BY OGOVA ONDEGO. NAIROBI, KENYA (CINEMA MINIMA) — On 2011 July 12, Lola Kenya Screen — audiovisual media festival, skill-development mentorship programme and market for children and youth in eastern Africa — released the lineup for its sixth annual film festival, to be held 2011 August 8–13 in Nairobi. Its theme will be, “Films for Enjoyment, Learning, and Participation in the twenty-first century.”
Lola Kenya Screen received more than 300 films from 102 countries. The selection was made after a rigorous viewing and selection process by children, youth, mass-communication students, journalists, critics, and parents. Fewer films shall be programmed than ever before following the introduction of media literacy seminars in 2010 and film discussion at the end of every film in 2011.
The selected films shall be presented in 10 categories, including the 6th Golden Mboni Award for the best children’s film, the third 14-Plus Award for the best youth film, the fifth Kids for Kids Festival Africa, Films by Students, Films by Children for Children, Eastern Africa Prism, World Panorama; and three special focus areas: Documentary, Busan International Kids’ Festival (BIKI, South Korea), and George Washington University’s Documentary Center(USA) productions.
All the 10 categories have particularly strong films that will keep the audience busy and discussing them over the entire six days of the festival. It will be held in both the Nairobi City Centre, and in the densely populated Eastlands residential neigbourhood.
Besides film shows, Lola Kenya Screen shall host a two-day roundtable for the independent audiovisual media producers. Motivational speakers drawn from the fledgling audiovisual media sector are also expected to interact with children and youth.
Since its inception in October 2005, Lola Kenya Screen has identified itself as a specialised audiovisual media initiative, designed exclusively for children and youth. The festival takes content for children and youth seriously, only selecting that which is creative, and which demonstrates artistic and technical mastery. It requires that its films should speak positively to children and youth of diverse backgrounds and cultures — besides providing strong role models for both boys and girls. Films should be child- or youth-driven. Stories should be culturally authentic, timely, and of universal appeal; and should be made BY, WITH and FOR children and youth, rather than ABOUT children and youth. If it focuses on children and youth, then it will be of appeal to the family as well. This is what guides the children, youth, film practitioners, journalists, critics, teachers and members of the public who constitute the committee that selects films for exhibition at Lola Kenya Screen.