FilmAid Film Festival 2013

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FilmAid  proudly invites you to experience stories of courage, strife and human determination, as told by refugee filmmakers at the 7th edition of the FilmAid Film Festival – from 21-23rd August 2013 at Alliance Française in Nairobi.

The festival will showcase award-winning films and documentaries from refugee filmmakers studying through FilmAid’s Filmmaker Training Program. The program allows refugee filmmakers to tell their own stories of courage, hope, despair and resilience in their own voices. The selected films provide a rare opportunity for the filmmakers to share the stories of refugees who have been forced to flee their homes to escape persecution, wars, or conflict. Alongside these films, there will be a selection of international feature films complementing the work of the refugee filmmakers.


This year, the festival will present 20 short and feature films from students and foreign filmmakers. Alongside the screenings at the Alliance Française in Nairobi, the festival will also feature an award ceremony schedule to recognize the best student films, and multiple discussion panels with representatives from UNHCR, human rights groups, civil society, the film industry, government, academia and the media.

Among the films premiering at the festival, Finding Hillywood – a documentary based on the 1994 Rwanda genocide and directed by Leah Warshawski – explores how the power of film can change and heal not just individuals but entire communities. Others premiering films include, Painful Tears, Ayong, The Edge, The Good and The Bad, Shattered and Restored among others.

Find out more about the programme of the festival after the jump.

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Beyond A Craft | A Story of Resilience & Triumph by Mũchiri Njenga




Beyond A Craft is inspired by a true story. Join Pedro from Ecuador as he seeks to provide for his daughter Maria while overcoming great struggles and hardship. Will the talents and dreams of his daughter ever be realized, or will both Pedro and Maria sink deeper into poverty? Watch the film in full here:



Beyond A Craft is a short film written and directed by Mũchiri Njenga. It is the result of Njenga taking part in the MicroFlicks Global Film Challenge which is an initiative of VisionFund and World Vision to locate and promote talented filmmakers around the globe and their films focusing on microfinance (learn more about Vision Fund’s microfinance here). These filmmakers use their skills and travel to interesting and unique locations while bringing microfinance into focus through captivating film.

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The Future Weird | Visions of Excess


Friends over at Shadow and Act announced an intriguing event is taking this week, Wednesday, July 31, at Spectacle Theater, 124 S. 3rd Street, Brooklyn, New York 11211. THE FUTURE WEIRD is a new monthly series screening films which are set in imagined futures, made by African & global south directors. Presented by Derica Shields and Megan Eardley, the title is inspired by The State’s ongoing documentation of non-western futurisms.

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Included in the screening series is Cameroonian director Jean-Pierre Bekolo’s satirical sci-fi vampire film Les Saignantes (The Bleeders) alongside shorts by Wangechi Mutu and Kibwe Tavares plus weird and wonderful clips from forgotten corners of the colonial archive.

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Support the 2013 Slum Film Festival


After two successful years, the Slum Film Festival is preparing its third edition, expanding its focus to slum stories from across the African continent. The third edition of the Festival will be celebrated in Nairobi on September 2 –  9 2013, on open grounds at both Kibera and Mathare (Nairobi’s biggest slums), as well as central cultural venues around the city.

Although their crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo  is now closed, You can still help by spreading the word about this great initiative.

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Profile of the Week | Ng’endo Mukii


Portrait by Bilsel Battal

Ng’endo Mukii is an award-winning Kenyan filmmaker whose work ranges from animations to documentaries. Born and raised in Kenya, she also undertook further education in UK and USA. Yellow Fever which was featured on Ciné Kenya previously here, is a short film that has become her most well known work and has seen her attend a range of festivals over the past year. It explores the theme of skin bleaching in Africa.

Yellow Fever, her thesis project work from the Royal College of Art (RCA) in the UK, is an animation that is based on real interviews and memories. In particular, the responses from her niece regarding the subject  of skin colour and the privilege afforded to those with light or white complexions are very touching and insightful. It was while previously studying illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design in the US that Ng’endo first tried out some video and animation projects.




Ng’endo spoke to Business Daily Africa about the impetus behind the Yellow Fever project,

I interviewed my family asking questions about our physical appearance as African women. Even though I was only focusing on them, it’s supposed to have wider view of what is going on in Kenya. Using animation instead of a camera also made it a lot easier to talk to my niece because she was about six at the time and the things she ended up saying were really sensitive.

Media: Hand-drawn animation, computer animation, pixilation, live action.

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Watch Jonah for FREE


The feature about Jonah has consistently been Ciné Kenya‘s most popular post.

The Film4-backed short Jonah, directed by Kibwe Tavares, is a stunning, ambitious hybrid of live-action and animation that reveals the cost of human progress. It received its international premiere at Sundance back in January, and played at Sundance London in April, and now we’re delighted to present the short online in full.

Jonah tells the story of Zanzibarian beach boy Mbwana, hungry for the future, who creates a myth that transforms his small town into a tourist hot spot. When the reality turns out to be far from his dreams, he sets out to destroy the town – or himself.

Produced by Ivana MacKinnon (The Scouting Book For Boys) and written by the Bafta-winning Jack Thorne (The Scouting Book For Boys, This is England ‘88), Jonah is Kibwe’s second short after his award-winning Robots of Brixton, which received half a million hits online. Jonah is produced by Stray Bear Productions from the imagination of Factory Fifteen. It is backed by Film4, C4, BFI and Shine Pictures, in association with Jellyfish Pictures, and stars Daniel Kaluuya, Louis Mahoney and Malachi Kirby.

It is Kibwe’s second short film, and he is currently in development with Film4 for his first feature. Read Tavares’ blog about the making of Jonah.

Award-Winning ‘Kwaku Ananse’ To Premiere in Ghana

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Kwaku Ananse’ has been making rounds on the international film scene and now the creative retelling of a fable about a part man part spider is finally making its way home to premiere in Ghana.

On Thursday, 4th July 2013, at 8pm, join AMAA award-winning film director, Akosua Adoma Owusu of Obibini Pictures, at one of Accra’s most notable venues, Alliance Française, for the screening of ‘Kwaku Ananse’.  Attendees of the premiere will have an opportunity to meet and greet the stars of the film, Koo Nimo and Grace Omaboe.  Guests will also enjoy an evening filled with Anansesem (spider tales) featuring a live music concert by the living legend Koo Nimo, Kyekyeku, and This House Is Not For Sale.

In her latest film, Kwaku Ananse, starring legendary Palm wine musician Koo Nimo, pioneering actress Grace Omaboe, and singer Jojo Abot; Owusu tells a unique and deeply personal story weaving it with a semi-autobiographical thread while preserving Ghanaian mythology.  ‘Kwaku Ananse’ was Ghana’s sole winning film at the 2013 Africa Movie Academy Awards where it was awarded the prize for Best Short Film.  In addition, to earning recognition at prestigious institutions around the world including Berlinale Film Festival, Cannes Short Film Corner, and most recently at the French Film Academy’s Golden Nights Panorama program for the World’s Best Short Films of the year.


Film Screening | ‘His To Keep’ by Amirah Tajdin


Kuona Trust Art Centre invites you for a copyright & publishing workshop followed by the screening of His to Keep, a short film written and directed by Amirah Tajdin (Walls of Leila, Downtown Tribes, Flourescent Sin) .
Cover charge for the film is Kshs 200

Date: May 26, 2013
Venue: Kuona Trust
Location: Likoni Close, off of Likoni Lane and Dennis Pritt Rd
Time: 2 – 5 pm
Entrance is free

The agenda will be as follows:
– Conventional and Self Publishing: the pros, the cons and how to decide
– Contracts: What you need to think about before you sign
– Self-publishing: What it is, how to do it and why it’s not for everyone
– E-publishing: Why and how you should break free of geographical borders

This will be an interactive discussion specifically for writers, publishers, and anyone interested in writing, publishing and e-books.



‘His To Keep’ Trailer (new) by Amirah Tajdin


His To Keep is a short film by Kenyan filmmaker Amirah Tajdin (previously featured here) . It’s a film about a Kenyan man’s struggle to deal with painful memories of his, and others’ resistance efforts to colonialism. A phone call forces hurtful experiences to the fore and he realises that time does not necessarily heal all wounds. He remembers loved ones he lost and contemplates the meaning of such pain. His To Keep screened at the CinemAfrica Sweden festival.

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Beyond Borders: Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase


I am very proud to have been part of the film screening committee for the first Beyond Borders: Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase which is taking place today at Quai 21- 21 Quai Saint Pierre, France as part of the Cannes Film Festival which is taking place from 15th-26th May this year.

These are the 8 films that made it to the shortlist in competition:

Welcome Yankee by Benoit Desjardins (Canada)
Kdo se boji crnega moza? by Janez Lapajne (Slovenia)
Echoes by Crystle Roberson (USA)
You Look Stunning Too (Men With Eggs) by Nina Hatchwell (United Kingdom)
Dios por el Cuello by Jose Trigueiros (Spain)
Setting of the Son by Helen Banks (USA)
Karaoke by Ondrej Hudecek (Czech Republic)
Adan by Paloma Martinez (USA)

There are also two films which will be screened out of competition:
Silent Treatment by Martine Jean (USA) (silent)
Persiennes by Céline Masson (Switzerland) (experimental)

The programme for the event is as follows:
1PM-short film dialogue with Entertainment Attorney Shannon Nash and screening of her short docudrama Colored My Mine
2PM-Diversity in Cannes Short Film Screenings & Competition
4PM-reception & awards

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