Heralding a new era of Indian-Kenyan cooperation, the High Commissioner of India to Kenya, Rahul Chhabra, announced the Indian film festival would be held in Kenya from August 10 to August 16 to coincide with celebrations of India’s Independence Day.
The festival, the first ever to be held in Kenya, will feature six films by Indian filmmakers, one of which is by the Kenyan writer and producer of the award-winning film, Subira, Sippy Chadha. The other five will include Bollywood and Indian regional films.
“A number of Indians in Kenya come from either Gujarat or Punjab, we will bring one from each region and three from Bollywood,” said the festival’s curator, Capt Rahul Bali.
Noting that most people think Indian films are only made in Bollywood, Capt Bali said the Indian film industry is much bigger than that. There are many regional film groups as well.
“We have the biggest film industry in the world. On average, one Indian film is produced every day,” he said.
The envoy added that due to the success of Bollywood, Indian filmmakers have managed to shoot films all over the world. From Switzerland and Spain to Australia and Holland, such settings have stimulated wide interest among Indian viewers, many of whom become tourists visiting any or all of those countries. “Kenya already receives more than 120,000 Indian tourists every year. Kenyans come to India in large numbers as well,” said the High Commissioner, noting that the film festival was not only about movies. “It’s also about tourism and trade.”
There will be a round-table conference during the festival at which between seven and 10 Indian filmmakers will interact with their Kenyan counterparts.