The who’s who of Kenya’s Film industry gathered once again to grace the annual Kenya International Film Festival(KIFF) in a colorful evening at the Prestige Cinemax plaza on the 21st of October 2011. This was to mark the 6th year of the annual event and this time around, the Festival is bigger and better. Over 360 films from 55 countries were entered into this year’s festival and for the first time ever, we are going to be treated with multiple free screenings of the submitted films in 12 different locations in Mombasa, Nairobi, Eldoret, Kisumu and Nakuru, in a 10 day festival which started on the same day of the opening ceremony. The turn out so far is really impressive in the auditoriums and film locations as was the turn out of the opening ceremony.
The ceremony was on an invitations basis only where Film makers, directors and producers from different countries met to watch one of the Submitted films : The first grader as the show stopper of the night. The movie was chosen as the festivals opener because of its outstanding story about the old man who enrolled in primary school at the age 84 in 2003. The film was produced by Richard Harding of Sixth Sense Productions and it has received ten awards from film festivals globally. The movies cast include Kenyan actor Oliver Litondo starring as Maruge, also in the cast is award winning actress Naomi Harris as Maruges teacher, Vusi Kunene and Tony Kgoroge. The story shows the struggle of man in dire need to read a letter from the office of the president to compensate him for his efforts during the trials and tribulations that he under went during his fighting for freedom in Mau Mau. Adamant to read it for himself, he embarks on journey to learn how to read.
Of course speeches were in order during the opening ceremony and Charles Asiba, CEO of KIFF, opened the floor explaining to the guests about the festivals main theme which is leadership -next generation. This years festival will have daily music session after the screenings in a session dubbed Music Meets Film being among one of the workshops set out. The KIFF is calling on Kenyan musicians with an interest in participating in film to come and showcase their music talents and interact with film makers and film lovers during the festivals. The sessions will give both the musicians and the film makers an opportunity to share and understand the role of music in film. The CEO of Kenya Film Commission (KFC), Mr Peter Mutie, also gave a short speech into the reason why KIFF and KFC formed their long term partnership into working together for this festival.
Drinks and snacks were served for the guests as they were entertained by models cladding in some seemingly interesting attire in a bid to advertise another workshop in this years festival dubbed Film meets Fashion. Most film makers do not pay attention to fashion hence the disaster in shooting a film with the wrong costume. This workshop is the long awaited solution for film makers. This is where you learn how to dress your cast the way you intended in the script.
After the screening of the movie of the night, the first grader, guests were allowed to leave at their own peril. That is not the end of it though as remember, from the 21st Oct to the 31st of October, films from across Africa including 40 which are Kenyan are being showcased at Alliance Francaise, Goethe institute, National museum, Sarakasi Dome and Century Cinemax Prestige free of Charge. Click here to DOWNLOAD KIFF PROGRAMME .
Visit www.kifftrust.org/ to find out more on the workshops and other plans for KIFF>
Below is a picture gallery of the opening ceremony of the 6th Edition of KIFF or you can view the same from our actors.co.ke Facebook page.
The Kenya International Film Festival has come from a very humble beginning of a small local films festival to an international festival attracting films globally. The festival takes pride as the fastest growing festival in the region with the potential of becoming the leading festival in Africa. The mission of the festival is to challenge local filmmakers to contribute products which are indeed truly African and can transverse international borders. They aim to promote a cinema culture in the Eastern Africa region by showing locally made films alongside international ones.Written by Gerald Langiri