Shot in Kenya: the films to look out for

Kenya is blessed with breath taking scenery, a magnificent range of captivating wild animals, an array of culture, exquisite cuisine and beautiful people, propelling it to one of the most preferred filming destinations worldwide. Over 80 international films have been shot entirely in Kenya, many of which turned into Hollywood box office hits and won several international awards.

Hollywood’s greatest tribute to Kenya came with 1985’s Out of Africa. Adapted from Karen Blixen’s classic book, the film told the story of her life in colonial Kenya. With Meryl Streep in the lead role and Robert Redford co-starring, the film brought Kenya to life for audiences all over the world. With its stunning cinematography and a rich music score by John Barry, the film went on to win an Academy Award for best picture.

Hollywood comes knocking

Kenya has since served as location for several Hollywood blockbusters: in 2002 Nowhere in Africa a German language film was shot on location in Baringo, Bogoria and Mt Kenya. The film was a major success, winning over 14 international awards, including the 2003 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

A Poster for the film Nowhere in Africa

A Poster for the film Nowhere in Africa

Also filmed in Kenya was the 2005 box-office hit The Constant Gardener. The film placed little known Loiyangalani, a small town located in the South Eastern coast of Lake Turkana, onto a pedestal as one of the world’s most beautiful places.

A cinematic poster of the film Constant Gardener

A cinematic poster of the film Constant Gardener

The amazing landscape scenery and rich diversity of wildlife has made it home to numerous award winning wildlife series. Some of those shot on location in Kenya include; BBC Natural History, Discovery channel, as well as other production companies. For years now the Maasai Mara has been the home for BBC’s popular Big Cat Diary, which follows the lives of the reserves’ fearless predators.

Talent rubs off

This films give opportunities to Kenyan actors, script writers and production crews, providing necessary exposure to international-level film making expertise. Oliver Litondo, a great Kenyan thespian won the best actors award in “AARP 11th Annual Movies for Adults Awards” for his role in The First Grader, a celebrated Kenyan film.

Currently the acclaimed American producers the Wachowski Brothers – made up of Lana and Andy Wachowski – are filming a hit television series Sense 8 in Nairobi with a central actor in the plot hailing from Kenya. This has given opportunities to a lot of Kenyan actors who have gotten roles in the supporting cast.

The films shot in Kenya not only draw foreign direct investment but also bring in tourists and creates employment for our professionals in film production. Kenya has a wealth of magnificent locations from the highlands of Mt. Kenya, to the Rift Valley, the sun kissed Savanna and the luxurious coast which offer incomparable filming destinations. The rich filming history provides an excellent backdrop for future filming opportunities as well.

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Our Correspondent
Cult Kenya correspondent
Peter - Nairobi

Born in a dusty village along coastal Kenya where only a handful of people had ever seen a car i progressed through my education eventually ending up in "THE CITY" (Nairobi) to study Journalism.I now work with a local media company ...

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About Kenya
About this place

Continent: Africa
Capital: Nairobi
Population: 40,046,600
Area: 582,650 km2
Currency: Shilling
Languages: Swahili, English

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