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Actress Koech wins top prize in Machawood awards

This year’s edition of the Machakos Film Festival, locally known as Machawood, was held in Machakos County with more than Sh5 million up for grabs.

The film Seed was voted the Best Film. The film, due to premier early 2017, also won in the Best Makeup and Best Script categories.

Actress Maureen Koech of Seed was voted the Best Actress.

Koech, 27, is a multi-award winning actress, best known for her role as Patricia in the TV series Lies that Bind, that played on KTN TV.

Speaking to the Nairobi News on Wednesday, she urged all players in the industry to work in uplifting the level of film in Kenya.

“It’s our responsibility as actors, actresses, producers and directors to improve the quality of what we churn out to our audiences.”

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The Kenyan film sector has for decades trailed Nigeria’s Nollywood, regarded by many as the continental movie powerhouse.

She has also called on the government to incentivise the industry, to encourage young people with a passion for acting.

“We should stop perceiving film merely as a form of entertainment, but as a key driver of the economy,” she said, adding that if the quality is able to compete at the continental level, this would boost even the tourism industry.

Machakos Film Festival was established by the government of Machakos County in 2015, with an aim to promote acting talents in the county and the country at large.

The fete is held annually, with the overall winner pocketing Sh1.2 million.