By Bethsheba Achitsa
Published August 1, 2010
The 5th annual Lola Kenya Screen audiovisual media festival, production workshop and market for children and youth in Eastern Africa, holds at the Kenya National Theatre in the heart of Nairobi August 9-14, 2010. More than 100 films from 37 countries and in 33 languages are lined up for showcasing in the 150-seat Concert Hall at the Kenya Cultural Centre that incorporates the Kenya national Theatre.
Presented by ComMattersKenya with support from Cinetoile, Africalia, Belgian Development Cooperation, European Union, ArtMatters.Info, UNESCO, Africa Movie Academy Awards, Discop Africa, Goethe-Institut in Kenya and Mwelu Foundation, Lola Kenya Screen 2010 is held on the theme, ‘Passion, Innovation and Adaptability’.
Lola Kenya Screen, that also mentors children in creative journalism, events planning and presentation, film judging, and film production, shall equip 15 children and youth in documentary filmmaking. Apart from the annual film screening and skill-development mentorship programmes, the 2010 edition of this annual event incorporates a one-hour daily seminar on media literacy that will feature various media experts discussing both the threats and opportunities inherent in modern mass media. This follows up on the awareness that children and youth form a large percentage of the mass media consumers yet they may not be as well informed on the possible dangers posed by the mass media.
“The daily media literacy seminar to run through the six days of the festival,” says Lola Kenya Screen director Ogova Ondego, “shall seek to enlighten the generation of today and tomorrow on the opportunities and threats inherent in the mass media. And to achieve this Lola Kenya Screen has invited renowned media experts to share their vast knowledge with children, youth and parents at the festival.”
Local filmmakers whose works are screening in Nairobi will be available to present and discuss matters that arise from their productions. “Through this,” Ondego says, “Lola Kenya Screen believes it is the only way to build up the fledgling film sector in the eastern Africa region.”
Lola Kenya Screen has also introduced discussions after each screening in order to give the audience an upper hand in understanding the various issues that the film addresses in regard to the art and science of filmmaking. This, says Ondego, is the only way to create an impact on the audience while giving filmmakers a chance to interact with the ultimate consumers of their master pieces.
The 2010 film exhibition programme is in three sections: 09.00-12.30 hrs (for children aged 3-6/7-13 years); 14.00-15.30 hrs (for 14-18 years); and 16.00-20.30 hrs (for 19+ years). The skill-development workshops and seminars will run 09.00-16.00 hrs daily, Monday-Saturday.
Lola Kenya Screen 2010 has lined up five African feature films under the Africalia-supported Cinetoile African cinema network. The films on show under this programme that is aimed at promoting and distributing African cinema comprises FROM A WHISPER (Kenya), HERITAGE AFRICA (Ghana), LUMUMBA (Congo-Kinshasa), SAMBA TRAORE (Burkina Faso) and MAH SAAH SAH (Cameroon).
Lola Kenya Screen, an audiovisual media movement established in October 2005 to explore, identify and nurture creative talent among children and youth in creative journalism, filmmaking, arts 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 to realise 20 short animations and eight documentaries.
What is more, a Lola Kenya Screen production, SANTOS THE SURVIVOR, is on a two-year Africa-wide film festival circuit. An Africa Movie Academy Awards nominee for Best Documentary (Short Subject) in 2009, the Rupinder Jagdev-directed SANTOS THE SURVIVOR was realised at a 2008 ‘Children and Docs’ workshop organised by Lola Kenya Screen and supported by the Jan Vrijman Fund/International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) to inspire adults to make films for children and youth.
The circuit, dubbed ‘Cinema Mondial Tour’ and organised by Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) and the Jan Vrijman Fund/IDFA, will see SANTOS THE SURVIVOR screen in festivals in Cameroon, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Senegal, Benin, Burkina Faso and Ghana in 2010 and 2011. The Cinema Mondial Tour consists of 12 fiction films and documentaries made with the support of the Hubert Bals Fund and the Jan Vrijman Fund.
SANTOS THE SURVIVOR is one of HBF and Jan Vrijman Fund/IDFA films selected from Kenya Congo-Kinshasa, Guinea, Argentina and Malaysia.
SANTOS THE SURVIVOR is one of six films off the ‘Docus for Today and Tomorrow’ compilation realised under the guidance of Dutch documentary filmmaker and trainer Duco Tellegen. Other titles on the compilation are THE PUBLIC SPEAKER by Susan Mwangi, A JOURNEY TO PAMOJA by Solomon Mwendwa, I SURVIVED by Yonnie Andal, HOME ALONE by and BOTHER-Brother by Sheila Mulinya.
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Besides producing her own award-winning audiovisual media content by, with and for children and youth, Lola Kenya Screen had by the end of August 2009 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.
A recognised and respected international brand on issues related to children, youth, mass media, culture and development, Lola Kenya Screen seeks to use audio-visual media tools to advance literacy, gender equity, self expression, democracy and other development issues among children and youth.