By Daisy Nandeche Okoti
Published November 4, 2012
Amid the unpredictable rain that is now synonymous with Nairobi, film lovers converged at Goethe-Institut for the 60th monthly Lola Kenya Screen Film Forum which screens, discusses and analyses films from Eastern Africa. On this occasion, a classic film was served to the audience who comprised filmmakers, media students, film critics, journalists and other players in the audiovisual media sector.
Menschen am Sonntag (People on Sunday), a classic German silent drama that first premiered in 1930 was screened. The 73-minute black-and-white film follows the lives of ordinary people in Berlin on a summer’s day during the period between the First and the Second World War. Directed by Robert Siodmak and produced by Edgar Ulmer, this classic film was to launch the careers of four major Hollywood filmmakers: Robert Siodmak, Curt Siodmak, Billy Wilder and Edgar Ulmer.
For the audience at the 60th Lola Kenya Screen Film Forum”the initiative of ComMattersKenya/ArtMatters.Info in collaboration with Goethe-Institut in Kenya”People on Sunday is a film that deserves a lot of publicity and is a must-watch for anyone who has whatever interest in the film industry because not only did the film launch the careers of important filmmakers in the famous Hollywood but also for the fact that the film is an accomplishment in its own way; the screenplay is perfect according to the standards of the time the film was made and the nature of the film. The fact that the film was subtitled as ‘a film without characters’ was also a big plus for the producers and directors because the film achieves what it intended, i.e. presenting the lives of ordinary people in the interwar period without striving to be what it is not.
Concerning the frequency of the forum, a member of the audience and an up-and-coming filmmaker, Joseph Simiyu, suggested that the organisers of the forum come up with a way of making the forum more than a once-a-month event to encourage more people to attend whenever it suits them and ensure that people have the film industry on their minds more often just like they do other social gatherings and rituals like drinking.
The forum ended at 8.00pm with a note of commitment from the audience who purposed to take more active roles in the running of the forum.