Kenya Seeks to Win Back Hollywood to its Exotic Locations

Kenya Seeks to Win Back Hollywood to its Exotic Locations

In this photo taken Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, female northern white rhino Najin walks in her pen where she is being kept for observation at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. The keepers of three of the last six northern white rhinos on Earth said Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014 that it is highly unlikely the three will ever reproduce naturally, with recent medical examinations of them showing the species is doomed to extinction, unless science can help. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
In this photo taken Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, female northern white rhino Najin walks in her pen where she is being kept for observation at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

(Reuters) – When “Out of Africa” was filmed in Kenya three decades ago, the images of elegant safaris drew tourists in droves but it has struggled to repeat that kind of success.

Now Kenya wants to put itself back on the film-makers’ map, competing for business that often ends up in South Africa, by offering tax incentives and touting scenery that ranges from dusty savanna to tropical forest and white sandy beaches.

“We’ve been losing out hugely to South Africa, certainly in terms of feature films, and the main reason has been their tax rebate system,” Chris Foot, chairman of the Kenya Film Commission, a state corporation, told Reuters.

So Kenya is fighting back. The government has given initial approval for a 30 percent tax rebate on film productions, has agreed to drop duties on film equipment imports and is setting up a liaison office to assist crews through Kenyan bureaucracy. A special visa for film crews is in the works too.

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