East African kids festival underway


More than 100 films from 38 countries and in 33 languages are being showcased at the 5th Annual Lola Kenya Screen audiovisual media festival, production workshop and market for children and youth in Eastern Africa, which runs until 14 August in at the Kenya National Theatre in Nairobi. The screening venue is the 150-seat Concert Hall at the Kenya Cultural Centre that incorporates the Kenya Nsational Theatre.

Presented by ComMattersKenya with support from Cinetoile, Africalia, Belgian Development Cooperation, European Union, ArtMatters.Info, UNESCO, Africa Movie Academy Awards, Discop Africa, Goethe-Institut in Kenya and Mwelu Foundation, Lola Kenya Screen 2010’s theme is “Passion, Innovation and Adaptability’.

Lola Kenya Screen, which also mentors children in creative journalism, events planning and presentation, film judging, and film production, is equipping 15 children and youth in documentary filmmaking.

Apart from the annual film screening and skill-development mentorship programmes, the 2010 edition of this annual event incorporates a one-hour daily seminar on media literacy that features various media experts discussing both the threats and opportunities inherent in modern mass media.

Says Lola Kenya Screen director Ogova Ondego: “The daily media literacy seminar shall seek to enlighten the generation of today and tomorrow on the opportunities and threats inherent in the mass media. And to achieve this Lola Kenya Screen has invited renowned media experts to share their vast knowledge with children, youth and parents at the festival.’

Local filmmakers whose works are screening in Nairobi will be available to present and discuss matters that arise from their productions. “We believe this is the only way to build up the fledgling film sector in the eastern Africa region,’ notes Ondego.

Lola Kenya Screen has also introduced discussions after each screening in order to give the audience an upper hand in understanding the various issues that the film addresses in regard to the art and science of filmmaking.   

The 2010 film exhibition programme is in three sections: 09.00-12.30 hrs (for children aged 3-6/7-13 years); 14.00-15.30 hrs (for 14-18 years); and 16.00-20.30 hrs (for 19+ years). The skill-development workshops and seminars will run 09.00-16.00 hrs daily, Monday-Saturday.

 Lola Kenya Screen 2010 has lined up five African feature films under the Africalia-supported Cinetoile African cinema network. The films on show under this programme that are aimed at promoting and distributing African cinema comprise FROM A WHISPER (Kenya), HERITAGE AFRICA (Ghana), LUMUMBA (Congo-Kinshasa), SAMBA TRAORE (Burkina Faso) and MAH SAAH SAH (Cameroon).

The festival was established in October 2005 to explore, identify and nurture creative talent among children and youth in creative journalism, filmmaking, arts appreciation, and organisation and presentation of cultural and creative events. To date it has since 2006 helped equip 47 children and youth from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zanzibar with basic skills in filmmaking, 19 in creative journalism, nine in events organisation & presentation and 17 in critical appreciation of audiovisual media productions. The annual workshops, has enabled Lola Kenya Screen to realise 20 short animations and eight documentaries.

 The Lola Kenya Screen production, SANTOS THE SURVIVOR, is on a two-year Africa-wide film festival circuit. An Africa Movie Academy Awards  nominee for Best Documentary (Short Subject) in 2009, the Rupinder Jagdev-directed SANTOS THE SURVIVOR was realised at a 2008 “Children and Docs’ workshop organised by Lola Kenya Screen and supported by the Jan Vrijman Fund/International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) to inspire adults to make films for children and youth.

 The circuit, dubbed “Cinema Mondial Tour’ and organised by Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) and the Jan Vrijman Fund/IDFA, will see SANTOS THE SURVIVOR screen in festivals in Cameroon, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Senegal, Benin, Burkina Faso and Ghana in 2010 and 2011. The Cinema Mondial Tour consists of 12 fiction films and documentaries made with the support of the Hubert Bals Fund and the Jan Vrijman Fund.

 SANTOS THE SURVIVOR is one of HBF and Jan Vrijman Fund/IDFA films selected from Kenya Congo-Kinshasa, Guinea, Argentina and Malaysia.

 SANTOS THE SURVIVOR is one of six films off the “Docus for Today and Tomorrow’ compilation realised under the guidance of Dutch documentary filmmaker and trainer Duco Tellegen. Other titles on the compilation are  THE PUBLIC SPEAKER by Susan Mwangi, A JOURNEY TO PAMOJA by Solomon Mwendwa, I SURVIVED by Yonnie Andal, HOME ALONE by  and BROTHER-Brother by Sheila Mulinya.

Besides producing her own award-winning audiovisual media content by, with and for children and youth, Lola Kenya Screen had by the end of August 2009 showed more than 1450 best possible international films for children, youth and family from 95 nations representing all the continents in various genres, formats and lengths.


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