By Caleb Kola Okello
Published June 14, 2015
The 10th annual edition of the Nairobi-based Lola Kenya Screen movie festival, skills-development and marketing platform for children and youth in eastern Africa shall be held in December 2015.
“Our Anniversary festival shall be held December 7-12, 2015,” said Ogova Ondego, the Director of Lola Kenya Screen during a special Anniversary Launch programme at Goethe-Institut in Nairobi on May 26, 2015. “The theme of the festival that summarises the adventure that is Lola Kenya Screen is ‘Inspiration, Innovation, Transformation’.”
Setting the pace for the evening of celebration that brought together children, youth, families and players in the motion pictures, media, arts, culture and policy-making sectors were DOES GOD PLAY FOOTBALL? by Michael A Walker of Scotland and ROBERTO THE INSECT ARCHITECT by Galen Fott and Jerry Hunt of United States of America.
While the former is a tale of faith, fate and miracles, the latter revolves around a small village termite who follows his dream of becoming an architect by travelling to the big city in the hope of finding success there.
Both films are not just audience-pleasers but are 10 minutes long and 10 years old; like Lola Kenya Screen!
Also screened for appreciation were HOPES AND DREAMS by 15-year-old Celestine Oburu of Kenya and KISWAHILI SAVES THE DAY by 10-year-old David Ngarapi of Tanzania that were made in the framework of Lola Kenya Screen 2014 festival with the support of East African Film Network, East African Community and German Technical Cooperation (GIZ). Children from Bujumbura, Kigali, Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, Kampala and Nairobi worked together to make the two films from a cinematography workshop that was organised by Lola Kenya Screen and facilitated by Akpor Otebele and Emmanuel Emasealu of Nigeria.
The special programme took place in the framework of the monthly Lola Kenya Screen film forum. Almost an hour before the official opening of the doors at 5.20 PM for the 5.30-8.30 PM event, the auditorium was almost full.
Two short films—BEFORE AND AFTER and THE FRIEND—directed by Likarion Wainaina were screened and discussed.
While BEFORE AND AFTER is based on the violence that erupted in Kenya in December 2007 following a disputed Presidential poll, THE FRIEND is the story of a girl whose ‘boyfriend’ falls in love with her own ‘best friend’.
Present in the house were Adede Hawi, Adima Mesa and Karama Ogova who were some of the pioneer children in the Lola Kenya Screen’s film production mentorship. A film they made–LITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS DANGEROUS—under the guidance of Maikki Kantola of Finland was screened all over the world where it collected accolades, nominations and awards such as Best Short Animation (Africa Movie Academy Awards), Special Jury Prize (17th Jugend Medien Festival Berlin), Best Film (Kids for Kids Africa Festival) and Most Creative Project (Lola Kenya Screen).
A photography and video documentaries tracing the journey of Africa’s only festival that is specifically designed for the generation of today and tomorrow were screened to the delight of the gathering, especially the youngsters who were captured in the images as lower primary school pupils but who are now in their senior years in university. There was nostalgic feeling throughout the auditorium.
The 87th monthly Lola Kenya film forum (LKSff) is on June 29, 2015. Lined up for screening and discussion is 15TH MEMBER, a film directed by Firul Maithya and produced by Joseph ‘Kushnah’ Simiyu.