Women in Film Feted
Twenty-six women filmmakers and creatives were on Wednesday 8th March 2023, feted for making a mark in the film industry during the 4th Edition of the Women in Film Awards (WIFA) held at the Kenya Cultural Centre, Nairobi.
The star-studded Gala event is organized by Beyond the Film Limited, and it is geared towards celebrating and supporting the work of omen filmmakers and creatives in Kenya from directors, writers, producers, cinematographers, editors, sound engineers, among others.
Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts Hon. Ababu Namwamba, while congratulating the winners, called on the industry players to be willing to extend offers of work to women in all aspects of film production and not limit it to camera roles and acting.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Kenya Film Commission CEO Mr. Timothy Owase, the CS said the Ministry is committed to develop policies that promote inclusion and representation in the film sector.
“The film industry has, over the years, proven to be very essential drawing from its capability to generate wealth and create job opportunities especially for the youth,” he said.
He added that the Ministry, through the Talanta Hela Council and Committees intends to grow local talents from the grassroots and propel them to commercial enabling them to earn a decent living.
The CS said that the Ministry is working on the Creative Economy Bill which has all the encompassing level framework to manage the creative space.
He noted that the Bill will ensure that challenges faced in the industry are faced by different players in the industry, including women.
“As a way forward, the Ministry recognises that more female directed films in circulation will significantly impact women representation and also promote equality by showing more of their films on television and cinemas, he said.
The Kenya Film Classification Board Ag. CEO Mr Christopher Wambua, decried the underrepresentation of women in the film sector, but observed that Kenya was doing much better compared to her African peers.
“The 2019 Kenya National Bureau of Statistics survey indicated that the film sector in Kenya employs close to 130,000 people, out of which 30 to 40 % were female,” Wambua said.
Mr. Wambua said that KFCB has instituted a number of reforms in a bid to make the regulatory environment more friendly to filmmakers.
He cited the self-regulatory framework which will content service providers to self-classify commercial film content meant for broadcast and distribution on their respective platforms, reviewing of various regulatory fees to reflect reduction of up to 15% and the exemption of local film makers to acquire film licenses through film agents.
The Awards categories have increased exponentially from 14 in 2020 when WIFA started to 26 this year. This year’s Awards also coincided with the International Women’s Day.