TropFest Nairobi |23rd & 25th March 2014


Tropfest is Australia’s most prestigious short film festival and one of its most iconic cultural events. It is also the largest short film festival in the world. Tropfest is recognised for its enormous contribution to the development of the Australian film industry by providing unique platforms for talented filmmakers through its events and initiatives, and new and expanded audiences for their work.

The annual short film competition is open to anyone who wishes to enter – regardless of their background or experience. 16 Finalists are selected from an entry pool of an average 700 annual entries and compete for more than $100,000 in prizes. Past judges have included some of the best and well known actors and directors in the world including John Woo, Cate Blanchett, Samuel L Jackson, Baz Luhrmann, Geoffrey Rush, Sam Neill, Ewan McGregor, Jane Campion, Salma Hayek, and Gabriel Byrne.

As a guest of the Australian High Commission in Pretoria, Tropfest Managing Director Michael Laverty, will visit Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg and Pretoria to present a series of short film screenings to South African audiences. The film program will comprise highlights from former Tropfest Australia winners and finalists between the years 2005 and December 2013. Tropfest films will also be screened at events in Kenya and Zimbabwe this month. The screenings form part of Tropfest’s commitment to fostering filmmaking talent at an international level,

The massive expansion of Tropfest around the globe conveys a worldwide appetite for fresh storytelling voices. It is so exciting to have Tropfest travel to Africa. We know that there is an enormous community of storytellers in this region, and we hope to one day establish a local platform for these filmmakers – with a global audience to share their stories with.

– Tropfest Founder and Director, John Polson

I am proud that Australia is supporting this important cultural exchange in the film sector, and hope that Tropfest will be well received by South African audiences. This festival forms part of a larger program of cultural and sporting events planned to coincide with this year’s 20th anniversary of democracy celebrations, which will showcase the strong and diverse Australia-South Africa relationship to the broader public.

– HE Mr Graeme Wilson, Australia’s High Commissioner to South Africa

How can short film festivals provide a platform for talented young filmmakers?

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CinemAfrica Sweden 2014 | 19 – 23 March


19th – 23rd March 2014

CinemAfrica arranges the largest African film festival in Sweden. The festival is a unique opportunity for children, youth and adults to watch and discuss films from emerging African film industries. They show feature films, documentaries, short films and animations made by filmmakers of African descent and works to highlight the Africans own pictures and stories.

Kenyan artists/filmmakers Wangechi Mutu and Jim Chuchu both have work that is screening. Mutu’s first animated film The End of eating Everything will be screening and Chuchu’s work is also screening as part of the African Metropolis project which I previously featured here.

African metropolis

cinemafrica 2014

There are also talks and special Q&A sessions throughout the festival. What part does contemporary art from Africa play across the global art world? Three artists who all use visual art as one of their mediums will be hosting a discussion, international Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu, producer/researcher/presenter Zina Saro-Wiwa and innovative filmmaker Frances Bodomo. In collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm. This event is free.


Stuart Hall was one of the greatest and most influential thinkers, and has been a constant presence in the global public debate for over 50 years, a pioneer in everything from the British New Left to feminist cultural analysis and postcolonial studies. In this sensitive told documentary director John Akomfrah creates a beatiful portrait of Stuart Hall from archive images and audio fragments, and creates an equal political and personal dialogue about memory, identity and our age’s dramatic history.

cinemafrica 2014

The history of black women in the American civil rights movement in the 60’s – and 70’s in a large-scale and ambitious documentary, a celebration of generations and a lesson to today’s feminists from the young, Nigeria-born filmmaker Nevline Nnaji. With a mixture of fresh interviews and archival material, we follow the emergence of a strong, international solidarity, black feminism, which is forced to fight against both sexist structures in the civil rights movement and racist structures in the women’s movement.


Some would argue that no area within the film world has changed so fast and so spectacularly in recent years as the African music videos, today a giant industry that established links with many of the most exciting and experimental willing new filmmakers. Along with a panel of directors who all have been involved in various ways in the music video world, examples will be shown and there will be discussions about the production, aesthetics, the music industry and how today directors are approaching the history and future.  Teddy Goitom from Stocktown where music videos are prominently featured, will be on the panel.

Also screening are various films I have featured here including Afronauts  and Boneshaker by Frances Bodomo,

The Robots of Brixton and Jonah by Kibwe Tavares,

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The Future Weird | Remote Control

future weird

When: 26th March 2014
Where: Spectacle Theatre, 124 S. 3rd Street, Brooklyn, New York 11211

Presented by Derica Shields and Megan Eardley, the title is inspired by The State’s ongoing documentation of non-western futurisms. To read about previous Future Weird events I have written about go here. The Future Weird screenings focus on films by directors from Africa and the Global South. They serve to,

foreground films that are experimental, or which imagine the future from a non-Western perspective because, as Samuel R. Delaney puts it: “Science fiction isn’t just thinking about the world out there. It’s also thinking about how that world might be — a particularly important exercise for those who are oppressed, because if they’re going to change the world we live in, they — and all of us — have to be able to think about a world that works differently.”

REMOTE CONTROL is an evening of short films concerning witches and bitches – women who see, take, and sell things they cannot grasp. Whether they wield powers to possess, or are somehow controlled, the technologies these films document are deployed without regard for reciprocity or consent.
Shrouded in secrecy and activated by sympathetic thinking and emotional manipulation, REMOTE CONTROL promises the loss of individual agency, and the thrilling ability to inhabit another’s body. From the excitement surrounding the technical apparatus to the far more sinister compulsion to repurpose the humanoid, you are invited to contemplate the “human use of human beings” this month.

REMOTE CONTROL features the work of:
Shola Amoo (who will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A of her film “Touch”).
Fyzal Boulifa
Elaine Castillo
Zina Saro Wiwa
and Lab Rats

Join them on Thursday 26th March, 8PM at the Spectacle Theatre.

Follow The Future Weird on Tumblr and Facebook.

Watch ’12 Years A Slave’ And Other Films For FREE (Fans In Kenya)

paa ya paa

Paa Ya Paa Arts Centre are holding a films and media exhibition as part of Black History Month. The arts centre is a place for inspiration and development for indigenous artists and art lovers. Their programs include visual arts, music, dance, theatre and photography. Paa Ya Paa describe their name origin as,

a compound Swahili name which literally means “The Antelope Rising”. In Swahili “paa” means “rise” and also means an “antelope”. In the 1960s the antelope had become a regular subject for the curio wood carvers designed to attract tourists in East Africa. Symbolically, therefore, Paa Ya Paa is a spiritual calling in the hope that the simple artistic expressions will rise in to a new realm of open-minded creative adventures, adventures that will give new scope for free creative self-expressions of the artist as well as the ethics and aesthetics that make the pursuit of excellence in the creative arts a worthwhile discipline.

There will be a mixed media exhibit that can be viewed before the start of the films and there are moderated discussions after the screenings. All screenings are FREE and will take place at Paa Ya Paa Arts Centre in Ridgeways. The schedule is as follows:


12 Years A Slave, Saturday February 8th 2014, 16:00

This is a historical drama film 12 Years A Slave directed by British artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen. It is also notable for being Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o‘s first film role for which she has been nominated and won a host of awards. The story is based on the memoir of Solomon Northup, a Black man (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) and talented musician who was born free in New York state, kidnapped in Washington D.C., then sold into slavery and kept in bondage for 12 years.




Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Saturday February 15th 2014, 16:00

Based on South African President Nelson Mandela‘s autobiography of the same name, which chronicles his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison before becoming President and working to rebuild the country’s once segregated society. The film stars Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela and Naomie Harris as Winnie Madikizela–Mandela.




The Butler, Saturday February 22nd 2014, 16:00

Loosely based on the real life of Eugene Allen, the film stars Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, an African-American who eyewitnesses notable events of the 20th century during his 34-year tenure serving as a White House butler, and Oprah Winfrey plays his wife Gloria Gaines.

Maafa 21: Black Genocide in 21st Century America, Saturday March 1st 2014, 16:00

Maafa 21 is a film that argues the modern-day prevalence of abortion among African Americans is rooted in an attempted genocide or maafa of black people. It alleges that the eugenics movement that targeted African Americans in the 19th and 20th centuries formed the basis for the creation of the American Birth Control League (now Planned Parenthood) by Margaret Sanger and the abortion-rights movement of the 20th and 21st centuries. Maafa is derived from a Swahili term for “disaster” or “great tragedy”. View the trailer here:

Paa Ya Paa Arts Centre
Paa Ya Paa Lane, Ridgeways Road (Off) Kiambu Road
P.O.Box 49646-00100 NAIROBI, Kenya
Tel. +254 (0)20 851 2257 Cel. +254- 733 270 109

Watch ‘Something Necessary’ For FREE


something necessary

The fourth film in the HBF x Hivos Online Series is Something Necessary by Judy Kibinge, available from Friday 31 January 2014, 11:00 hrs (CET) for 24 hours worldwide (except in Germany, the UK and Switzerland) on the IFFR YouTube channel. Something Necessary was given a Hubert Bals Fund grant for Post-production Support in 2012.



Something Necessary shows the impact of the 2007 post-election violence,

Election violence based on ethnicity is a recurrent phenomenon in Kenya, but the destruction in 2007 was unparalleled. Youth gangs egged on by politicians roamed the country for three months, plundering, raping and murdering. Some 1200 people were killed. Over 300,000 Kenyans fled. The International Court of Justice in The Hague is still investigating suspects.
Anne is one of the victims: her husband dead, son in a coma, farm destroyed and she herself ended up in a hospital bed. For the sake of her child, she wants to build up her life again, whatever the cost. She meets Joseph, who was on the side of the culprits during the riots. He is burdened by guilt, but is still under the control of the gang he was a member of. Both look for a way out.
Something Necessary tells the true story. The film primarily shows how complex things are when it’s not about the statistics of a conflict but the people behind the numbers.


Hivos in Kenya

From behind the scenes, Hivos supports independent cinema in Kenya. Hivos is partner of the Kenya Media Programme and the Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking that aim to improve the quality of journalism and filmmaking in Kenya. To help Kenya have a free, fair, peaceful and credible elections Hivos partnered with Ushahidi, a Kenya technology developer, and various civil society organisations to come up with the joint initiative Uchaguzi to monitor Kenya’s electoral process. Uchaguzi means ‘election’ in Swahili. Hivos facilitated the process of creating an election monitoring platform in 2013.

About the director
Judy KIBINGE (1967, Kenya) moved to the US and later to the UK during her childhood and studied communication in Manchester. After her return to Kenya she worked in advertising and became the country’s first black creative director. Since 1999 she has dedicated herself fully to film. She is the driving force behind film production house Seven, established in 2006. Her debut A Dangerous Affair received an award at the Zanzibar Film Festival in 2003. Something Necessary is her third feature film.