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Kenya’s celebrated conservationist, Richard Leakey has refuted claims that the film, AFRICA, which is based on his life, will be shot in South Africa and not in Kenya.

Leakey, who was reacting to an article published by the Daily Nation, which alleged that the film, starring Brad Pitt and directed by his wife Anjelina Jolie, was going to be done in South Africa, maintained that he had not received any indication from the agents or producers of the film that the location had been moved to SA as alleged.

“I have no doubts that whilst the preliminary negotiations are still ongoing and that the storyline and finances are still being finalized, the intent is to film in Kenya,” Leakey said in a statement.

“The movie with working title Africa is to be based on my life and is to be directed by Angelina Jolie. It is Kenya where my life has been and where the film has to be made,” he maintained.

News on plans to produce Hollywood film directed by Ms Jolie and written by Mr Roth gives rise to misgivings.


The allegations on Kenya missing out as a preferred location for the Richard Leakey film came about as details emerged that new movie set to be based on the Westgate mall siege, will be shot in South Africa.

Despite Kenya having a favorable climate and landscape for filming, the country’s bureaucratic environment has seen Kenya loose out to South Africa as the most preferred film location for international productions.

Unlike Kenya, S.A has invested massively in the film industry and offers various incentives, which make it cheaper to make a movie there than in Europe or the US.

South Africa has signed co-production treaties with eight countries: Canada, Italy, Germany, the UK, France, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. This means that any official co-production is regarded as a national production of each co-producing country, making it eligible for any benefits or programmes of assistance available in either country. South Africa also has a memorandum of understanding relating to film with India.


In an effort to encourage and attract large-budget films and television productions and post-production work that will contribute towards employment creation and enhancement of South Africa’s international profile. Some of the incentives offered by the government’s Foreign Film and Television Production and Post-Production Incentives include;

  • A 20% tax reduction on production expenditure for foreign productions filmed in South Africa with a budget of R12-million (about $1,3-million) or above.
  • A 22.5% to 25% reduction if filming and post-production takes place in South Africa. Post-production expenditure must be R1,5-million (about $166 000) or above to qualify.
  • The South African Film and Television Production and Co-Production Incentive
  • A rebate of 35% for the first R6-million (about $662 000) spent, and 25% for the remainder of production expenditure.
  • The South African Revenue Service, through Section 24F of the Income Tax Act, grants a deduction of the production cost of a film to the film owner. It excludes any deductions for production costs under any other provisions of the Income Tax Act, providing for a film allowance instead. Section 24F also provides that a film owner may deduct a film allowance from his income.

In June last year, Kenya’s government announced a directive to zero-rate film equipment imports, a move that was welcomed by industry players. The enforcement of the same remains a challenge though as there has not been a clear enforcement of the same.


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