Nairobi — The Youth Enterprise Development Fund has launched a loan facility for filmmakers dubbed TAKE254 targeting young and upcoming players in the industry. The Youth Enterprise Development Fund Chairman Gor Semelang'o said the fund has set aside Sh300 million for the first phase which will be available to Kenyans aged 18 to 34 years.
Semelang'o said the amount available per film will range from Sh500,000 to Sh25 million at eight percent interest rate. "I wish to call upon all young people who wish venture into film making to apply for financing from the fund," he said.
He said the applicants are expected to have a registered company or business name and register their scripts with the Kenya Copyright Board in order to protect the writers work. "Applicants are also expected to attend mandatory pre-production training and produce a film not less than 60 seconds in any Kenyan language," he said.
However he said that exceptional TV series may also be financed. He said the fund shall work closely with an advisory committee made up of stakeholders from the film industry to advise the fund on the application and vetting process as well as the repayment methods.
Semelang'o said that finance is the major challenge facing producers pointing out that financiers are reluctant to fund film projects as they consider it a high risk area. "Local television stations are said to prefer airing foreign programmes because they are so far cheaper than locally produced programmes," he revealed.
He also pointed that producers have often complained that the licensing fees required for local productions are too high and making film production in Kenya expensive. "There are fears that the new devolution system of government will result in even more levies being charged by the local governments discouraging local producers," he said.
The government has imposed a 40 percent local broadcast quota on the local broadcasting stations. However the problem as stated by producers has been monitoring and enforcement of the regulation. "This has been a major drawback in efforts to have more local productions in theatres and TV stations," he explained.