Leonardo DiCaprio

Academy-winning actor and film producer Leonardo DiCaprio is expected to film his next project in the country according to the CS The Ministry for Youth Affairs, Sports and The Arts Ababu Namwamba.

Speaking in Kakamega during the finals of the Elijah Lidonde Football Tournament for the Under-15 girls and under-17 girls, the CS said, “Leonardo DiCaprio is coming to Kenya to shoot a big movie. We have selected places which we also want to see them grow, as tourist destinations.”

Elaborating on the benefits of growing the film industry, he said projects like this will educate, motivate and encourage local film industries as part of efforts to promote local tourist attraction sites to an international audience.

Adding that engagement with the actor was part of the government’s efforts to improve the creative sector in general, which includes film, music, sports, and talent.

Namwamba also said that they had made concessions to make the partnership easier.

“There are certain things we have put on the table for them. As part of the asks was a tax rebate of up to 20 per cent of the total film budget or the alternative 30 per cent … We have calculated the figures. If it’s 10 percent of the total film budget that will be about KShs. 280 million in terms of rebate. We have placed that before the treasury.”

Adding, “They have also asked for easier entry of the shooting equipment. You realise that in the past it has been difficult for you to even clear the equipment to come here for shooting. We have made arrangements with custom tax to waive those taxes on the equipment. We have also asked the department of immigration to have a better regime in terms of visa issuance to the crew coming for the shoot.”

This comes days after the CS reiterated the need to grow and nurture the Kenyan film industry calling it a crucial pillar to preserving Kenya’s culture during third Film Empowerment Programme awardee unveiling ceremony hosted by the Kenya Film Comission.

The 48-year-old actor has starred in award-winning films such as “Titanic” “Once Upon a Time”, “Catch Me If You Can”, “Blood Diamond”, “The Wolf of Wall Street”, “Inception”, “Up” and notably “The Revenant” which he won an Oscar for in 2016.

DiCaprio has his own production company - Appian Way Productions, credited for the documentary series “Greensburg” (2008–2010), and is the founder of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation - a nonprofit organization who’s main goal is environmental awareness.

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