Nigeria, Malawi win top prizes at Lola Kenya Screen 2010

BY OGOVA ONDEGO. NAIROBI, KENYA (CINEMA MINIMA) — The fifth edition of the annual Lola Kenya Screen — audiovisual media festival, production workshop, and market for children and youth in Eastern Africa — ended in NairobiKenya on August 14, 2010, with top prizes going to films from Nigeria and Malawi. This marks a departure from previous Lola Kenya Screens, when most top prizes had gone to films from the Northern Hemisphere.

Golden Mboni Award

Beating a field of 22 to the prestigious Golden Mboni Award for the best children’s film was CHAMPIONS OF OUR TIME by Nigerian Mak’ Kusare. The three-member jury — Vanessa Alice Wanjiku, Alexander Thungu Kinyanjui, and Simon Odhiambo Onyango — was enthusiastic: “This film is based on a universal theme. The cast is well-chosen. We find the film educational, informative, and captivating.”

The 2010 production, which runs 120 minutes, tells the story of two whiz kids. They’re trying to enter an international quiz competition. One is denied registration because she is physically challenged; the other is accepted with open arms because she is from a well-to-do family, is able-bodied, and therefore, an excellent representative of the country abroad.

14-Plus Award

SEASONS OF A LIFE, a 2009 production by Charles Shemu Joyah of Malawi, won the 14-Plus Award for the best youth film on the account of its “creative beginning, good casting, good technical quality” and its “proclamation of the divinity of the motherhood in word and deed.”

Children’s and Youth films winners

The Christian Ditter-directed VORSTAADTKROKODILE|THE CROCODILES of Germany, and LOST AND FOUND by Philip Hunt of the UK, were declared second- and third-best children’s films.

WE WERE YOUNG by Namibia-based Philippe Talavera, and Vincent Chabrillant’s EN MODE AILLEURS of France, emerged second- and third-best youth films in the awards ceremony, which was held at the Kenya National Theatre in the heart of Nairobi on Saturday night.

The Lola Kenya Screen 2010 award winners

Golden Mboni for the best children’s film:
CHAMPIONS OF OUR TIME by Mak’ Kusare of Nigeria.
Silver Mboni for the second best children’s film:
VORSTAADTKROKODILE by Christian Ditter of Germany.
Bronze Mboni for the third best children’s film:
LOST AND FOUND by Philip Hunt of the UK.
14-Plus Award for the best youth film:
SEASONS OF A LIFE by Charles Shemu Joyah of Malawi.
14-Plus Award for the second best youth film:
WE WERE YOUNG by Philippe Talavera of Namibia.
14-Plus Award for the third best youth film:
EN MODE AILLEURS by Vincent Chabrillant of France.
Best Documentary:
BIG SISTER PUNAM by Lucian Muntean and Natasa Muntean of Serbia.
Best Animation:
LOST AND FOUND by Philip Hunt of the United Kingdom.
Best TV series:
KOZUCHA KLAMZUCHA by Andrezj Kukula of Poland.
Best Student film:
GREAT EXPECTATIONS by Alexei Gubenco of Romania.
Best Children’s right film:
JANAKI by M.G. Sasi of India.
Audience’s Choice Award:
LOST AND FOUND by Philip Hunt of the UK.
Special Talent Prize:
Talent Empire by Simon Peter Otieno of Kenya.
Special Youth Prize:
Communicating for Change, Nigeria.

Worldwide participation

For its 5th edition which was presented from August 9-14, 2010 in Nairobi, Lola Kenya Screen received 302 films from 39 countries on five continents, in 34 languages.

39 countries

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kenya
  • Kosovo
  • Latvia
  • Malawi
  • Moldova
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • The Netherlands
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Tanzania
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Uganda
  • Uganda
  • UK
  • Ukraine
  • USA

34 languages

  • Albanian
  • Amharic
  • Arabic
  • Chichewa
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Farsi
  • Finnish
  • French
  • Gambay
  • German
  • Hokkein
  • Italian
  • Kannada
  • Karamojong
  • Kinyarwanda
  • Kiswahili
  • Luganda
  • Malayalam
  • Nepali
  • (No dialogue)
  • Norwegian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Setswana
  • Sheng
  • Singala
  • Slovene
  • Somali
  • Spanish
  • Tamang
  • Tamil
  • Turkish

Five continents

  • North America
  • South America
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Europe

The festival screened one-third of the films submitted for consideration in 10 sections:

  • The Golden Mboni Award Competition for the best children’s film
  • The 14-Plus Award Competition for the best youth film
  • Films by Students
  • Films by Children
  • Films for Youth
  • Eastern Africa Prism
  • Television Series
  • World Panorama
  • Special Focus
  • 4th Kids for Kids Africa.

The highest number of entries came from Spain, followed by Kenya and Nigeria.

First-time participants in the five-year festival were Kosovo, Tunisia, Malawi, Moldova, and Singapore.

Animation carried the most entries from almost every country and continent and a good number of experimental films were also registered.

Lola Kenya Screen 2010 witnessed an upsurge in the number of films made by children and youth (under age 18).


The 5th Lola Kenya Screen was supported by:

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Lola Kenya Children's Screen Represents Kenya at All-Africa Film Awards 2009

BY OGOVA ONDEGO. NAIROBI, KENYA (CINEMA MINIMA) — Crystal Ndungwa Ndolo, Elaine Nesbitt and Adede Hawi Nyodero were barely six, eight and nine years old, respectively, when they each made their first film during the annual Lola Kenya Children’s Screen film production workshop. Though this would have looked like child’s play, their work was taken seriously and is now contesting for top awards around the world.

Samora Michelle Oundo, Nyodero and Crystal Ndolo are among 7 children (out of 17) aged 7-14 years who are representing Kenya at the 5th Africa Movie Academy Awards in Nigeria (March 31-April 6, 2009) where their films are competing for top prizes alongside those of professional adult filmmakers.

The other children in the Kenyan delegation to Yenagoa, the capital of the oil-rich Bayelsa State, include Charmaine Nyambura Ndolo, Charlene Ndinda Ndolo, Norrick Joseph Kangethe, and Joseph Kang’ethe Mwangi.

LITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS DANGEROUS, a film on clever-by-half antics by Nyodero, Oundo and Karama Kilibwa Ogova (2007); MANANI OGRES on the importance of being vigilant by Joseph Hongo, Marcus Joseph, Norrick Joseph and Samuel Musembi(2007); and CHEPRONO on thinking before leaping by Joseph Miriri, Charlene Ndolo, Bree Tonga Manuel, Charmaine Ndolo, Mina Ogova, Triston Kayonga, Othman Bakar, Crystal Ndolo, Steven Miriri and Celestine Mwashagha (2008) are competing for the Best Animation Prize against films from Burkina Faso.

Although all the 17 Lola Kenya Children’s Screen filmmakers were invited to Nigeria, only seven can make it to the event as the majority are in school outside Nairobi or do not have national passports. The delegation, consisting of 20, leaves Nairobi for Lagos on March 31 for the AMAA ceremony that takes place on April 4, 2009. While in Nigeria, the delegation will participate in a weeklong cultural programme that will culminate in the awards ceremony.

Another Lola Kenya Screen production, SANTOS THE SURVIVOR, a documentary made by Rupinder Jagdev during the Lola Kenya Screen children and docs workshop in 2008, is competing for the Best Documentary (Short Subject) award.

Whereas LITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS DANGEROUS and MANANI OGRES were made under the guidance of Finnish tutor Maiki Kantola with the support of the Danish Film Institute of Copenhagen, CHEPRONO was made under the facilitation of Egyptian Dr Eid Abdel Latif with the support of Africalia of Brussels, Belgium.

SANTOS THE SURVIVOR, a film on how an orphaned child survives in Nairobi made under the guidance of Dutch documentary filmmaker Duco Tellegen with the support of the Jan Vrijman Fund/IDFA of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Meanwhile, the Centre of Films for Children and Youth (CIFEJ) and Kids for Kids Festival (KFKF) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, have just communicated that LITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS DANGEROUS has just made it to the list of finalists in the international KIDS FOR KIDS FESTIVAL. It is competing in the Animation 13-16-year-old category against Poor Joshua Verde (Australia), Mancipia (Belgium), Carta Animada pela Paz: Os Dois Lados da Favela/The Animated Charter for Peace: The Two Sides of a Shanty Town (Brazil), Peace of Mind (Canada), Sul Filo dei Diritti/Let’s Knit on Human rights (Italy), Corn in the USA (USA) and Perspective: The Chicago Trains (USA).

This film has done very well, having won the Most Creative Production award at Lola Kenya Screen (August 2007), the Grand Prize at 2nd Kids For Kids Africa (August 2008), Special Jury Award at the Jugend Medien Festival Berlin, Germany (May 2008).

LITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS DANGEROUS — like all other Lola Kenya Screen productions — has been screened on virtually all continents where it has won accolades and collected awards along the way.

More information about the Lola Kenya Screen audiovisual media initiative for children and youth in eastern Africa — including high-quality pictures for media use — can be downloaded from the media gallery at <>.

Lola Kenya Screen trains 86 children as filmmakers; shows 1,200 Films

BY OGOVA ONDEGO. NAIROBI, KENYA (CINEMA MINIMA) — Since 2006, Lola Kenya Screen — East Africa’s premier audiovisual media platform for children and youth — has showcased more than 1,200 films from 71 nations, representing all six continents in various genres, formats and lengths.

Lola Kenya Screen has added to eastern Africa’s creative and cultural spectrum — 31 child filmmakers, 14 journalists, 13 film judges, 7 MCs, 15 producers of television drama for children and youth, and 6 producers of documentary films for children and youth.

The Third Lola Kenya Screen (August 11-16, 2008), attracted participation from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Germany, Belgium and Holland. All participants came in to watch the wide variety of films from 56 nations and to be equipped with skills for making films, appreciating and judging audiovisual media production, presenting programmes and filing daily reports on the festival.

Established in October 2005 as a movement that uses appropriate and available technologies to deliver audiovisual media content that complements, enhances, entertains and promotes learning among the generation of today and tomorrow — children and youth — in the promotion of literacy, gender equity, independent thought, human rights, environmental responsibility and global health.

Through her programmes, Lola Kenya Screen explores, identifies and nurtures creative talent among children and youth in areas such as journalism, filmmaking, arts appraisal and appreciation, and organisation and presentation of cultural and creative events. This is aimed at equipping children and youth with the skills to understand, appreciate, and create quality audiovisual productions in particular and arts in general.

Lola Kenya Screen places production tools in the hands of children and youth for the advancement of literacy, gender equity, self expression, and democracy in their world through her production workshop, film exhibition, and audiovisual media platform for marketing, promoting and distributing films.

While the Festival Press is aimed at uplifting the standards of creative and cultural journalism in eastern Africa, the Production Workshop empowers children and youth to make at least five quality, low-budget, moving images per year. In 2008, this programme was made possible with the support of Africalia of Belgium.

Out of the recognition that unless adults are sensitised into creating for and with children, the aim of putting children and youth on the public agenda could become a cropper, Lola Kenya Screen 2008 also worked with practising filmmakers in the production of documentaries for children and youth. This was made possible with the support of the Jan Vrijman Fund/IDFA of The Netherlands.

Programme Presentation, as the title suggest, empowers children and youth to organise and present events and programmes. Such children are usually in charge of the programme during the six days of the festival.

The Film Jury, on the other hand, seeks to inculcate in participants skills with which to critically appreciate and appraise creativity in general and film in particular. The jury members watch and award films in competition. The official Lola Kenya Screen Jury consists only of children and youth.

At the end of the six-day festival, HOPPET | LEAPS AND BOUNDS by Peter Naess — an 86-minute feature about two brothers who flee US-occupied Iraq of Sweden — beat a strong field of 24 well crafted, award-winning international films that competed in seven categories, to the coveted Lola Kenya Screen Golden Mboni Award.

Saying that HOPPET had spoken to their heart, the official jury, comprising four children from Kenya and Zimbabwe, described HOPPET as “hopeful. Despite their many struggles, the two boys finally achieve their goals and get to their final destination where they are re-united with their parents.”

SIRI RAJA SIRI | KING SIRI by Somaratne Dissanayake of Sri Lanka took the Silver Mboni.

RAJA SIRI RAJA, the jury noted, “is a funny, uncomplicated film about a village boy who overcomes the discouragement of poverty.” The star of the 88-minute film, 11-year-old Sirimal excels in his national examinations to join a star college in he city that other materially well off children can only dream about. Despite encountering lots of social and economic challenges, he succeeds.

SUBIRA by Kenya-based Ravneet Sippy Chadha stars a strong-willed 11-year-old girl who rebels against tradition to be as free as her brother who plays freely. It made away with the Bronze Mboni. The jury was impressed by the 12-minute film “about a Muslim girl fighting for her rights despite the tyranny of the conservative community she lives in.”

Giving the Best Documentary Award to JOURNEY OF A RED FRIDGE by Lucian Muntean and Natasa Stankovic of Serbia, the jury noted that it “shows us the life of many children in Nepal. It is about a 17-year-old boy who earns a living as a porter.”

MAX’S WORDS, a film by Galen Fott and Jerry Hunt got the Best Animation Film Award for what the jury described as “an inspirational and original film, with beautiful images. It is a truly surprising film!”

For “a film we found well-made in every aspect — story, sound and image,” the jury gave the Best Short Film Award to PORQUE HAY CASA QUE NUNCA SE OLVIDIAN | THERE ARE THINGS YOU NEVER FORGET by Lucas Figueroa. “The plot was humouristic and the end had a surprising twist that made us laugh.” This 13-minute film is set in Naples, Italy, in 1950. It shows boys exacting their revenge on for an unforgivable crime: The destruction of their football by a vengeful old woman.

HELLO SPRING, a lyrical and philosophical 7-minute film directed by Masoone Jafari of Iran grabbed the Most Experimental Film Award at a two-hour ceremony held at the Kenya National Theatre in the Nairobi central business district. “This film is a musical adventure with the message that we should not be obsessed with the way we look. We are perfect!”, the jury intoned.

The Child Rights Award went to QUAMAR | WORKING TO LIVE, a 24-minute film by Preeya Nair of India.

The jury said the film “shows the struggles of a girl being exploited by a shopkeeper where she works because she can’t count. She would like to go to school but her mother doesn’t think this is necessary for girls.”

For the second time since 2007 — when Films by Children for Children won the Grand Prize at the 5th World Summit on Media and Children/Kids for Kids Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa — a Lola Kenya Screen production took the Kids for Kids Africa prize at the 2nd Kids for Kids Africa held in the framework of the 3rd Lola Kenya Screen. The jury called it “a funny and educational film with a clear message that makes you just want to learn. It is a film for and by children.”

The film, LITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS DANGEROUS, was written, animated, shot, and directed by Samora Michelle, Adede Hawi NyOdero and Karama K Ogova during the 2nd Lola Kenya Screen film production workshop conducted by Maikki Kantola of Finland for Project Anima of Denmark in 2007.

Some eight films from Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe were in the 2nd Kids for Kids Africa Competition. They were UNCOVERING SECRETS OF THE WORLD by Mia Dupper of South Africa (2008); INGWAZI JIVE by Abigal Mlotshwa; FIGHT AGAINST POVERTY by Tinashe Maravanyika; NDAIFARA by Mercy Mafudze and Craig Kimu; OH MAMA by Thelma Maduma of Zimbabwe (made under the Postcards from Zimbabwe compilation [2006]); LITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS DANGEROUS by Adede NyOdero, Samora Michelle, and Karama Ogova; MANANI OGRES by Joseph Hongo, Marcus Joseph, Norrick Joseph, and Samuel Musembi; and THE WISE BRIDE by Alexandria Ngini, Aysha Satchu and Layla Satchu (2007).

Some of the resource people at Lola Kenya Screen 2008 were Signe Zeilich-Jensen, Duco Tellegen, and Meike Statema (Holland), Eid Abdel Latif (Egypt), and Florence Sipalla (Kenya).

Lola Kenya Screen 2008, held on the theme of “Peace-Building for a Sustainable Future”, attracted some of the best possible films for children and youth in the world from 56 nations.

Lola Kenya Screen accepts and showcases a film only if its content is creative and demonstrates artistic and technical mastery, speaks positively to children of diverse backgrounds and cultures and provides strong role models for both boys and girls.

Additionally, such a film is expected to be child-driven and the stories culturally authentic, timely, and of universal appeal.

Films and videos submitted to Lola Kenya Screen are made by, with and for children and youth rather than about children and youth.

The theme of Lola Kenya Screen 2008 was Peace-Building for a Just and Sustainable Future out of the realisation that tension and conflict are inevitable in healthy human relationships but that they need not result in the wanton destruction of life, property and livelihood.

Presented by ComMattersKenya in collaboration with Goethe-Institut in Kenya, Lola Kenya Screen 2008 was supported by Africalia of Belgium, and the Jan Vrijman Fund/IDFA of The Netherlands.

The next edition of Lola Kenya Screen, the fourth one, will run in Nairobi, Kenya, 2009 August 10-15. []