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By Winnie Kabintie The Kenya Film Commission (KFC) has partnered with digital television company StarTimes Kenya to provide a digital mobile platform for screening film submissions and voting for the 9th Edition of the Kalasha International Film and TV Awards. It will now be possible for viewers to watch all entries submitted in the 20129 Kalasha Awards on StarTimes On, an online mobile application. Previously, the films could only be watched in the cinemas. According to KFC, the partnership with StarTimes is a boost to the audiovisual industry in the country and will provide a unique platform for growing awareness and public views of shortlisted Kalasha awards entries within and beyond the Kenyan borders and also make the voting process transparent. “This partnership opens a broader market for our local filmmakers to showcase their talent. This platform also ensures that our content can traverse our borders thus exerting a great sphere of influence in the region,” said Mr. Timothy Owase – CEO Kenya Film Commission. The KFC boss also encouraged filmmakers to explore technological advances to fulfill the needs of their audience. StarTimes ON has over 17 million downloads in Africa, one million of which are from Kenya. Voting 2019 Kalasha Awards  Voting will kick off on 31st, October, which is the same day the nominees for the 2019 Kalasha Awards will be unveiled. Unlike with previous Kalasha Awards where voting was done via an online portal on KFC’s website, voting for the 2019 edition will only be done via the mobile application provided by StarTimes. Public Voting The public will now have an opportunity to watch and vote for their favorite films on the mobile application during the specified voting period ahead of the gala awards ceremony set for 30th November. This year’s Kalasha Awards edition has received a total of 159 entries, which according to KFC is significant growth. However, only 22 of the categories will be open for public voting. Star Times Media will also sponsor 34 categories in the Kalasha International Film and TV Awards 2019 with StarTimes 43” Digital TV set, Star Times Solar panels and StarTimes set-top boxes. Prize Money The winners on each category of the 2019 Kalasha Awards will also for the first time in the history of the awards get prize money.

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