Nairobi TV Series Attracts 250 Million Viewers in China

  • Blue Sky Film production crew during a scene recording in Kenya in 2019
    Blue Sky Films crew on location in Kenya
    Blue Sky Films
  • A Chinese TV series shot in Nairobi has given Kenya international recognition with more Chinese film-producing firms considering using Kenya in their future projects after the series attracted sizeable eyeballs in China.

    The action-based TV series Hunting is set in the quiet and isolated Nairobi neighborhoods parked with tropical trees.  

    Hunting features a renowned Kenyan actor, Derrick Assetto, who doubles up as a stuntman and a model. Derrick says his experience while shooting Hunting was overwhelming. 

    Derrick Assetto, the lead actor in Hunting Film Shot in Nairobi in 2019
    Derrick Assetto, Kenyan actor featured in Hunting Series Shot in Nairobi in 2019
    The Standard

    “There is a very negative perception about us from production companies out there, but in my experience, foreigners get shocked all the time at the amount of talent available and our levels of commitment,” Assetto told The Standard.  

    Derrick says Hunting has attracted over 250 million viewers in China contributing to its success. 

    “Since then we have received many queries from other Chinese companies who want to film in Kenya and it seems there is more business on the way,” Shamoon, Blue Sky Films director said.

    Derrick has had a promising career in the film industry. He featured in the Equator in 2005. In 2006, he also represented Kenya in Panama during the shooting of Survivor Africa. 

    His other movies include La Talpa - an Italian movie, Netflix's Sense8, and Mourn Amor. 

    According to Jim Shamoon, Hunting is one of the best projects they have done in Nairobi crediting it to the conducive environment. 

    Shamoon said he was extremely excited to have worked with a team of Kenyans for most of the behind the scene roles in the series.  

    The TV series which has 44 episodes was shot along Ngong Road and Kona Baridi in Kajiado County. Shamoon said the production spent Ksh100 million in almost two months when they were shooting a number of episodes in Kenya.  

    He said that the production firm saved almost Ksh 200 million which is what they had spent on some episode shot in a different country. Through these budget cuts, Shamoon said that he has been entrusted with other film projects whose sponsors are now looking at Kenya as their preferred location.  

    Hunting which China’s Ministry of Public supported during its production in 2019, is based on true crime stories. It focuses on a team tasked with tracking and capturing fugitives hiding in foreign countries.

    The film blends the Kenyan-Chinese culture to portray the government's effort to provide justice. Other episodes were shot in the Czech Republic. 

    Blue Sky Films, a Kenyan-based company has facilitated the production of other exemplary films for almost two decades. It prides itself on producing films like The Constant Gardener and Tomb Rider 2 which are considered by film review experts as one of Hollywood's best films. 

    Hunting is currently available in China since that was its main target audience. However, it will soon be opened for international market consumers

    Derrick Assetto, the lead actor in Hunting Film Shot in Nairobi in 2019
    Derrick Assetto, Kenyan actor featured in Hunting Film Shot in Nairobi.