Kenya: Nairobi set for global Slum Film Festival

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - Organizers of the annual Slum Film Festival (SFF) have received 2,600 entries from 120 countries for this year's event which rolls off on Monday in Kibera, Film Festival Director George Karanja told the media on Thursday

The bulk of the entries for the seventh edition of the festival were received from United States, India, Korea and Pakistan.

A panel of judges comprising screenwriters, directors, actors, producers and film and theatre arts lecturers, has since nominated the films to be screened in Kibera, Mathare and selected cultural venues in Nairobi, among them Kenyatta University, Alliance Francaise and PAWA 254 along State House Crescent.

Speaking at the launch of this year's edition of the event at the Spanish Embassy in Nairobi, Karanja said the bulk of African entries were from Nigeria, Cameroon and Kenya.

The Spanish Embassy is one of the key sponsors of the festival which is an initiative community-based film event featuring stories by, and about people living in urban slums worldwide.

The highlight of this year's event is the award-cum-closing ceremony set for Sarakasi Dome, Ngara, Nairobi, on 6 October. The occasion will be graced by big players in the film industry, both local and foreign.

He said the winners from nominated entries in over 10 categories ranging from best African film, best international film, best cinematography, best director to best sound, will be awarded on the Gala Night.

Among the festivals many objectives is to offer a platform for films from slum communities to reach broader audiences, and facilitate the filmmakers in joining international film circuit.

It also seeks to promote dialogue about life in slums and goes beyond stereotyping, using stories from the slum community to promote a more varied discussion on what living in a slum means.

"Slum Film Festival demonstrates that slums are also a home for very talented, creative and culturally active artists," say the organizers.

Karanja was also quick to point out that the festival is not restricted to filmmakers living in slums. "Even those who don't work or live in slums can submit entries, as long as they document slum stories," said Karanja.

Being an event that takes place once a year, the organizers, Slum Film Festival (SFF), a non-profit organization, will introduce the Mtaa Film Challenge next year, to encourage local filmmakers from the slums to tell their story and fine-tune their skills.

Spanish Ambassador to Kenya, Javier Garcia de Viedma, said the Embassy will continue supporting the festival because it is an important socio-cultural activity which has a positive impact on people living slums.

He said the Spanish Government attaches importance to human settlement, and this is reflected in the big role of Spain in the United Nations Human Settlement programme, UN-Habitat.

"Slums are human settlements, even big cities started as slums, telling the slum story helps authorities understand the situation in slums and consequently make the right decisions," he said.
-0- PANA DJ/MA 28Sept2017

28 september 2017 11:12:47

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