By Ogova Ondego
Published November 23, 2011
Starting from December 6, 2011, the Kenya Museum Society (KMS) shall be running a local film every Wednesday evening at the Nairobi National Museum in a programme dubbed ‘Know Kenya More through Films’.
Yuriko Uehara, Evening Programmes’ Coordinator at KMS, says this is in line with their objective of supporting ‘the film sector and film professionals in Kenya by screening those films which are rarely shown at commercial theatres’.
First to screen is HEADLINES IN HISTORY, a documentary by Judy Kibinge that is said to be presenting ‘a chronicle of an African newspaper intertwined in the historic events during the pre- and post-independence era of Kenya, with a number of precious footage as well as the interviews of the contemporaries.’
Other films to screen in the series in the Louis Leakey Auditorium are Jennifer Arnold’s A SMALL ACT (a story of a poor boy from Githunguri, with his education sponsored by a Swedish stranger, to become a human rights advocate at United Nations. Later he founds his own scholarship programme to replicate the generosity he had received; January 25, 2012); Hawa Essuman’s SOUL BOY (Abila, a 14 year old boy who lives in Kibera, sets out on an adventurous journey trying to save his father’s soul; February 29, 2012);Willie Owusu’s KIMYA (The story evolving around two people in a room delves into the dark history of Kenya dealing with the issue of torture; March 28, 2012); Willie Owusu’s THE ROADSIDE (About an odd couple trying to find each other. They decide to go for a picnic to mend their relationship when the story unfolds; March 28, 2012); Bob Nyanja’s THE CAPTAIN OF NAKARA (Afraid of losing the woman of his dreams, a young man with a criminal record pretends to own a profitable market stall. Wearing a stolen military uniform, he manages to succeed in defending his rights and his happiness; April 25, 2012); and Jane Murago-Munene’s MONICA WANGU WAMWERE: THE UNBROKEN SPIRIT (Indefatigable efforts of Mama Koigi, mother of human rights activist and politician Koigi wa Wamwere, who was detained as a political prisoner; May 30, 2012).
The ‘Know Kenya More through Films’ appears to be a noble initiative as it complements others like the monthly Lola Kenya Screen Film Forum that is aimed at critiquing, encouraging and exploring ways of integrating film production in Kenya and Eastern Africa with other socio-cultural and economic sectors in order to come up with a vibrant film industry.
LKSFF, that meets every last Monday of the month at Goethe-Institut, Nairobi, Kenya, is often one of the first places where new films can be seen and young talent spotted. Since December 2005, more than 100 films have been shown. LKSFF is part of the annual Lola Kenya Screen audiovisual media festival, skill-development mentorship programme and market for children and youth in eastern Africa.
The 51st LKSFF, for instance, runs on November 28, 2011 and shall show TORN, a student film by Henry Mutisya of Daystar University. The gathering is also likely to watch and discuss THE LEGENDS OF NGONG HILLS, a short animation by Kwame Nyong’o.
The initiative of ComMattersKenya/ArtMatters.Info in collaboration with Goethe-Institut in Kenya, LKSFF brings together filmmakers, film critics, film writers, students, scholars, policy-makers within the governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations, associations, funders, actors and actresses, social awareness groups, cultural agencies and other players with a stake in the film sector.
During LKSFF a selected local film, usually eastern African, is screened followed by an open discussion based on the film as pertains to filmmaking in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa region.
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.
Among the audiovisual media practitioners whose work has been shown and discussed at LKSFF are Willie Owusu, Annette Wagner, Winnie Gamisha and Andreas Frowein, Mwangaza Kanganga, Katrin Ender, Herbert Ostwald, Martin Mhando, Tirus Gathwe, Caritas, Sheila Mulinya, Hafidth Ismael, Irene Kulabako Kakembo, Just A Band, Thierry Dushirimana, Jerome Kimaro, Matt Pinder, WanuriKahiu, Rupinder Jagdev, Ravneet Chaddha, Nick Njache, Solomon Mwendwa, Samson Karuu, Yonnie Andal, Susan Mwangi, African Environmental Film Foundation, Alexander Alaka, Judy Kibinge, James Kanja, Adede Hawi Nyodero, Samora Michelle Oundo and Karama Ogova, Joseph Hongo, Norrick Joseph, Marcus Joseph and Samuel Musembi, Charlene Ndolo, Selestine Mwashagha, Mina Ogova, Steven Miriri, Charmaine Ndolo, Bakar Othman, Crystal Ndolo, Joseph Miriri, Tristan Zitoni Kayonga, and Bree Manuel Tonga, Emmanuel Mutsune, Muthee Mungai, African Woman and Child Feature Service, Victor Gatonye, Mark Kaigwa, Aster Bedane, Yamrot Negusie, Reuben Odanga, F Simiyu Barasa, Zippy Nyaruri, Wanjiku Kiniaru Hansen, Salome Mbuthia, Peggy Mbiyu, Allan Aligula, Asha Mwilu, Ian Kithinji, Wanjiru Kimundu, Portia Opondo, Godwin Otwoma, Emmanuel J. Munisi, and Henry Mutisya.