By Ogova Ondego
Published April 28, 2010
Lola Kenya Screen, the Nairobi-based film festival, skill-development programme and marketing platform for children and youth in eastern Africa that holds every second week of August in Kenya, has been included in Children’s Celebrations, a book published by Macmillan Education Australia Pty Ltd in Victoria, Australia.
Part of Macmillan’s Celebrations series, the glossy, full colour, hard cover Children’s Celebrations that resembles the world-famous and well loved Ladybird series, has just rolled off the press. It defines ‘celebrations’ as events that are held for special occasions by people all over the world.
People can read about various kinds of children’s celebrations, where and when these events are held, and how they are celebrated in Children’s Celebrations.
Besides Kenya, the only African country in the publication, other countries whose children’s celebrations are covered are Vietnam, Turkey, Japan, Argentina and Canada.
Zeroing in on the well loved skill-development programmes of Lola Kenya Screen, Children’s Celebrations captures curious children making films and gazing at a film screen. Lola Kenya screen ‘celebrates films that are written and made by children. Lola Kenya Screen is held every year in Kenya in Africa,’ writes Ian Rohr.
Though very economical on words, the book is attractively packaged with pictures of lovely children engaged in various celebratory activities. It even carries a quiz, a glossary, an index and a set of activities for the reader.
Lola Kenya Screen, a charity based in Nairobi, Kenya accepts, processes and showcases films made by children, youth, amateurs, students, and professionals that focus on children, youth and family.
Experimental films, television series, video games and even creatively packaged music videos tackling issues related to children, youth and family and that provide strong role models to children and youth while speaking positively to children of diverse backgrounds are accepted.
Selected films are showcased under various categories with those starring children between the ages of 3 and13 competing for the prestigious Lola Kenya Screen Golden Mboni award for the best children’s film and those featuring children above 14 years competing for the Lola Kenya Screen 14-Plus Prize for the best youth film.
While the Lola Kenya Screen Golden Mboni has been awarded since 2006, the Lola Kenya Screen 14-Plus award was inaugurated in 2009.
All entries submitted to Lola Kenya Screen are expected to be suitable for children aged 13 and under, youth aged 14-25 years, or family (25+).
The films received in Nairobi so far have come in from Croatia, Denmark, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Latvia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Serbia/Nepal, Singapore, Spain, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, UK and USA. The clear picture of all entries will emerge on May 15, 2010 when all entries, including the penalty-paying late ones, are expected to be in.
Lola Kenya Screen, a movement established in October 2005 to explore, identify and nurture creative talent among children and youth in areas such as journalism, filmmaking, arts appraisal and appreciation, and organisation and presentation of cultural and creative events, has since 2006 helped equip 47 children and youth from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Zanzibar with basic skills in filmmaking, 19 in creative journalism, nine in events organisation & presentation and 17 in critical appreciation of audiovisual media productions. The annual workshops, has enabled Lola Kenya Screen realise 20 short animations and eight documentaries.
Lola Kenya Screen has showed more than 1450 best possible international films for children, youth and family from 95 nations representing all the continents in various genres, formats and lengths between August 2006 and August 2009.
A recognised and respected international brand on issues related to children, youth, mass media, culture and development, Lola Kenya Screen has been presented and continues to be as an example of good practice in several countries around the world over the past four years.