Insights on Navigating the Cinema Culture in Kenya

Events  /  24th July 2024

We recently read an article by Churchill Osimbo from SinemaFocus on Cinema Culture in Kenya and Why We Must Win the Goodwill of the Audience. Osimbo talked about how important it is for us to win over the audience in order to build profitability, and grow a strong cinema culture in Kenya.

At LBx Africa, we're excited to be on this journey towards audience growth, with a focus on understanding our audiences better.

We have been experimenting with different strategies from running 2 theatrical runs for Softie the Film and Beneath the Tides which have given us some insights;

Cultural Shift: In order to position ourselves more strategically to resonate with audiences, we as filmmakers need to be more proactive about certain essential functions like marketing, impact, and research and invest in these from the start of any project.

This is one of the things we have implemented at LBx Africa. Investing in in-house marketing, research, and impact departments has helped to shift the focus of our production team to the stories we want to tell while collaborating with these in-house departments to strategically map out plans for research, impact and marketing from the start of projects.

Putting the Audience First: We have to make movies people want to watch. So, we need to spend time figuring out what people like and then make movies based on that.

One thing we have implemented internally is creating surveys that we share with audiences after special screenings that include Q&A’s to get their thoughts on what they liked, what they did not like, what they would like to see more of, etc.

We also leverage research to get our own data on audience trends locally.

Awareness:  How do we create awareness among Kenyans about Kenyan films showing in cinemas and get people to watch them?  Knowing where audiences are will inform how best to reach them. This requires pivoting to marketing. We have to devise ways to find audiences where they are.

We have also found it insightful to not limit ourselves to screening our films in cinemas only as that reaches a very small segment of the audience. We continue to explore more creative distribution channels, including tapping into schools, working with CBO’s and finding ways to reach audiences where they are.

Content alignment: After knowing where audiences are, find what appeals to them, what their values are, what genres they like and create content based on this. One of our goals is to expand our fiction slate with a focus on using data to create stories that appeal to audiences.

We’d love to hear from you too about any insights you may have on audience building and explore opportunities for collaboration. Feel free to reach out to us at

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