district and having once been a rendezvous point.
Now, the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) has partnered with Canon to explore and roll out a programme to identify and nurture talent among the youth to revatalise the local cinema industry. According to KFCB’s chief executive Ezekiel Mutua, who spoke to ActScene, in the next couple of months things will change after the government finally handed over the operations to them from the care takers of the building who run Uchumi House.
Dr Mutua said the government, in partnership with Canon, will run “Sinema Mashinani” programme and will also be undertaken by the State Department for Youth Affairs and Public Service, and other stakeholders in the area.
“Sinema Mashinani is in line with the President’s Big Four agenda, under the manufacturing pillar, and will promote the Kenyan cultural diversity, consumption of local film talent, capacity building and re-energise the film industry,” he said.
Dr Mutua also added that once the programme, to be unveiled in all counties across the country, is up and running, it will see youths from all over Kenya benefit and also be assisted to develop their talents.
“Through this government initiative, young people will be facilitated to come up with creative productions at the local level encompassing our cultural and social diversity which also uphold our moral values.”
Sinema Mashinani will broadcast free films to the public, using a model similar to that of the 1970s and 1980s. For those who grew up then, entertainment in the form of films was hard to come by, especially in the villages save for open-air-films in the marketplace.
The CEO emphasised the role of Sinema Mashinani in retrieving culture and identifying, nurturing and developing talent among the youth. Film has proved instrumental in creating jobs the world over.
Dr Mutua said this will go a long way in achieving the 60 per cent local content threshold as stipulated in the government programming code.