The situation pertaining to film crews

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We had hoped to be able to announce in this newsletter new regulations specifically for film crews, following a statement made by HE President Uhuru Kenyatta in Los Angeles in May.  The function, “Filming Kenya”, organised by the Kenya Film Commission and the Kenya Embassy in Washington, DC was held to discuss Kenya’s viability as a filming location in Africa.  It has long been apparent that due to concerns about incentive structures and insecurity, Hollywood has increasingly opted for South Africa as their destination of choice for big feature films.  Discussions regarding the film “Africa” about conservationist Dr Richard Leakey are ongoing with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, and Kenya is anxious not to lose this film to South Africa.
Following the meeting, the President gave an executive order on several of the outstanding issues that stood in the way of creating an attractive incentive package for the film industry.  The government pledged to guarantee the security of the actors, crew and equipment, provide a suitable incentive package including the waiver of government-related fees including all fees relating to filming, national parks and heritage sites.  Other incentives will include a special film visa to be issued gratis for entry into the country, facilitation of temporary importation permits, a waiver of relevant taxes and fees associated with temporary importation of filming equipment and underwriting of relevant insurances.
The Kenya Film Commission is preparing a detailed document which will then have to pass through various government ministries and Parliament before being written into law.  This may take some time, but it is hoped that these positive changes will become a reality before too long.

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