By Catherine Kimotho
Published December 3, 2012
The monthly Lola Kenya Screen Film Forum (LKSff) wound up its activities for 2012 with a special focus on children’s films. Held on November 26, 2012 at Goethe Institut in Nairobi, the 61st LKSff saw the screening of six unusual but interesting short films.
THE WISE BRIDE, LITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS DANGEROUS animation and VANESSA’S DREAM documentary made by children in the framework of Lola Kenya Screen’s skill development programme set the mood for the monthly film screening, discussion and networking among filmmakers, journalists, social commentators, seekers of information, students and film consumers.
MY BEAUTIFUL DRESS, a production of Film Aid was next. The film is made by youth living in the Daadab Refugee camp in north-eastern Kenya.
Adede Hawi, who with Samora Oundo and Karama Ogova directed LITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS DANGEROUS and VANESSA’S DREAM with Daki Mohamed, was in the house to introduce the films. Also present was Film Aid’s Solomon and Mwendwa who introduced MY BEAUTIFUL DRESS and, alongside Hawi, fielded questions from the gathering.
THE WISE BRIDE was made by Alexandria Ngini, Aysha Satchu, Flora Wanjiru, and Layla Satchu in 2007. The film, with the support of UNESCO, was in 2010 reformatted for television broadcast and continues to screen at festivals around the world.
Also screened for inspiration were ST. MATHURIN’S SCHOOL OF PRACTICAL JOKING by Chris Waitt of Scotland and THE DEVOURERS OF BOOKS by Andrzej Maleszka of Poland.
While one would have expected the audience to point out the differences in theme and overall production of the short films made by children, youth, amateurs and professionals, many of the questions posed were related to profitability of children making their own films, the viability of this unexpectedly profound idea, and whether the various awards won by Lola Kenya Screen productions have come with monetary value.
The Lola Kenya Screen filmmaking programmes with children and youth are all about mentorship, providing the basic skills in regards to film production with the aim that children can produce their own animations, documentaries, fictional and experimental films, explained Ogova Ondego of the Lola Kenya Screen directorate. “Inculcating the culture of filmmaking and consumption from the grassroots is what it is all about. The monthly Lola Kenya Screen Film Forum, like the weekly school outreach and fortnightly community screening, are part of this scheme,” Ondego said.
LKSff is a specialised film screening, discussion and networking forum for practitioners in the eastern Africa audiovisual media sector that is aimed at critiquing, encouraging and exploring ways of integrating film production in Kenya and eastern Africa with other socio-cultural and economic sectors in order to come up with a vibrant film industry.”
Bringing together a diverse group of people–filmmakers, film critics, film writers, students, scholars, policy-makers, investors, entrepreneurs, funders, actors, actresses, social awareness groups, cultural agencies and other major players in the audiovisual media sector–LKSff is often one of the first places where new films can be seen and new talent spotted.
The films exhibited and discussions arising from them are reviewed and published by the all-Africa creative and cultural portal, ArtMatters.Info, with a view to promoting them further; the articles are usually picked by film festivals, media schools, international funding agencies, journalists and other mass media around the world.
“LKSFF, that holds every last Monday of the month throughout the year, is a platform that brings together players in the audiovisual media sector to watch and discuss short films in eastern Africa, to exchange ideas on how to improve film production, to create a sustainable market for moving image products and service, and to network,” Ondego said.
LKSff is part of the Lola Kenya Screen (LKS) audiovisual media festival, skill-development programme and market for children and youth in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa region.
Many of Lola Kenya Screen’s productions can be viewed on YouTube under the name, Lola Kenya Screen.