By Joshua Ondeke
The East African Student Film Festival (EASFF) 2017 kicked off today at the Daystar Valley Road DAC auditorium. Under the theme, “Decomposing Borders”, the opening ceremony involved a panel discussion, where students got opportunities to ask question concerning the film industry. Among the key issues discussed was the role of the Academy towards the Eastern African cinema.
“Students’ films have always been seen as armature, but these films have stories and better production quality that people do not know. I therefore want to expose the quality of films made by students,” said Mr. Emmanuel Wanyonyi, EASFF director.
This year’s event will include forums such as screening of films, film workshops and master classes as the red carpet gala will mark the final day on Saturday. During the gala, students will be awarded in various categories, as the winner of the smart phone production category will be awarded the new Infinix Zero 4 Pro.
Rita Mumbi, Digital Marketing Specialist, Infinix said,
“EASFF got our attention because Infinix as a smart phone company prides itself in being youthful and trendy. And no one is more youthful than the students. The youth are the future of every country and every innovative thing that they do. That’s what got our attention.”
In participation were students from Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya. This year’s event has been sponsored by Daystar University in partnership with Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB), Infinix Mobile, The Ethiopian Embassy, Redfourth Foundation among others.
The opening ceremony was attended by dignitaries such as: Daystar University Vice Chancellor Dr.Timothy Wachira, DVC academics Professor James Kombo, Dean of communication Professor Levi Obonyo and Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) Director Mr. Francis Wangusi.
“The CAK will aim to offer and give awards and scholarships to the university students with best film makers,” said Mr Wangusi.
Diana Akot, communication student, Uganda Christian University believes that EASSF will help the growing film industry.
“Film in Eastern Africa cannot be compared to Hollywood or Nollywood, and therefore film makers can meet to find out the weaknesses, and through this event we are going to learn,” she added.
Agustina Waberi Chauni, student Iringa University asserted that she was attending this year’s event because she has a passion for film. She also added that the difference between film in Kenya and Tanzania is that we do not have such bench marking festivals in Tanzania among student participants only.
Among major Universities involved include Daystar University, The University of Nairobi, United States International University (USIU), University of Iringa (TZ), Makerere University and Uganda Christian University.