When it comes to nature, Kenya seems to have it all – landscapes, beaches and safari rides showcased in numerous films. Not surprisingly, since 1997, tourism has been the leading source of foreign exchange for Kenya. It’s the world’s most beautiful picture-postcard destination, featuring game reserves rich in rare and colourful flora and fauna. As for the African sunset, none other on the planet can compare.
Situated at the equator along the Indian Ocean, Kenya was a British East Africa Protectorate prior to 1920. A Presidential republic today, the country is bordered by Ethiopia (north), Tanzania (south), Uganda and Lake Victoria (west) and Sudan (north-west).
Thanks to its abundant natural beauty and scenic locales, Kenya has always been a hot favourite of Hollywood producers. From action-packed flicks to romantic thrillers and epics, this pictographic destination can portray all kinds of emotion. From the deserts in the north to the savannah in the south, from the world’s second-largest fresh-water lake in the north-west to a vast and pristine shoreline in the east, this is an ideal destination for filming. Throw in urban cities and ancient ruins and the canvas for filmmakers broadens even more.
And if you want even more, exploit the services presented by the local crew at comparative rates. Furthermore, a whopping production rebate is also made available by the Film Commission.
Kenya’s climate varies from tropical along the coast, to temperate inland, to arid in the north and northeast parts of the country. Kenya receives a great deal of sunshine all the year round. It is usually cool at night and early in the morning inland at higher elevations. The ‘long rains’ season occurs from March/April to May/June. The ‘short rains’ season occurs from October to November/December. The rainfall is sometimes heavy and often falls in the afternoons and evenings. The temperature remains high throughout these months of tropical rain. The hottest period is February and March.
WHY FILM IN KENYA
Special passes (work permits) are provided to each foreign crew member at $30 per person for three months. Also, there is no limit to the number of foreign crew and they are not subject to any local taxation. Local crews continue to offer reasonable prices in a highly de-regulated economy.
The Kenya Film Commission (KFC) is pushing for legislation to be passed to establish co-production agreements, which will be designed to encourage productions of all scales to film in Kenya.
Kenya has breathtaking and exquisite beauty with abundant wildlife, white sand beaches and romantic views – apt for movies of all genres.
Labour costs in Kenya are very low compared to other countries. In addition, the exchange rate from the Indian Rupee to the Kenyan Shilling is very similar.
LICENCES & TAXATION
1. Production Licenses
Film Licenses are issued by the Department of Film Services (DFS). Fill out an application form and pay the application fee. Documentaries, Dramas, Short Features Ads and Stills licenses cost: Ksh 5,000. Licences are issued immediately. Full-length Feature Films and Reality TV shows: Ksh 15,000. Licence issued immediately. There is also an extra Ksh 1,000 per day for filming. Filming fees per day are Ksh 1,000.
Removal of the current Import Duty of 25 per cent and VAT of 16 per cent on Television Cameras, Digital Cameras and Video Camera Recorders Zero-rating for VAT and taxable goods and services offered to film producers