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.
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“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.”
“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.
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 more the parts where the boy watched movie scenes of adults kissing then he practiced on the mirrors and spoons. To him, kissing was very easy until he tried to do it one day!
Among the notable achievements of the forum is the making of stars in the media and arts sector: young film producers and directors, some of who were present in the house. Mentees and interns who have gone through Lola Kenya Screen’s programmes for children and youth were also present with notable references made to Daisy Nandeche Okoti who now works for a leading national newspaper group in Nairobi.
“The aims of LKSff are to build capacity in the movie sector of Kenya and eastern Africa; and to help turn moviemaking in the region into a sustainable industry,” Ogova Ondego, the Managing Trustee and Creative Director of Lola Kenya Screen of which LKSff is a part, told ArtMatters.Info.
Besides being one of the first places where new films can be seen and young talent spotted, Ondego tells ArtMatters.Info, LKSff is focused on equipping players in the movie sector with requisite skills in moviemaking, event programming, public speaking, theme-based discussion moderation, cultural journalism and criticism, promotion and marketing, and resource-mobilisation.
“LKSff deals with all sorts of short moving images: Public Service Announcements (PSAs), Commercials, Animations, Experimentals, Avant-Garde, Documentaries, Music Videos, and Fictions.”
LKSff, that is in its 12th year in 2017, is presented by ComMattersKenya consultancy in collaboration with Goethe-Institut in Kenya.
Additional reporting by Sheila Nekesa Waswa