A scene in Kata Practice, a film by Siu Ta of Canada that is showing at the inaugural Lola Kenya Screen film festival for children and youth in Nairobi, Kenya
Story by bobastles Owino Article by Bobastles Owino Nondi
Published August 6, 2006
Lola Kenya Screen 2006, the inaugural international film festival, film production workshop and audiovisual market targeting children and youth, reports Bobastles owino Nondih, has kicked off in Nairobi.
At a media briefing held at Alliance Francaise on August 5, 2006 where Lola Kenya Screen presented the organisers, partners, sponsors, staff and animation films production trainer Antonia Ringbom from Finland, the festival’s creative director, Ogova Ondego, said: “It has been a painstaking 11-month journey putting this event together for children and youth in Kenya.”
Lola Kenya Screen, that focuses on moving images in all conceivable genres and formats by, with and for children and youth, will run at Allaince Francaise and Goethe-Institut August 7-12, 2006.
To incorporate children directly, Lola Kenya Screen has children and young people aged 8-16 years in various roles including jury, press and events presentation.
Lola Kenya Screen’s Children’s Press is compiling stories that are published daily on the internationally-acclaimed ArtMatters.Info under strict journalistic deadlines.
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To crown it all, 15 children are undergoing training in animation film production under the guidance of Ringbom, who worked with children, young people and adults in various countries including Senegal, Malawi and Rwanda.
While talking to the children and the press during the media briefing, Ringbom said: “I am honoured to be in Kenya for the first time on a tour that is going to produce filmmakers of today and the future. I started making films in 1969 and have since never looked back. I hope the children I am working with will never look back too.”
Expected out of the production workshop are at least five short animation films. On this, Ondego said, “We are putting focus on animation films because of the support we have received from Ringbom and the wealth she has in illustration, animation and production of short films.”
As if to corroborate Ondego’s point, Ringbom’s film, Yellow Giraffe’s Animal Stories, will be screened at Lola Kenya Screen 2006.
The festival is exhibiting 72 award-wining and well-crafted films from 37 countries spread across Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, South America and North America. Pitted to compete against international films are Kenya’s Mr Kobole directed by Kenneth Muriuki, The Boss by Charles Mwangi, The Black Pinocchio by Sonal Radia-Tyagi, The Last Frontier by Kibaara Kaugi, A Glass Story by Catherine Ender, Kibera Kid by Nathan Collett, African Spelling Book by Giulio Cederna, John Muiruri and Angelo Loy, and Miss Earth . A Kenyan Queen Reigned by Susan Wambui Wamburi.
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Zippy Kimundu whose youth filmï¿½Twistedï¿½is showing at Lola Kenya Screen film festival, production workshop and audiovisual market for children and youth in Nairobi, Kenya
Zippy Kimundu whose youth filmï¿½Twistedï¿½is showing at Lola Kenya Screen film festival, production workshop and audiovisual market for children and youth in Nairobi, Kenya >>
Although none of the children participating at Lola Kenya Screen 2006 has been to a similar event before, they are all upbeat and promising to make the festival memorable. “I believe we are doing this for ourselves, our parents and our friends. When we go back to school after the August holidays we will have a different story to tell from all the other pupils. I just hope we will be doing this every year,” says Melissa Akumu.
And, while filing her first story, Madline Awuor of Naivasha said: “I am excited because today I have interacted with professional journalists and I have seen how they work. I am going to work with them and learn a lot from them throughout the festival. This is a big step towards achieving my dream.”
During the festival, there will be four screening sessions starting at 9.30am East African time with the last show expected to end at 5.30pm. There will also be an open discussion forum where Antony Murimi, a River Road, Nairobi (Riverwood)-based filmmaker with numerous titles including The Wages of Sin to his credit, and Nigerian (Nollywood) movie producer Donatus Chikezie, will be enlightening people on the merits, demerits and challenges of their works as opposed to Hollywood style of movie-making.
The parents present hailed Lola Kenya Screen with one saying, “This initiative is an excellent constructive outing for children who would otherwise have had little to do for the whole month of August when they will be out of school.”
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Organised and sponsored by ComMattersKenya, Lola Kenya Screen has received invaluable support from Goethe-Institut and Alliance Francaise in Nairobi, and the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development of The Netherlands.
Other organisations that have embraced the Lola Kenya Screen initiative that “seeks to develop Kenya’s film sector by inculcating the attitude of producing, watching and supporting African films” include the Department of Culture under Kenya’s Ministry of Culture, the Finish Film Foundation, the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Kenya, The GoDown Arts Centre, Camerapix Limited, the Office of the Government Spokesman of Kenya, Ashley’s Hair and Beauty Academy, and Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC).
Helmer Ondego expressed gratitude to the local and international mass media whose support, he said, was invaluable in the audiovisual work of the Lola Kenya screen initiative. He singled out Kenya’s Kiss FM radio, Sunday Nation, Daily Nation, Kenya Times, The People on Sunday, The Leader, The Kenyan Spectator, and Saturday Standard.
Other media houses that Ondego thanked for their support to Lola Kenya Screen were Tanzania’s The Citizen and Mwananchi, and East African Businessweek that circulates in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.