When the news that Kati Kati, a film by Kenyan creative genius, Mbithi Masya had won the FIPRESCI award (International Federation of Film Critics Award), there was jubilation among lovers of Kenyan film locally and internationally. As insiders in the film industry in Kenya often say, there is no shortage of talent or ideas in Kenya but making a film in Kenya is no easy task. There are a myriad of challenges experienced by Kenyan film makers namely: lack of financing, lack of government support, weak local distribution networks among others.
The date was Monday the 23rd June 2014. Wilfred Kiumi, principal and founder of Jamhuri Film and Television Academy (and subsequently ADMI), was on a plane to Heathrow International for a conference he had been informed about only two weeks before. Despite his nerve-racking situation and the prospect of having to speak before numerous ministers and professors he was excited. He tells me “I knew when they contacted me that we (ADMI) were onto something.”