The government has floated the idea of imposing a 50% tax, potentially more, on revenues generated by tv stations from airing foreign soap operas as part of its efforts to promote local content.
Speaking during the first ever Kenya film summit, held at Nairobi Cinema on Friday, Digital Strategist Dennis Itumbi hinted at the government's plans to introduce a Film Funding model.
In the plan, a huge portion of the funding will be sourced from local television stations minting huge revenues from syndicating soap operas from international broadcasters at cheap rates.
However, local television stations broadcasting local soap operas will be exempt from this tax, aligning with the government's objective to boost the local film industry.
“Most of our TV stations show soap operas and those are not subject to tax. Because they come in a flash disk and they start airing,” the Digital Strategist said during the event.
Film funding will primarily come from taxation on broadcasters airing telenovelas, which the government points out will encourage them to focus on local production.
“So you show telenovelas you have been escaping from tax for a long time it will be fifty-fifty, or even higher than fifty percent, because we have local programs here why not show them, Dennis Itumbi stated.
The inaugural Film Industry Summit in Kenya stands as a dedicated platform, committed to realising the full potential of the film industry.
According to the government, banking on local film production will generate employment and foster national development.
Sports Cabinet Secretary, Ababu Namwamba attended the event as the chief guest.
This comes after the government, earlier in the year, passed the Finance Bill, that initially proposed a 15% tax on digital social media content creators.
However, the percentage was later revised to 5%.