By Ogova Ondego
Published May 16, 2015
The annual fortnight of European Film Festival of Nairobi is running at Alliance Francaise May 13-31, 2015. Serving Westerns, Romances, Comedies, Thrillers, Adventures and even Child-fare at 5.30 PM and 7.30 PM (weekdays) and 3.00 PM, 5.30PM and 7.30 PM (Weekends), tickets to each show cost just Sh50 per head.
I am particularly interested in THE CHILDREN’S REPUBLIC and THE WOODEN CAMERA, two films for children screening under the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific-European Union (ACP-EU) section in the programme.
THE CHILDREN’S REPUBLIC, directed by Flora Gomes of Guinea-Bissau and requiring Parental Guidance (PG), tells the story of a country in which children do not (sorry, never) age but whose routine rhythm gets disrupted by the arrival of ‘child soldiers’ from outside the society. The 75-minute drama made in 2012 and in which screen legend Danny Glover, Hedviges Mamudo and Melanie de Vales Rafael starre, shall be shown at 3.00 PM on May 24.
THE WOODEN CAMERA, directed by Ntshavheni wa Luruli of South Africa in 2003, is the tale of two 13-year-olds who come across the body of a man clutching a briefcase containing a gun and a video camera.Is fate asking the boys to choose their vocation? What choice shall each make? And what consequences will each face over the choice they each make? Only by watching the 92-minute drama starring Junior Singo, Dana de Agrella and Innocent Msimango at 7.30pm (May 20) and 5.30pm (May 25) can you answer these questions. The film is rated PG by the Kenya Film Censorship Board (KFCB).
Apart from these two, there are several other films from 15 European countries–Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom–that you may find worth of sampling.
Meanwhile, Nairobi’s Lola Kenya Screen (LKS) film festival, skills-development programme and marketing platform for children and youth in eastern Africa is on May 26, 2015 hosting a special programme to mark its 10th Anniversary. This shall be done in the framework of its monthly screening, discussion and networking platform, the Lola Kenya Screen film forum (LKSff) that is usually held at Goethe-Institut in the Nairobi CBD.
Among the highlights of the evening shall be the screening of two fictional films made by 10-15-year-old children from Nairobi, Kampala, Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Kigali and Bujumbura; a video and a photograph documentaries on the work of Lola Kenya Screen over the past decade; and a sampling of Lola Kenya Screen’s around the year programmes: Internship for final year university students; Community Mobile Cinema; School Outreach; Media Education; and Mentorship for children and youth in filmmaking, cultural journalism, event organisation, critical appreciation and creative writing.
The 10th annual festival of Lola Kenya Screen is scheduled for December 7-12, 2015.
Also of interest is the call for entries by Film Africa, the Royal African Society’s fifth annual festival based in London, United Kingdom, for its Baobab Award for the Best Short Film.
Eligible films are those that are 30 minutes long; have been made by Africans living and working in Africa; and are done in 2013 or after; and by filmmakers who have not yet made a feature-length movie. Film Africa says it only wants fiction for this award whose winner usually walks away with £1,000 cash prize.
The organisers stress that “English subtitles must be provided, where necessary.” Interested filmmakers are invited to submit their work online via filmfreeway.com/festival/FilmAfrica.