Film makers welcome lifting of visa restriction between Kenya, South Africa

The Entertainment Industry has welcomed the move by President William Ruto that seeks to allow Kenyans planning to travel to South Africa to enjoy a visa-free stay of up to 90 days per calendar year.

This comes days after the two African Countries led by the Head of State and his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Wednesday that has lifted visa requirements for citizens between the two countries starting January 2023.

Addressing Press in Nairobi on Thursday, November 10, Kenya Film Commission Chief Executive Timothy Owase noted that the deal will expand the film business  into South African Market.

“The co-production sector aims at expanding the Kenyan Market to collaborate with their counterparts in South Africa both at same level and at the production level,” Owase said.

He emphasized this will also provide an opportunity for the local producers to be able to interact with their fellow producers in South Africa and tell stories in both countries.

With the new agreement, all Kenyans will need is an invitation and return ticket, as well as proof of vaccination for yellow fever and COVID-19. They will also be required to prove their financial ability to stay in South Africa during the intended duration for tourists.

Owase was speaking during the unveiling of the 2022 nominees for the 12th Edition of Kalasha International Film and TV Awards at Penari Hotel.

The selection process of the 217 films submitted was carried out by a jury of experts consisting of shareholders drawn from the film industry association, corporate, government and industry professionals.

Dedicated to promoting culture, stories, creativity and skills; the Kalasha International Film andTV awards gala is scheduled to take place on Saturday December 3, 2022.

The nomination process took place from the August 24 to October 30 and involved review of 217 submitted films in 1,204 categories. 

This year saw the number of submitted films go up compared to 149 films submitted in 2021. The jury also noted the constant themes being those on Mental health awareness, Domestic violence, Elections, Substance and Drug abuse and Violence.

The submissions received were very competitive and showed a huge potential in the Kenyan film industry.

KFC, however, said there is still a lack of authentic Kenyan stories from filmmakers and TV industry players while the international Award Category for East African Countries was well embraced by Tanzania film industry, low uptake was noted from the other countries.

“This year Kalasha Awards have 39 categories with an addition of 9 new categories that include; Best regional film, Best Documentary (Short), Best Documentary (Feature), Best Makeup and Hair Stylist, Best Costume Designer, Best Supporting Actor in a TV Drama, Best Supporting Actress in a TV Drama, Best Viewer’s Choice (Feature) and Best Viewer’s Choice (TV Drama)”, said Owase.

Categories open for public voting and scored by the jury on an 80 percent for jury and the public vote at 20 percent.

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Collins Ogutu

Nairobi based Digital Journalist, Corporate Communication Expert and Digital Marketer with a wealth of experience in multimedia. Accredited member of the Media Council of Kenya.

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