Daystar Hosts the First Ever East Africa Students Film Festival
Daystar University in partnership with Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB), Kenya Film Commission (KFC), Zamaradi Productions, the French Embassy, Ethiopian Embassy, Red Fourth and Infinix Mobile organized the first ever East Africa Student’s Film Festival (EASFF 2017), at Daystar University Nairobi Campus from November 6 – 11, 2017.
The festival, which is organised by students from the School of Communication, Language and Performing Arts, under the leadership of their lecturer and Film Director Mr. Emmanuel Wanyonyi, was attended by students and faculty from 11 universities in the region. These included Daystar University, University of Nairobi, United States International University – Africa (USIU-Africa), Kenyatta University, Technical University of Kenya, Pan Africa Christian University, Riara University, St. Paul’s University, Uganda Christian University (UCU), Makerere University – Uganda, University of Iringa in Tanzania and Ruaha Catholic University, Tanzania.
The opening ceremony was presided over by Mr. Francis Wangusi, the Director General of Communications Authority of Kenya. Speaking to the budding film makers, Mr. Wangusi lamented that the industry was presently struggling to meet the required 40% local content.
He however expressed hope that with the growing passion for film as demonstrated by the East Africa Film Festival through Daystar University, the situation could change. He promised that the Authority will work with institutions of higher learning to promote the film industry in Kenya. His dream is that the industry will produce local content that can be exported to other countries.
“Don’t leave us to access fake materials when you can create educative films,” he said, further challenging the students to use their smart phones to create films. He pointing out that their passion for film can create new employment opportunities for themselves and others. Mr. Wangusi promised to have the Communications Authority of Kenya among sponsors of the next EASFF.
The Vice Chancellor Prof Timothy Wachira admitted that the presence of Government officials, the number of participating institutions and sponsors was an indication of the importance of the Festival. He lauded the Dean, School of Communication Prof. Levi Obonyo, and the Film Festival Director Mr. Emmanuel Wanyonyi, for organizing the annual event.
“We are streamlining our partnership with all stakeholders to ensure that, that which is necessary for shaping our culture is included in our curriculum at Daystar,” the VC said, adding that it is necessary to ensure that the Film industry is in the hands of the academics.
Among the activities of the week were panel discussions by various groups, that combined academics, professionals in the industry and students, who themselves are film makers.
Panel discussion topics included:
– The Role of the Academy in Expanding the Theoretical and Conceptual frameworks of National Cinemas Towards an East African Cinema, moderated by Jim Shamoon, Blue Sky Films.
– The Pedagogy of Film: New Approaches to Creative, Inventive and Generative ‘Cinema-thinking’ in the Academy by Mr. James Evans Mutua, Lecturer & Filmmaker, USIU-Africa, Kenya.
– Models of Film Financing and Branding: Film Practitioner Versus Student Filmmaker by Mr. Timothy Owase, Marketing & Product Development Manager, Kenya Film Commission (KFC).
– Career-Building Strategies: Acting and Actors, Creativity and Mentorship moderated by our very own lecturer, Dr. Wambui Wamunyu- Lecturer, Daystar University
– Thematizing Culture, Gender and the East African Agenda in Film by Dr. Joyce Omwoha, HOD- Department of Journalism & Media Studies- Technical University of Kenya (TU-K).
– The Politics of Cinema: Who are the winners and losers? Moderated by Judy Magu, Independent Line Producer.
Leading the panel discussions were Dr. Edwin Nyutho, Actor, Film Scholar and Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Mr. Rene Denis, French Embassy, Mr. Emmanuel Wanyonyi, Lecturer, Daystar University, Ms. Nelly Muluka, Corporate Communications Manager, Kenya Film Classification Board, Ms. Carol Njoroge- Ag. C.E.O, The Kenya Film Commission, among others.
On Thursday, 9th November EASFF moved to Athi River Campus, where they held Master Classes on film by industry practitioners.
The culmination of the Film Festival will be a Red carpet Gala/Awards ceremony, which will take place on Saturday November 11, 2017 at the Nairobi Campus. The guest of honor will be Dr. Ezekiel Mutua – Chief Executive Officer Kenya Film Classification Board.