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Budding filmmakers get stage to showcase talent at ongoing festival

A participant gives views on one of the films displayed at the event. [File, Standard]

Kenya’s budding filmmakers are showcasing their films at the ongoing Filamu International Students Film Festival in Nairobi.

Film students from the Multimedia University of Kenya, Egerton University, and Kenyatta University are among the attendees spanning the entertainment industry.

The budding filmmakers focused on a number of thematic areas that were represented through their short films that were submitted prior to the event.

A total of 25 films were showcased including “Ghost of a Nation” - a film based on true events by Royal Katumo which was about the daily struggles of street children in Nairobi.

The director of this film focused on how misunderstood the street children are to the point where they get killed by the police for the mere crime of being at the right place and at the wrong time.

Most of the films showcased were comical and satirical in nature which left the audience laughing their hearts out at the wit, twists, and turns the films took.

Another notable mention is “Quagmire”, a film that was directed and produced by a third-year MMU film student Daisy Njoki. This film was about drug and substance abuse and addiction and the effects it has on someone which as portrayed in the film include murder and suicide.

“It’s all about celebrating students who are doing an amazing job when it comes to film creation and storytelling through various genres in the film industry. We also get to explore different artistic styles they use.” Laura Alice Anyango, chair Filamu International Students Film Festival.

The student producers whose contents were shown received feedback on their works. These included the plot holes, the amount of work that went into the costumes, and ways in which the creators could improve on their filmmaking skills.

This was a good opportunity for the students to showcase their talents and learn about event organisation, marketing as well as communication as per the film syllabus which contains film marketing and distribution as a unit.

The unit, which was mainly theory and later made practical, was in order to make the students familiarise themselves with marketing and distribution.

“This tends to put students in the know on how to market and distribute their films so they get to know the various channels of distribution and the considerations they should put in place concerning the two major foci aspects of the film festival,” said Nathan Onsare Asiago, a film production lecturer at Multi-media University.

Mr Aisgaoe broke down the steps taken by the students from the initial stages of the film festival planning until the time when it kicked off with him being a consultant chipping in where he felt the students were not doing well.

Wanjiru Kinyanjui, a lecturer and filmmaker who was in attendance gave a brief history of film in Kenya and advised the up-and-coming filmmakers on what they should do concerning their actors in order to add more pizzazz to their films.

“A good film tells a story. You cannot expect us, who are watching your film to decipher everything that goes on from just looking at moving pictures” said Wanjiru.

She added that the students needed to put more effort into marketing their films and suggested that they submit their films to as many film festivals and competitions.

Morris Mwangi, actor, and filmmaker who has featured in “Famous” a Showmax TV show, and “You Again”  urged the students to try their strengths in other areas and not just film.