The digital edition of the No Direct Flight film festival, organised by the British Council, British Film Institute (BFI) and the BlackStar Film Festival kicked off on November 17 in Nairobi to run to November 29.
This is the third edition of the No Direct Flights and Kenya’s first time to host the international event after the inaugural edition last year at London’s BFI at Southbank.
In August, BlackStar Film Festival hosted another virtual event in Philadelphia, US. Filmmakers and artists from Kenya and across sub-Saharan Africa, the US and the UK are expected to participate in the festival featuring online performances, conversations and film screenings.
This comes a week after the Human Rights Watch, Kenya, hosted another digital film festival for the East African region. This year, organisers have had to hold their events virtually in keeping with the health protocols guarding against the spread of Covid-19, which disrupted international travel and all sorts of physical contact and interactions. Akoia & Company is in charge of curating while digital video channel Nowness are commissioning partner.
The offerings aim to explore the history and impact of digital technology and internet culture on artistes in Africa and the African diaspora. No Direct Flights is assessing the impact of African film-making and aesthetics on global audiences. The films being screened are designed to provoke conversations about fluidity of identities and blackness.
Through the screening of features, music videos, virtual reality installations and new short film commissions, No Direct Flight is exploring how media is shaping African perception and appreciation of the nature, beauty and value of artistic expressions of African origin, organisers said.
Besides film, music sessions exploring the past, present and future of Nairobi’s pop music history is featured. DJ D-Lite, Mbithi, Muthoni the Drummer Queen (MDQ), Xprso and Fena Gitu are slated to perform.