New ideas to grow cinema in Kenya

Friday May 10 2019

As part of the European Film Festival, a hackathon on making films in Virtual Reality was held at the Huipalas Creatives Centre in Kariobangi, Nairobi, on May 6, while other sessions of the VR will be held at the Creatives Garage. PHOTO | COURTESY | BLACK RHINO

By The EastAfrican

The 28th European Film Festival in Nairobi kicked off on May 4 and will run to May 26. This year’s festival will feature 57 films in 23 days at 12 locations around the city.

This year’s edition has expanded its outreach to have cinema accessible to most by partnering with community cultural organisations to showcase relevant programming and has collaborated with more Kenyan partners to build long term relationships in the cultural sector.

In addition to film screenings with European, African, and Kenyan films, the European Film Festival will include special engagements with invited European and Kenyan industry professionals, both emerging and established, to share experiences through master classes.

The partners are drawn from both European countries and Kenyan organisations, and they include ANGA IMAX Cinemas, Black Rhino VR, White Rhino Films, Huipalas Cultural Centre, German School Nairobi, Slum Film Festival, Goethe-Institut Nairobi, Lake International Panafrican Film Festival, Alliance Française, Machawood, La Cinémathèque Afrique and Mookh.

During the launch on May 3 in Nairobi, European Union Ambassador to Kenya, Stefano A. Dejak, said:

Cultural relations are a cornerstone of our engagement here in Kenya, within the people to people dimension of our partnership. In its 28th Edition, the European Film Festival is an important event in Nairobi's cultural calendar to truly look forward to.


This year’s programme will again be richer and ever more interesting, thanks to the joint work of the European Union Delegation to Kenya, European Union Member State, other participating European countries and our Kenyan partner organisations.”

The objective, according to festival curator Nyambura M. Waruingi is to foster a relationship of mutuality and respect of each other’s cinema cultures.

Through the screenings and various special engagements, we are proud of the unique programming that not only gives you a taste of Europe’s finest, but also, the changing faces of Europe, while remaining engaged with the vibrant independent Kenyan filmmaking industry, both young and seasoned. The European Film Festival forges ahead to foster cinematic experiences for us all,’’ she said.

Participating European countries this year are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, UK and Ukraine.

Screenings will take place at IMAX and Arfa Lounge at 20th Century, ANGA IMAX (Diamond Plaza), August 7th Memorial Park, Alchemist, Alliance Française, Dagoz Artist Bar, German School Nairobi, and the Goethe-Institut, as well as Huipalas Roof TopHub, Maasai Mbili and Creatives Garage.