By Ogova Ondego
Published March 26, 2014
Godwin Otwoma of Kenya has won the Best Artistic Achievement Award for an Artist in a Short Film at the 3rd annual Luxor African Film Festival in Egypt.
The film that has won Otwoma the award, a Ugandan production called HAUNTED SOULS, “is the story of a former abductee of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in post-conflict northern Uganda fleeing from her former captor, an LRA commander who has sneaked back to Uganda to take his former concubine with him to Central Africa Republic where the group fled to following the issuance of warrants of arrest by the International Criminal Court of LRA’s top commanders,” the director, producer and actor whose interest in filmmaking was developed in Uganda, tells ArtMatters.Info.
Another Kenyan of note whose foray into filmmaking was made while on sojourn in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, is Zipporah Nyaruri of the ZEBU AND THE PHOTOFISH fame.
The 30-minute HAUNTED SOULS drama that was made in May 2013 also walked away with The Silver Mask of Tutankhamen at Luxor 2014.
Otwoma, who is currently appearing on Nairobi’s Citizen Tv’s court room comedy, MASHTAKA, as Inspector arap Songok, says he ventured into acting through a sketch comedy show—INTRUUKALASS on Nation TV (NTV) of Nairobi in 2002 alongside Churchill Ndambuki, Kajairo and Public Noise Makers.
Other prizes awarded by the Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda-headed jury comprising Amir Ramses, Attiea al-Dardeery, Keith Shiri and Mahrez Karoui were:
• The Nile Grand Award for Best Short Narrative “WOODEN HAND” by Kouther Ben Henia (Tunisia)
• The Nile Grand Award for Best Short Documentary “MADE IN GOUGOU” by Latifa Doghri (Tunisia)
• Special Mention to “THE PROJECTIONIST” by Najat Jellab (Morocco)
• Special Mention to “REDA” by Ramy Gheit (Egypt).
HAUNTED SOULS, and Otwoma’s earlier film–MUSIC PROPHECIES BY AN URBAN POET–made in Uganda, have been screened and discussed at the monthly Lola Kenya Screen film screening, discussion and networking forum (LKSff) at Goethe-Institut, Nairobi, in November 2013 and October 2011, respectively.
LKSff is Nairobi’s premier film platform aimed at critiquing, encouraging and exploring ways of integrating film production in eastern Africa with other socio-cultural and economic sectors in order to come up with a vibrant and sustainable film industry.
Bringing together audiovisual media players—filmmakers, actors, journalists, critics, writers, students, scholars, researchers, funders, festival organizers, and policy-makers within the governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations and other players with a stake in the motion pictures sector—LKSff is often one of the first places where new films can be seen and young talent spotted.
The films exhibited and discussions arising from them are reviewed and published by ArtMatters.Info with a view to promoting the films; the stories are picked by film festivals, media schools and international funding agencies around the world; the articles are also picked by journalists and other mass media for reproduction.
LKSff, the initiative of ComMattersKenya in collaboration with Goethe-Institut, was founded in 2005 under the ArtMatters.Info cultural journalism project and mentorship programme for youth, media students and young journalists; it meets every last Monday of the month throughout the year.
LKSff is part of the Lola Kenya Screen audiovisual media festival, skills-development programme and marketing platform for children and youth in eastern Africa.