The premiere of the new Lion King movie on Wednesday has elevated Kenya’s profile as one of the leading tourist destinations in Africa.
ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru and Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) officials were among the first Kenyans to watch the movie at Century Imax inside Garden City Mall.
“The movie shows the kind of tourism opportunities that we have; we have hotels, lodges, people and food. And this means a lot for us as the industry continues to expand. Kenya also has high quality movie theatres. It is an opportunity for local movies to also come up,” said Mucheru.
Voices in the film include that of famous stars like Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, John Oliver, Beyonce Knowles-Carter and James Earl Jones (re-enacting his original role as Mufasa).
KTB Chief Executive Officer Betty Radier said the movie will raise the country’s profile and amplify its brand equity, especially with the media campaigns to promote Kenya.She also revealed that within the first four weeks, the movie’s first trailer had attracted 60 million viewers through Disney’s digital channels which have millions of followers.
KTB Chairman Jimi Kariuki on his side said the movie has endorsed the country as a filming destination.
He said eighty international movies have been shot in Kenya so far including; Out of Africa, King Solomon’s Mines, Born Free, The White Mischief, Walk with Lions and Kitchen Toto.
Lion King is a 2019 American photorealistic computer-animated musical drama film produced by Walt Disney.
The movie has been directed and produced by Jon Favreau, with screen play written by Jeff Nathanson.
The film was unveiled to audiences in U.S. on July 9, 2019, France July 12 and U.K. July 14.
KTB supported Walt Disney film crew towards a partnership that showcased Kenya as the inspiration of the of the movie as well as supporting premieres both locally and internationally.
In 1991, the film’s team of animators conducted extensive research in Kenya, studying the landscape and behaviour patterns of animals that would later inspire the greatest movie of all time.