A number of Kenyan filmmakers have received more than $5,000 in sponsorship from the Kenya Film Commission to attend this year's annual Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) taking place on July 7-15 in Stone Town, Zanzibar.
The sponsorship will benefit 11 out of 54 filmmakers who had submitted their works in the festival's competition.
The submissions, in various genres, include Who Am I, by Wanuri Kahiu, Supa Modo, by Likarion Wainaina, Misfit, by Karanja Ng’endo, Keru, by Victor Gatonye, Clench, by Mark Ayabei, 18 Hours, by Njue Kevin, The Cut, by Peter Wangugi Gitau, New Moon, by Philippa Ndisi Hermann, The Flesh Business, by Denis Wanjohi Maina, The Yard, by Busaka Jackton, Ball’n Africa, by Silalei Owuor and Fihi Season, by Carol Odongo.
Much acclaimed Kenyan film Supa Modo — about a young girl whose dream of becoming a superhero is threatened by terminal illness, inspiring her village to rally together to make her dream come true — will be screened at the festival as part of the official opening event for the inaugural Discop Zanzibar.
Discop is expected to become East Africa’s largest TV content gathering attended by several high profile international film and TV industry professionals.
Supa Modo had a world premiere at the Berlinale in Berlin, Germany in February, and has been heralded as a stunning debut for director Likarion Wainaina and its young cast of newcomers Stycie Waweru in the lead role, alongside veteran Kenyan thespsians who include Maryanne Nungo and Nyawara Ndambia.
Discop Zanzibar is a content market that facilitates business with and across Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda.
More than 500 delegates from 50 countries representing over 300 companies will attend the market — including some 150 film, television, online content and adaptation right buyers representing over 100 broadcasters, satellite, cable, online pay-tv platforms, mobile operators, airlines and territorial sub-distributors.
Also expected are over 50 global, regional and local companies at a uniformed, low-cost exhibit.
The Kenya Film Commission said: “We have made a call to filmmakers who will not be attending the market fair to bring their marketing material that we will show and screen at our pavilion, as part of a campaign to market Kenyan film and content on international platforms.”
Meanwhile, celebrated Hollywood actor, director and producer Tony Goldwyn, who is the star of hit US series Scandal, was in Kenya last week to lay the groundwork for the shooting of a new movie in Nairobi's Kibera slum.
The film is based on the New York Times’ bestseller Find Me Unafraid, about two lovebirds to be played by Kenya’s Kennedy Odede and America’s Jessica.
The film was originally planned to be shot in South Africa, but the government intervened and production was moved to Kenya.