audio-visual sector in Kenya bloomed.
Dangerous Affair, a straight-to-video soap opera made
in Nairobi, was declared the Best East African Production at the sixth
Festival of the Dhow Countries in Zanzibar on July 5.
The jury commended Dangerous Affair “for a bold and commendable
effort to chart different directions and cultivate other styles of portraying
and critically engaging contemporary social, cultural and personal issues
and questions relating to young people in urban Africa. Also for its use
of local and regional resources and technical expertise.”
A co-production of Kenya Film & Television Professional Association
and Baraka Films, Dangerous Affair is directed by Judy Kibinge and executive-produced
by Njeri Karago.
Also feted was Susan Wamburi’s Lamu: A splendour of Heritage which
got the Chairman’s Award and a special commendation for “an
important and informative account of an essential aspect of the historical
heritage of humanity in East Africa.”
The jury further noted that Ms Wamburi’s documentary “is a
highly commendable act of historical preservation done with passion, sensitivity
Wamburi works with the Film Production Department.
location earned Nowhere in Africa, a World War II German film the Best
Foreign Language Film Oscar at the 75th Academy Awards for its authentic
This is a love and family drama in which thespian Sidede Otieno Onyulo
is one of the stars.
The US$6 million film is a memorable movie, its eye-catching and almost
hypnotising vast African landscapes almost captures the magic of Africa
that Roger Whitaker sings of in My Land is Kenya. Director Caroline Link
and executive producer Peter Hermann contend it is the authenticity they
went for in their film that earned it the revered Academy Award.
"Peter Herrmann and I agreed from the beginning that we should have
African actors and extras in our movie who actually come from those areas
which are featured in our story...the people tell much about their country
and lend a special atmosphere and sense of place to the film. It is not
something you can simply recreate," Link told ArtMatters.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to dress up Zulus as
Maasai or vise versa,” Link argues.
Earlier in the year, Kenyan filmmakers, their families and friends had
held a special memorial for feature film director JAM Karanja at Nairobi
Nairobians gathered at Nairobi Cinema to sample the creativity of their
filmmakers and also to pay tribute to Karanja, perhaps the only disabled
feature film director in the world.
Those whose films were being screened were JAM (James Alex Maina) Karanja,
Sao Gamba, and siblings Jakub and Stan Barua. All alumni of the world
famous Polish National Film, Television and Theatre Academy in Lodz. This
is the school that famous film director Roman Polanski, who won an Oscar
for his film, The Pianist, at the 75th Academy Awards, attended. And this
proved to be a night of surprises, soul-searching and self-recrimination.
Naliaka is going, a 90-minute video film, made a world premier in Zanzibar
and also made history by being the first local production to make a theatrical
release and run for 12 days at Nairobi Cinema. By the time we went to
Press the film was lined up for screening at Mombasa’s Nyali Cinemax
and Kisumu’s Tivoli Centre theatres.
Albert Wandago directs the film.
The Film Production Department held Images of Kenya, a festival on their
productions, at Goethe-Institut in an attempt to promote local productions
and market local skills.
the beginning of the year, eight individuals and five films put Kenya
on the world map at the 18th edition of the Pan African Film and Television
Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) in Burkina Faso (February 22-March 1),
courtesy of the French embassy in Nairobi.
Film directors Albert Wandago (Metamo), Jacob Barua (Shades of Poland)
and Kibinge (The Aftermath, Dangerous Affair), film producer Njeri Karago
(Dangerous Affair, The Last Elephant), a deputy secretary in the ministry
of tourism and information Nancy Watene, and arts and lifestyle writer
and publisher Ogova Ondego represented Kenya in this biennial continental
event that brings the world to Africa. Jane Murago-Munene became the first
Kenyan director to make two feature films simultaneously with her The
Price of a Daughter and Behind Closed Doors films.
Written, directed and produced by Murago-Munene, the former examines cultural
practises—female circumcision, early and forced marriages, lack
of access too education-- facing Maasai girls.
Behind Closed Doors, on the other hand, revolves around domestic violence.
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Ford Foundation funded both