Netflix helps produce three Kenyan movies, offers Sh33m to train local actors


Netflix is discontinuing its free plan in Kenya starting next month. FILE PHOTO | AFP

Netflix is helping produce three Kenyan movies and will spend Sh33 million to train actors, as part of its investment in local content.

The three are in different stages of production while their licensed local titles are being reviewed by Netflix.

The US streaming service said the Kenyan titles will be revealed later closer to their premier dates on the streaming platform that has 222 million subscribers covering 190 countries.

Netflix will also sponsor Kenyans for film and TV-focused courses in local colleges and universities abroad through a Sh33 million fund ($300,000).

The disclosures are part of a memorandum of understanding signed between Netflix and the ICT ministry to improve skill capacity and support the local movie industry.

Netflix, the world’s largest streaming video service, has been announcing initiatives to broaden content and add customers through new subscriber signups outside of more saturated markets such as the US whose share of streaming demand has been declining.

“Netflix is excited by the potential of Kenya’s next generation of creative storytellers. We believe there are great stories in Kenya and we want to do our part for Kenya’s creative community by supporting the development of the local film and TV industry and talent pipelines, both in front of and behind the camera, through partnership initiatives,’’ said Netflix’s Director of Series in Africa, Dorothy Ghettuba.

‘’We also hope that the stories will encompass themes which are unique to Kenya, which our global audiences will find appealing.”

The investment in local content and creatives is part of moves the firm has been making to broaden its customer base.

The company lost 200,000 subscribers in the first three months this year, due to competition from rival streaming services such as Disney, Apple TV and HBO Max, and a crackdown on password sharing and Russia-Ukraine conflicts.

"We welcome this partnership with Netflix because Kenya has many stories to tell the world and all the initiatives with the various partners will help us ensure we have the ability to create quality stories,” said ICT ministry Cabinet Secretary Mr Joe Mucheru.

[email protected]