By Bethsheba Achitsa
Published February 4, 2012
The 7th annual Lola Kenya Children’s Screen film festival shall take place in Nairobi, Kenya, August 6-11, 2012.
Lined up alongside the daily film shows are Lola Kenya Screen’s hugely popular skills-development programmes for children and youth in filmmaking, cultural journalism, creative writing, critical appreciation of creativity, programme planning and presentation, media literacy seminars and workshops, live performances and art exhibitions. Emphasis shall also be put on issues of film business as festivalliers engage their favourite filmmakers in discussions at the end of each film show.
Year after year since 2006, the festival has attracted the participation of people from all walks of life. Building a self-sustaining, indigenous film industry in Kenya is an arduous task. The non-existent film-going culture implies that at times festival organisers like Lola Kenya Screen not only have to ferry individuals to and from the screening venue but have to feed these people besides paying for the venues, security and extra staff to ensure the success of their events.
“A charity expected to raise its own funds in order to remain in business, it is always a Herculean task preparing and presenting Lola Kenya Screen whose programmes have expanded exponentially to include weekly school outreach, fortnightly community mobile cinema, monthly film forum, quarterly internship and mentorship for mass media students and annual film festival,” says Managing Trustee and Creative Director Ogova Ondego.
In 2011 more than 20 young talents were mentored with three short films being made.
“Films shown in the festival are completely relevant for the target audience. Children, youth and family relate well to the films and the themes they address. This enables the aspiring filmmaker to open up to different styles and discover something hidden in them,” observed Joseph Simiyu during the 6th edition of the event in 2011 where he participated in the film jury programme.
In 2012, the mass media literacy programme will take on a whole new level of interaction. In addition to discussing how messages are conveyed in films and other moving images, the session held every morning will also provide a framework for questioning our relationship with the mass media.
In the meantime Lola Kenya Screen is receiving films and any interested filmmakers who want to be part of this year’s programme can find out more about the submission process can access the information and the film entry form and regulations from the lolakenyascreen.org website. The submission period opened on December 1, 2011 and ends on April 15, 2012.