|Article by Bobastles Owino Nondi
Published July 5, 2007
“A vibrant film industry would bring Kenya double or triple its current GDP if Lion King, an African story animated by Hollywood that has travelled around the world raking in US$21 Billion, is anything to go by,” said Bitange Ndemo, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communications that handles audiovisual media matters.
Speaking on July 3, 2007 during the official launch of the second annual Lola Kenya Screen at Goethe-Institut, Nairobi, Dr Ndemo, who presided over the event, said the government of Kenya had embraced animation style of filmmaking and would promote it vociferously.
“As demonstrated by the success of Films by Children for Children made at Lola Kenya Screen in 2006, we in Kenya have the stories and the abilities to make many more Lion Kings and improve our livelihoods,” Dr Ndemo said. “With digital technology enabling us to make films we can no longer continue complaining if we can’t utilize our own stories. We must pick the positive elements from our cultures and promote them through film.”
Johannes Hossfeld, director of Goethe-Institut in Nairobi, applauded Lola Kenya Screen in his introductory remarks saying it is “a noble initiative that needs goodwill and support from cultural and development partners especially because it gives children and youth the rare opportunity to organise, run and present an event of this magnitude to the world.”
Some of the guests at the function that attracted members of the diplomatic corps, governmental and inter-governmental organisations, the civil society, local and international learning and research institutions and the media, included ambassadors Petr Kopřiva (Czech Republic in Kenya), Bo Jensen (Denmark), and Rosalinda V Tirona (Philippine) and one of Uganda’s leading filmmakers, Caroline Kamya who travelled to Nairobi to attend the launch of eastern Africa’s first and only audiovisual media event exclusively designed for children and youth.
The second Lola Kenya Screen runs August 6-11, 2007 with film screening between 9.30 am and 8.00 pm daily. The festival will be hosted at Goethe-Institut in Nairobi CBD, with film exhibition outreach to Mathare Valley and Industrial Area.
Announcing the programme line up, festival director Ogova Ondego said the theme of Lola Kenya Screen 2007 is, “Championing democracy, self expression, gender equity and literacy through film.”
Ondego, who also doubles up as creative director said, “We at Lola Kenya Screen recognise that childhood is a significant and decisive period in one’s life that should be treated respectfully and seriously. As such, our film line up not only treats the lives and feelings of children and youth seriously but the films we have selected portray children and youth as real, leading characters.
Besides Competition and Panorama screening sections, Lola Kenya Screen 2007 will have a special focus in her programme on Films by Children, Danish Films for Children and Youth, Films by Students, and Prix Jeunesse Suitcase: “A Window on the World.”
Ondego also announced that Lola Kenya Screen 2007 will host a Film Production workshop with children and youth, and a second workshop with adults on Producing Television Drama for Children.
Films competing for the Golden Mboni, Lola Kenya Screen top prize presented by the Children’s Jury, include:
Countries represented at Lola Kenya Screen 2007 are Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Taiwan, Thailand, Israel, India, Pakistan, England, Scotland, USA, Sweden, Czech Republic, Turkey, Canada, Romania, The Netherlands, Greece, Belgium, Palestine, Norway, Serbia, Croatia, Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, Australia, Denmark, Germany, France, Spain, Philippines, Cyprus, Poland, Finland, Japan, Mexico, Latvia, Lithuania, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Bulgaria, Slovenia, and Mongolia.
Films by Children for Children, a compilation of nine short animation films made at the inaugural Lola Kenya Screen film production workshop in 2006, has been showcased at festivals in various countries including Kenya, Uganda, Senegal, Germany, Poland, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Africa where it won the Africa Grand