Celebrating local content – Kalasha International Film and TV Awards

Nairobi Half Life actors after they won Best Feature Film. Image credit Charles Kamau http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Kenyas-best-on-screen-feted/-/1056/1640300/-/cvf3wgz/-/index.html

What comes to mind when you hear The OSCARS (awards)? Lupita Nyong’o right? A while ago, very few people knew about her. I had only seen her acting in SHUGA and it showed her prowess while on set. After she bagged the prestigious Oscars’ award, she became a household name. She was validated for the efforts she put her work. Getting validation for the work you do can motivate and propel you to reach greater heights in your field of specialty. Whenever one does something worthy of praise, they deserve to be indeed praised. This then leads to insurmountable success.

The Kenyan version of The Oscars is The Kalasha International Film & TV Awards. It has been rebranded as The Kalasha International Film & TV Festival & Market. The Kenya Film Commission (KFC) came up with these awards as a way of rewarding and promoting local talent. Earlier on today, an event for the unveiling of nominees in Film, Television and special awards categories went down in Nairobi. Under these, there are other sub-categories that will go into recognizing the efforts of the actors, script writers, producers, photographers, directors among others involved in the Film and Television Industry. Actual voting will start tomorrow, 30th September. The Awards ceremony will be held on 30th October 2015 at the KICC.

Nairobi Half Life actors after they won Best Feature Film. Image credit Charles Kamau //www.nation.co.ke/News/Kenyas-best-on-screen-feted/-/1056/1640300/-/cvf3wgz/-/index.html
Nairobi Half Life actors after they won Best Feature Film. Image credit Charles Kamau http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Kenyas-best-on-screen-feted/-/1056/1640300/-/cvf3wgz/-/index.html

To make it possible for the public to familiarize themselves with the different categories and promote local and East African content, the Kenya Film Commission has planned a series of events which can be found on their website www.kalashainternational.com.

Some of the nominees and their work are well known by the majority of the Kenyan people, but a far big number is yet to be recognized. Days after EVEREST hit the theatres; many people were already talking about it. Very few people have heard of films such as Switch, Sibini, Fundimentals among others that are locally created. This implies that it is hard for local talent to be nurtured. However, all is not lost. There are many ways to ensure that the film industry in Kenya becomes a major force. I have listed some here.

Make it readily available

The content that is created never finds its way to the public for which it was intended. This could be because it ran out of stock or few people heard about it. This does not benefit the creators who put in labour and other resources such as money and time to come up with it. It also needs to be uploaded online where people can view or download at a fee. The fee needs to be reasonable to ensure people don’t shy away from getting it.

Quality Technology

The creators of the films, documentaries, TV series and others need to use the state-of-the-art technology while coming up with their work. Clear (both visual and vocal) clips are more appealing to watch as opposed to other poorly done work. This needs investment in terms of the cameras, lighting and other necessary equipment that delivers the required content.

Witty and Educative content

When watching a clip, film or series, one hopes to get something from it. It could be humour or lessons for life. The creators therefore have to keep this in mind when coming up with content that is meant to catch and sustain the attention of the people who watch.


The cast involved in the shooting of the films should be able to bring out the intended message by how they express themselves on set. A script could be well written but failure to deliver it in the best way could lose the interest of the people who watch it. The actors need to trained while the directors should work to minimize on the mistakes in the films.

Campaign for the films

It would be pointless to come up with a brilliant film or documentary then keep it to yourself. One needs to actively campaign for it so that many people get to watch, rate and maybe validate. This feedback is used for future improvement. People should use the social media platforms such as Facebook, Youtube and Instagram to share and re-share the content to reach a larger audience.

There are nominations for the following categories and you will be able to vote for the nominees here.

1. Best Feature Film
2. Best Short film
3. Best Documentary
4. Best lead Actor in Film
5. Best Lead Actress in Film
6. Best Local Language Film
7. Best Host in a TV Show
8. Best TV Drama
9. Best Lead Actor in TV Drama
10. Best Lead Actress in TV Drama
11. Best TV Comedy

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