Jury members for national script writing competition unveiled
The Ministry of ICT, through Kenya Film Commission, last Thursday unveiled a jury of experts for the National Screenplay Competition, which was launched early February.
The nine-member jury, who are drawn from the Kenyan film industry, will be tasked with scrutinizing submissions received, evaluating entries and determining the competition’s winners.
They include Dr Fredrick Mbogo, who is a scriptwriter, playwright, actor and senior lecturer at the Technical University of Kenya, Ms Mona Ombogo, an author and scriptwriter as well as Mr Eston N Munyi, who is a lecturer at Kenyatta University and Kenya Institute of Mass Communication.
Also in the jury is Mr Eugene Mbugua, a content creator, writer, producer and the Director of Young Rich Television Ltd.
The jury’s judging criteria will focus on originality, story structure, characterization, visual inventiveness and overall viability for world-class film festivals and/or online distribution.
The competition had garnered an overwhelming 549 entries by the time the submissions closed on February 27.
Shortlisted candidates will be required to submit full scripts for further evaluation. The winners of the three categories to be evaluated will be announced on April 25.
The author of the best script will be awarded Sh1 million with the first and second runner-ups pocketing Sh500,000 and Sh300,000 respectively. The best student writer, under 25 years will be rewarded with Sh 100,000 while the best young writer, 18 years and below, will also receive Sh100,000.
Speaking during the unveiling ceremony, ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru emphasized on the need to tell our own stories so as to be part of the worldwide film industry.
“We must not rely on the rest of the world but should sell our stories as well and be part of the contribution of the global film industry in a big way. China sold around $10 million in tickets – they have a huge market that Kenya can take advantage of as well as SMART Africa initiative,” Mucheru said.
This competition seeks to grow the film industry in Kenya and expand the local market of films in the country and other markets in Africa and Asia while showcasing Kenya as a film production destination.
It is hoped that the competition will identify authentic Kenyan scripts viable for world class film festivals and online distribution to spur growth in Kenya’s film sector.