FOCUS talks to Alex Mulwa of the Kenya Film Commission

FOCUS talks to Alex Mulwa of the Kenya Film Commission

KenyaAlex what brings you and the the Kenya Film Commission to FOCUS this year?

FOCUS has been on our radar for a while now and we heard from other Film Commissions that it is the ‘must attend’ international film and TV location and production event. Based on the event statistics and our close ties with the UK market, we find it important to be at FOCUS to connect and network with our peers as well as promote Kenya as Africa’s quintessential filming location.

Red ground road, bush with savanna. Tsavo West, Kenya, AfricaWhat are you hoping to get out of the event and what in particular will you be promoting at FOCUS 2018?

We look forward to sign mutually beneficial business agreements and as you may know; if you want to film the entire of Africa in one location and get the real authentic feel of Africa! Kenya is the real reel deal. As our slogan states “Film Kenya….Capture Africa” we have the best beaches, the only snow caped mountain along the equator, wide open savannah grass land, climate with good natural lighting for filming, tropical and equatorial rain forest, desert, natural lighting, amenities and we want to impress and remind everyone how practicable and easy it is to shoot in Kenya.

Traditionelle Samburu Frauen in KeniaWhat foreign productions have filmed in Kenya in the past few years?

Kenya has seen hosted a number of award winning international film production since the 80’s like the Academy Award best picture Out of Africa, the Sequel of Tomb Raider, The constant gardener among others. Recently we have hosted films, documentaries, TV Commercials, Reality TV series and still photoshoots. Just to mention a few; Bid Cat, Sense 8, Adidas TV Commercial, Tycoon, Secrets in the Mist, Karen Blixen……among many more

Please tell us briefly what Kenya has to offer as a filming destination?

Fisherman in Kenya, water, nature, people, fishing, oceanKenya has always been a popular location for film production that are looking for authentic Africa and this is what we are offering besides 100% exemption of the Value Added Tax when you work with our qualified fixers accorded export processing zone status. Kenya is a great destination for television wildlife productions. Many award winning wildlife series have been shot on location in Kenya by BBC Natural History, Discovery, Survival and other production houses. Kenyan Locations are only 45 minutes away by flight from the Capital City. We pride ourselves with MPESA the best mobile money transfer technology in the globe. We also have great climate and good natural lighting that is favorable for filming and due to our geographical location, we are the getaway to Africa and the hub to the United Nations headquarters with 42 diverse cultures that offer different faces who are also a very welcoming people. Kenya has a well experienced crew that can work in any kind of production and are not unionized hence offering flexi working hours.

Lamu old town waterfront, Kenya, UNESCO World Heritage siteDo you offer any filming incentives for foreign productions interested in Kenya as a location for their next production?

Kenya’s tax regime is highly conducive for film production and investment. Instead of a tax rebate which necessitates a tedious paper chase to reclaim tax after you have wrapped up, you can enjoy 100% VAT exemption by working with local production companies which have been accorded Export Processing Zone status. Kenya also grants 100% investment deduction on capital expenditure. We also offer non-financial incentives like free location scouting and film production and liaison services.

Alex Mulwa

African Savannah. The foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. African animalsAlex is a marketing and communication specialist and provides planning and leadership to the Kenya Film Commission marketing department by ensuring that the appropriate structures, systems, competencies, values, strategies and activities for marketing Kenya as a Centre of excellence are developed in order to maximize the contribution of the film industry sector to the national economy in line with the Commissions Board Strategic Plan. He is a marketing specialist with experience spanning over 15 years in strategic marketing and communication with a bias in destination marketing. His experience has seen him grow a large network, both locally and internationally, with key stakeholders in the private sector and the government circles. He is a Chartered Marketer (CIM), holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, MBA in Strategic Management, Certified Public Accountant and Diploma in Digital Marketing (CAM) among other qualifications.

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