Future of Kenyan Films

By Kenneth Jura | Kenya

Alliance  Française ’s auditorium played host to the third session of the CinemAlliance screenings on the theme The Future of Kenyan Films which focused on student films that was held on the 13th April 2015. The first film ‘Morning Glory’ by Patrick Kioko focused on a couple and twists surrounding their relationship made the film remarkable. Afterwards, silent film “Shoes” which was more of a girl meet boy story with a mix of unique colour grading style. The film’s director Caroline Kitili described the film as their first experimental film to be shot while in school. As the evening wore on, other film enthusiasts thronged the auditorium with the third screening being a documentary made by students from MultiMedia University dubbed Haller Park which was edited by Elvis Muchara.

‘Haller Park’s’ narration bordered David Attenborough’s style, deep and heavy voice that keeps you glued through the entire documentary. David Attenborough is best known for writing and presenting the nine ‘Life series’, in conjunction with the BBC Natural History Unit, which collectively made a comprehensive survey of animal and plant life on the planet. Haller Park on the other hand is a nature park South of Mombasa on the Malindi-Mombasa highway. The park was an initiative of Bamburi cement converting barren landscape of disused limestone quarries into vibrant and diverse ecosystem of forest, grasslands and ponds. The pans and tilts in the documentary was amazingly done, you have to watch it to believe.

‘Sticking Ribbons’ explores the life of a former addict Kimberly (Maureen Koech) who struggles with drug addiction. The short film by Kevin Njue won the East African Talent award 2014 at the Zanzibar International Film Festival. Months after a fateful accident, Ian finally decided to confront his ghost girlfriend Becky who he knew had died. That is ‘Free Spirit’ synopsis which was screened.

LightBox’s film ‘Ahavah’ which means love in Hebrew wowed the crowd as the last film of the evening ushering in panelists who dissected the evening’s screening in various angles. The panelists were Wanjiru Kinyanjui a filmmaker and film lecturer at Multi Media University, Dr. Fred Mbogo from Moi University, Patrick Kioko and Caroline Kitili whose films were among those screened.

“The future of these young filmmakers is very bright” was the response Dr. Mbogo gave in line with the theme of the evening, whereas Ms. Kinyanjui encouraged the students to be unique “You are unique! Get your unique voice going and expose your work”. Mr. Bernard Owuor a film lecturer faulted the education curriculum for the many units being taught in universities giving examples of editing which was being regarded as a unit, colour correcting and music mixing and other film elements as independent units which impedes a student from specialising in one area. Consequently, the audience’s inquisitiveness in knowing silent films was evident as witnessed in the films ‘Ahavah’ and ‘Shoes’.

The theme for next month theme will be on ‘Development films’ featuring Africa Slum Journal.