Unveiling what ails the local film industry at regional film festival

By Florence Chanya Mwaita   &  Kevin Namunwa

 The second day of the East Africa Student Film Festival being held at Daystar university Valley Road campus focused on teaching of film, under the theme: “Subverting the Dominant Paradigms of Film Making through Institutions of Higher Learning.”

Short films and documentaries were screened but panel discussions carried the day.During the first session, the following issues were reacted upon: Whether film exists in Kenya or not; whether equipment is a challenge for the student; the role of the latter in the learning process; whether the teacher is qualified to teach film; and most importantly, whether the African story exists and how expensive film is.

The session saw a discussion on the challenges students face in regard to equipment .

“We need to burst the bubble. Film is not expensive,” said Mr. James Mutua, USIU lecturer. He added, “Students have a phobia for equipment!” and that some only spent a total of a month or less for the four years that they are in college.

The discussion further explored the necessity of telling the African story. Mr. Emmanuel  Wanyonyi, EASFF director, explained that it is difficult to tell the African story but emphasized that it is not impossible.

“The African story is existent in our minds because of the circumstances that surround us,” declared Mr Wanyonyi.

Students were also equipped with survival skills for the film industry. Ms AppieMatere talked of the importance of student exposure in filmmaking.

“When you are still a student, do many videos and post them online so that by the time you finish, you have something to show your potential employer,” she said.

Fewer members attended compared to the opening day but there was a lot to learn as Isack Abel from the University of Iringa ,Tanzania observes, “Topic zilikuwa nzuri, watu wamepresent vizuri, nime gain vitu vingi” (Topics were good, people have presented well, I have gained a lot).




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