Laikipia County is tapping on the unique natural and man-made features that can bring proper images in films.
The county government is calling on all the stakeholders in the filming industry to take advantage of these features and film in the county.
According to the Director of Tourism and Filming Services, Laiyanta Kimiri, the county government will not charge anyone filming in the county, something that otherwise would cost the filmmakers millions of shillings.
The County Government of Laikipia has agreed to promote filming talent by ensuring those who do so within the county borders are not charged a coin unless those doing it in private properties, of which we can still negotiate. said Director Kimiri.
The aim of taking these deliberate efforts is to sell the good name of Laikipia while still selling it to the larger world as a good place for filmmaking. Also, this will create many job opportunities for the locals as the government works towards realizing the creation of 30,000 jobs manifesto pillars. It will also help in documenting Laikipia County, the people’s culture and diversity, economic activities, and administration. By so doing, investors will be attracted to the many opportunities that the county has to offer and showcase Laikipia as an ideal destination for film production.
We want Laikipia to become the Texas of Kenya as we compete with other counties. commented Kimiri, who is also the liaison person for KFC in Laikipia.
Many world-famous films such as Born Free, Living Free, Forever Free, Walking with Lions, and Lion King, have been shot in Kenya and some in Laikipia.
The department intends to capacity build all the stakeholders through holding quarterly capacity building sessions for film professionals, from primary and secondary schools, drama clubs in schools in collaboration with the KFC. There will also be Masterclasses for filmmaking classes offered by professionals from Kenya and across the world. Workshops will also be held on production, scriptwriting, directing, content distribution, film policy to train upcoming filmmakers on the essential skills to have in this sector.
The four areas of funding are Development, production, marketing and distribution, and emerging filmmakers funding.
The government also plans to be hosting the annual Film festival/Cultural Expo and hold monthly Film Nights for Kenyan films will see local films screened in various locations within the county.
Art and cultural center is coming up in the county where art exhibitions and various cultural events can be held.
Research has shown that in Kenya, the film industry is estimated to be having the potential to generate Ksh. 200 billion annually. Of course, Laikipia takes a huge percentage from the Kshs. 200 billion, which shows the need to promote such an exercise within the county.
The County Government of Laikipia is partnering with the Kenya Film Commission to make this dream a reality through an MoU.
Filmmaking involves a number of discrete stages including an initial story, idea, or commission, through screenwriting, casting, shooting, sound recording, and reproduction editing, and screening the finished product before an audience that may result in a film release and exhibition.
Laikipia notable filmmaking features
The Black Panther
Laikipia County has been recognized as one of the jewels in Kenya’s Safari crown for its wealth of endangered species. The county has been recognized again as the home of Black Panther(five confirmed) which is a rare black leopard, pictured by cameras after 100 years.
The beautiful landscape of Laikipia which is located on the equator and bordered by the Great rift valley to west offers a good view of Aberdare ranges to the East and Mt. Kenya to South East with Ewaso Nyiro river and tributaries flowing from South to North through the landscape giving beautiful sceneries like Thomson Falls, Manguo hippo point offers the best destination for filming.
With an exhilarating wilderness, scenic landscape, Laikipia plateau, the iconic backdrop of Mt. Kenya, abundant wildlife, the equator, the historic Nanyuki town, and cultural diversity, we can be an ideal film making destination.
The climate and vegetation in Laikipia give integration of livestock and both endangered and indigenous wildlife.
The rolling hills and slopes of Loldaiga to the North give beautiful mountains and big rocks that provide an epic view of the Laikipia plateau e.g. The Lion King movie was shot in Laikipia North. It also gives the best locations for lodges which gives awesome views of the plateau.