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Nairobi Celebrates Art, Film, Heritage and Self Expression

New African Women are Bold for Change.

By Irene Gaitirira Published May 13, 2017 Despite rising inflation and mounting anxiety over impending general election in Kenya, the arts and entertainment calendar for May remains packed as attested to by African Arts & Entertainment Diary that is updated around the clock. Running at Nairobi National Museum the whole of May 13 is the 5th Nairobi International Cultural Festival on the theme ‘Celebrating Cultural Diversity’. This single day event brings together participants from all walks of life around the world to celebrate diversity in Art, Cuisine, Music, Dance, Handicrafts and Fashion. RELATED:African Arts & Entertainment Diary Coming hot on the heels of the cultural festival at Kenya’s house of culture and heritage are two art shows. The first exhibition, that runs through May 30, 2017 in the Temporary Gallery, is a display in text and images by Patrick Abungu and Okoko Ashikoye and it looks at the abolition of slave trade in East Africa and its legacy on contemporary Kenyan society of slave descent. The second show, in the Creativity Gallery, runs through June 30 and is by Michael Soi, Patrick Mukabi and Joseph Bertiers who are described as artists who do not flinch from controversial issues.And true to the description, their exhibition is titled Museums and Contested Histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums. Both exhibitions are aimed at celebrating the International Museum Day on May 18, 2017. RELATED:Nairobi’s Premier Critical Movie Platform Celebrates Youth Creativity Not to be forgotten are other art shows that have been running at Nairobi National Museum and Nairobi Gallery since April 2017. While the former, titled Hope: A Story of Courage & Sacrifice, ends on May 30, Transitions, the latter, ends on June 30. You can read more about them in the African Arts & Entertainment Diary of ArtMatters.Info. This paves way for the 26th …

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Evening of Film, Conversation and Friendship

Tufilamu Pictures, a moviemaking collective of young people who make award-winning experimental films

By Abdi Ali Published May 7, 2017 The audience started streaming into the auditorium 30 minutes ahead of time. This was to avoid missing out on the activities lined up on the programme of one of the most important monthly activities on the arts and entertainment calendar of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi: Lola Kenya Screen film forum (LKSff). Hanging on the four walls of the auditorium at Goethe-Institut in the Nairobi CBD that evening of April 24, 2017 were thought-provoking paintings on a power struggle-instigated massacres in Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland and the Midlands Gukurahundi regions. Though outlawed in the southern African country for allegedly ‘undermined the authority of President Robert Mugabe, the British Institute for Eastern Africa (BIEA) and Gothe-Institut had brought the artwork to Nairobi. The work, painted in red and brown hues resembling blood, had captions telling the story of the massacres perpetrated by the state led by Robert Mugabe who now urges Zimbabweans to ‘move on’ though many of those affected feel that the issue needs to be adequately discussed before it can be consigned to history. This is what artist Owen Maseko had captured in the exhibition titled Sibathontisele (“we drip on them burning plastic” in isiNdebele) and that provided the backdrop to Nairobi’s premier critical movie platform that was convening for the 99th consecutive month. RELATED:99th Lola Kenya Screen film forum to Focus on Acting Tufilamu Pictures, a moviemaking collective of young people who make award-winning experimental films, was to showcase its and reveal their secret to local movie lovers. Michael Njeru, an actor, scriptwriter and director with Tufilamu presented the formula of successful acting in the 5-minute ExpertSpeak slot. Njeru introduced the 3’I’s formula of acting to the gathering that, he said, is based the computer principle of Garbage In, Garbage Out (GIGO). The three …

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99th Lola Kenya Screen film forum to Focus on Acting

Tufilamu learning by doing;gain experience in the art and craft of motion pictures.

By Iminza Keboge Published April 11, 2017 Lola Kenya Screen film forum (LKSff), the most consistent and longest running movie platform on the Nairobi’s arts and entertainment calendar, shall on April 24, 2017 take a closer look at Acting and what it takes to excel in this performance art on both screen and stage. Mike Njeru, a director and producer of the Tufilamu Pictures, a Nairobi-based group of young moviemakers specialising in experimental works as they gain experience in the art and craft of motion pictures, is scheduled to tackle the subject in the ExpertSpeak slot of the programme alongside the screening and discussion of short films from the Tufilamu collective. RELATED:Lola Kenya Screen’s Year-Round Activities  Among the work to be showcased shall be STRUCTURES OF HOPE, a documentary that has just won the Best Documentary prize in Kenya’s Riverwood Academy Awards; SPENSA, a drama that got nomination in the United States of America’s My Rode Reel International competition in which it eventually attained position 15 out of 1226 films in the world and that has also received the Best Music Score in the Riverwood Academy Awards in 2017; and WHAT I LOVE ABOUT YOU (W.I.L.A.Y), a seven-minute drama. RELATED:9th Lola Kenya Screen Focuses on Youth Culture and New Markets in East Africa All the shorts, on the theme of dreams, hope and inspiration, are directed by Robert Asimba, a young telecommunications engineer who has taken to moviemaking. Since 2005 when LKSff was started, the programme of each gathering has comprised screening, discussion, childfare, ExpertSpeak and networking segments in line with the aim of LKSff as a capacity-building platform for Kenya’s and eastern Africa’s motion pictures sector. Now an unmissable bi-monthly event since 2016, LKSff runs between 5:45 and 8:15 in the evening of every last Monday of every other …

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African Children’s Literary Award Invites Submission

Stick Man before Christmas

By Iminza Keboge Published April 1, 2017 Citizens of African countries are invited to submit their unpublished manuscripts and illustrations for children’s stories to the 8th Golden Baobab Prize by December 1, 2017. Touted as being Africa’s leading literary award for children’s works, the Accra (Ghana)-based Golden Baobab Prize awards prizes in three categories: The Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books, for the best story targeting a reader audience of ages 4-8 The Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books, for the best story targeting a reader audience of ages 9-11, and The Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators, for the best artwork that matches illustration briefs provided, intended for children ages 4-11. RELATED:Memorial Prize for African Artists Launched All winners will receive a cash prize of US$5000 and press publicity. Winners of the literature prizes are guaranteed a publishing deal. Longlisted and Shortlisted writers are connected with publishers across Africa. Finalist illustrators participate in exhibitions and have their work shared with a network of African and international publishers. Further details on the prize are available at goldenbaobab.org website. RELATED:Best Children’s Literature Award Winner in 2017 to be Unveiled Meanwhile, players in the field of art and literature are waiting for the unveiling of the winner of the world’s largest award for literature for children and youth on April 4, 2017. The SEK 5 million prize, known as the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA), was founded by the Swedish government in 2002 and is administered by the Swedish Arts Council. RELATED:Australian Book Celebrates Lola Kenya Screen

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Australian Book Celebrates Lola Kenya Screen

Children's Celebrations celebrates Lola Kenya Screen movie platform

By Khalifa Hemed Published March 27, 2017 A book that defines ‘celebrations‘ as events that are held for special occasions by people around the world has covered Lola Kenya Children’s Screen. Aptly titled Children’s Celebrations and the first in a six-book series, the glossy, full colour, hard cover book is published by Macmillan Education Australia Pty Ltd in Victoria, Australia. Part of Macmillan’s Celebrations series, interested people can read about various kinds of children’s celebrations, where and when these events are held, and how they are marked in Children’s Celebrations that targets young readers. RELATED:Programmes of Lola Kenya Screen The publication that is economical on words–isn’t a picture worth 1000 words?–but abounds in full colour zeroes in on the well loved skills-development programmes of Lola Kenya Screen, capturing curious children busy making and devouring movies. Lola Kenya screen ‘celebrates films that are written and made by children. Lola Kenya Screen is held every year in Kenya in Africa,’ writes Ian Rohr, the author of the book. RELATED:Youth-Made Videos on Diversity and Social Inclusion Wanted The book is attractively packaged with pictures of lovely children engaged in various celebratory activities. It even carries a quiz, a glossary, an index and a set of activities for the reader. Lola Kenya Screen is a Kenyan-registered charity that explores, identifies and nurtures creative talent among children and youth in journalism, moviemaking, arts appreciation, and events programming. It mentors young people through school outreach, university internship, mobile cinema, film forum and film festival throughout the year. Lola Kenya Screen has been presented around the world–Spain, England, Scotland, Germany, Holland, Qatar, South Africa, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Zanzibar, Rwanda, Belgium, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya–as an example of good practice in children’s media programming. RELATED:Why Lola Kenya Screen Needs Your Support Ogova Ondego, the managing trustee and creative director …

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Short Fiction Contest for Africans Calls for Submission

Okwiri Oduor from Kenya whose short story, My Father's Head, won her the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2014.

By Khalifa Hemed Published March 21, 2017 Submission to the 4th annual Short Story Day Africa (SSDA) competition for short fiction opens on June 1 and closes on July 31. SSDA says it is “looking for innovative short fiction that explores identity, especially (but not limited to) the themes of gender identity and sexuality.We hope to see work that seeks to break and redefine the strictures put onto our identities, as individuals and as peoples. Fiction that looks beyond the boundaries of expectation, and peers into the truest definitions of ourselves.” This contest by SSDA, a non-profit organisation registered in South Africa, is open to any African citizen or African person living in the Diaspora, as well as persons residing permanently in any African country. SSDA insists that one “may only submit one story for the competition. Repeat entries by the same writer will be disqualified.” RELATED:Nairobi’s Premier Critical Movie Platform Celebrates Youth Creativity Other terms are that Stories must be between 3000 and 5000 words, written in English, and in any genre of fiction. It does not hurt for one to familiarise oneself with the following terms on shortstorydayafrica.org website as one waits for the link to the submission form to go live on June 1: While you are free to incorporate other languages into your story, the story must be understood fully by its English content Stories must be submitted online via Submittable between 1 June 2017 – 3 1 July 2017. The link to the submission form will be made live on 1 June 2017 Stories must not have been previously published in any form or any format Simultaneous submissions are not welcome. Any story entered or published elsewhere during the course of judging or publication will be disqualified Include your real name along with your entry. …

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Opportunities for African Moviemakers

An exhilirated winner at Aesthetica Shiort Film Festival

By Khalifa Hemed Published March 9, 2017 Makers of movies in Africa and the Diaspora have till May 31 and June 30 to submit their work to 7th Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) and Film Africa festival, respectively. Film Africa, the annual festival of The Royal African Society that says it celebrates the best African cinema from across the continent and the Diaspora, invites entries via online submissions platform, FilmFreeway.com. RELATED:Secret to Successful Movie Business in Africa Saying “FilmFreeway offers free HD online screeners, Vimeo and YouTube integration, and more,” it invites moviemakers to enter their film on filmfreeway.com/festival/FilmAfrica on or before the June 30, 2017 deadline. Film Africa, that says it “has become the key platform for African cinema in London and the UK,” says it shall October 27-November 5, 2017 bring “another exciting film programme of films to 10 venues across London. This will be accompanied by a vibrant series of events, including director Q&As, talks and discussions; professional workshops and master classes; school screenings and family activities; the Industry Forum; and Film Africa LIVE! music nights.” RELATED:Best Children’s Literature Award Winner in 2017 to be Unveiled The festival says almost 5000 people attended its 6th edition in 2016 that featured “a wide-ranging programme of 58 films from across 22 African countries, including 33 World, European, UK or London premieres. We also hosted 23 filmmakers and talent from the continent and the diaspora and a further 32 industry experts and guest contributors who helped to bring the programme to life through Q&As, talks and panel discussions.” Film Africa says it “accepts films of all lengths and genres, including fiction, documentary, animation and experimental titles” and that “There is no submission fee.” Film Africa says it also accepts submissions from non-African filmmakers whose films relate to Africa, its focus …

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Nairobi’s Premier Critical Movie Platform Celebrates Youth Creativity

The cast and crew of STAINS, a film by Geatrics Production, that premiered during the 98th bi-monthly Lola Kenya Screen film forum at Goethe-Institut in Nairobi, Kenya.

By Iminza Keboge Published March 6, 2017 While Hollywood held its annual Academy Awards (the Oscars) gala on 27.02.17 with LA LA LAND and MOONLIGHT amid confusion and the celebration of African film through the biennial FESPACO was in full bloom in Ouagadougou, it was all music, dance, theatre and movies in Nairobi during the 98th bi-monthly Lola Kenya Screen film forum (LKSff) at Goethe-Institut! In the spotlight was Geatrics Production, a group of young people who specialise in music, dance and theatre. They were here to stage a play, entertain through choreographed dance and premiere their debut short film. And a great and memorable evening it was; celebrated with music, dance, theatre, movies and comradeship. RELATED:Lola Kenya Screen in the Media “Our group was formed at the end of 2013/beginning of 2014 with the aim of nurturing young talents in acting,dance, art and music,” said Victor Layson. “We’ve managed to stage several plays and shot our first film over this period.” STAINS, the short film Layson has directed and which focuses on the plight of a girl who finds herself in the hands of a relative following the sudden demise of her mother. “The transition from theatre to film is not easy because film needs a lot of emotions,” Said Sammy K Waweru, a filmmaker. Also screened was ANTES Y DESPUES DE BESAR A MARIA (Before and after kissing Maria) by Ramon Alos, a children’s film from Spain to encourage local filmmakers to make films for, with and by children and youth. RELATED:Nairobi’s Critical Movie Platform Trains, Reaches Entrepreneurs In the film, the lead character, a nine-year-old boy called Raul, fantasises about his cousin, Maria and has been practising and planning to kiss her just as he has seen adults do in the movies. The audience seemed to enjoy …

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Best Children’s Literature Award Winner in 2017 to be Unveiled

South Africa's Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA) won ALMA in 2015 for providing children with high-quality literature in the various South African languages.

By Iminza Keboge Published March 4, 2017 The winner of the world’s largest award for literature for children and youth in 2017 shall be announced on April 4, 2017. Known as the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) and founded on the United Nation’s Convention of Rights of the Child, the winner shall come from among 226 nominees from 60 countries. A Press Statement from ALMA says Alice Bah Kuhnke, the Minister for Culture and Democracy of Sweden, shall give a speech from the National Library in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, at 1:00 PM CET. Boel Westin, the Jury Chair, will then announce the laureate of 2017 followed by a presentation of the laureate by the jury. The event will be broadcast live on alma.se and via a link to Bologna Children’s Book Fair, the leading international book fair for children and youth. RELATED:World’s Largest Children’s Literature Award Announces Nominees Those eligible for the US$6 Million ALMA are authors, illustrators, storytellers and individuals and organisations that promote reading among children and youth. Among the nominees whose names were unveiled at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany on October 20, 2016 are Zambia’s Lubuto Library Partners and South Africa’s Biblionef and multi-award-winning author and illustrator Niki Daly ‘whose picture books celebrate the imaginative powers of children and their day-to-day lives’. Can they bring the prize to the Mother Continent, as did South Africa’s Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA) do two years ago? Cape Town-based PRAESA won the ALMA in 2015 for providing children with high-quality literature in the various South African languages; collaborating with and fostering new networks among publishers and organisations that promote reading; and for initiating and carrying out activities that “help sustain a living culture of reading and storytelling in socially vulnerable communities.” …

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Nairobi’s Critical Movie Platform Trains, Reaches Entrepreneurs

Following proceedings during a Lola Kenya Screen film forum gathering at Goethe-Institut in Nairobi.

Lola Kenya Screen film forum (LKSff), Nairobi’s most consistent and longest running critical movie platform, convenes for the first time in 2017 on February 27. Scheduled to grace the occasion after the Christmas break are young performing artists from a group called Geatrics whose movie shall premiere at Goethe-Institut in Nairobi. RELATED:Impact of Lola Kenya Screen LKSff has over the past 12 years reached more than 8000 creative entrepreneurs through a monthly gathering of players in the movie sector. A ‘Closed’ or ‘By-Invitation-Only’ gathering, LKSff–that brings together players in the audiovisual media sector–is a training ground for creative entrepreneurship in Event Planning, Discussion Moderation, Public Speaking, Cultural Journalism, and Resource-Mobilisation. LKSff has since December 2005 when it started showcased 230 movies from eastern Africa and reached 8800 movie lovers at the end of 2016. RELATED:Lola Kenya Screen’s Internship Lands Youth Media Job The forum switched from a monthly to a bi-monthly schedule in 2016. It is now run every last Monday of the other month. RELATED:Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) LKSff has over the years been bringing together stakeholders such as moviemakers, critics, writers, students, researchers, policymakers, funders, actors, community developers to: a). watch and discuss short movies in eastern Africa b). exchange ideas on how to improve movie production c). explore ways of creating a sustainable market for moving image products and services. Every meeting of LKSff shows a movie for children and youth to encourage practitioners to make such movies in eastern Africa. Also in the programme is a segment called ExpertSpeak that features an experienced practitioners talking about their work. The aim of this is to  equip movie practitioners with skills in the various departments or areas related to the 7th Art. RELATED:Lola Kenya Screen school outreach The Lola Kenya Screen movie platform for children and youth in …

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