By Jedidah Nguyo
Published April 22, 2015
A film set in rural Kenya and realised by largely self-trained youth, is set for screening and discussion at Nairobi’s premier critical film platform that is often the first—if not the only—place where new films are shown and talent spotted.
The 16-minute film, TOGETHER, revolves around a soldier who, having returned home from a peace-keeping mission abroad, is all set on marrying and settling down with his long term girlfriend and the challenges he faces.
Up for discussion, no doubt, shall be how untrained, rural-based cast and crew with little experience collaborate on scripting, casting, acting, shooting and editing a film that ends up capturing the attention of Kenya’s leading film screening, discussion and networking institution.
Roger James, the leader of the team that operates out of Gilgil near Nakuru on the floor of the Great Rift Valley under the name Yaksok Productions, is expected to lead his cast and crew to the 85th monthly Lola Kenya Screen film forum on April 27, 2015.
Also showing in the same event shall be STOP THE NOISE, a seven-minute film on noise-pollution made by youth in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, during a filmmaking workshop in 2010.
We may be living in noisy environments, but just how much noise is healthy? That appears to be the question the Environmental Film Festival of Accra is addressing in STOP THE NOISE.
Setting pace for the evening shall be KISWAHILI SAVES THE DAY, a seven-minute fictional film made by 10-16-year-old children from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda in the framework of the 9th annual Lola Kenya Screen in 2014.
KISWAHILI SAVES THE DAY is one of the two films made by the children in a cinematography workshop that was supported by East African Film Network (EAFN), East African Community (EAC) and German Cooperation (GIZ) to promote the spirit of cooperation among East African Community citizens and residents. The other film is HOPES AND DREAMS that was showcased during the 84th LKSff on March 30, 2015.
“LKSff, a section of the Lola Kenya Screen audiovisual media festival, skills-development programme and marketing platform for children and youth in eastern Africa, brings together players–directors, cinematographers, producers, screen writers, journalists, media students, policymakers, academics, researchers—in the motion pictures sector for open discussion 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 and sustainable film industry,” says Ogova Ondego, Lola Kenya Screen’s Managing Trustee and Creative Director.
During LKSff that is now one of the major highlights on Nairobi’s arts and entertainment calendar, “a selected local film, usually eastern African, is screened followed by structured open discussion based on the film as pertains to the conventions of filmmaking,” Ondego says. “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.