The first-ever Film Festival Kenya was inaugurated in a grand ceremony in Nairobi coinciding with Indian Independence Day by the Indian High Commissioner Rahul Chhabra.
Awardees included popular actor Arjun Rampal & top filmmakers Raju Chadha, Rahul Mittra & Umesh Shukla and Dharmendra Mehra and Ajay Arora.
Minister for Information, Communication & Technology Joe Mucheru pledged to review the decade's old Films and Stage Plays Act to make it friendlier to movie makers and said that the government would line up tax holiday and rebates to lure Indian movie makers to invest in Kenya. “I see a lot of opportunities in Kenya and was elated at the warm reception. I look forward to shooting a film here soon,” added Raju Chadha, top producer and film presenter who was awarded for his immense contribution to Indian cinema.
Filmmaker Rahul Mittra’s address at the round table got a standing ovation where he spelled out the way forward for the Kenyan Government in order to attract filmmakers from India & rest of the world, which was noted by the minister. The five days Indian Film Festival Kenya 2019 was curated by Captain Rahul Sudesh Bali and organized by The Indian Film Festival Worldwide (IFFW) under the aegis of the High Commission of India in Kenya and supported by Kenya Film Commission & Sarova Hotels & Resorts.
The Bollywood celebrities were also taken to spectacular locations including the breathtaking Masai Mara & Mombassa, apart from hosting a round table conference along with top Kenyan filmmakers & government functionaries. Also present were Cricketing legend Aasif Karim, CFO Safaricom Sateesh Kamath, Chairman Kenya Tourism Jimmi Kariuki, CEO Kenya Film Commission Timothy Owase & Rajay Singh of Safari Trails.