Renowned Kenyan film director Bob Nyanja’s latest film “The Rugged Priest” lived up to its billing as one of the best locally made films when it scooped the prestigious Golden Dhow award at the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) held last week.
The controversial Father Kaiser-inspired Kenyan film, which opened in Kenyan theatres a few weeks ago, was a hit and won accolades from critics and fans alike, and the judges at the film festival were also impressed.
“The film is made with very good cinematographic technique and intelligent use of filmic language” said the ZIFF jury.
Nyanja, whose studio Cinematics produced the movie, was happy with the award saying he was glad that his team’s efforts were rewarded.
“We put our all into the film,” says Nyanja. “We wanted to make a statement with this film. Even though we did not have enough money, we have ambition and we hoped people would take note and reward us for real commitment.”
Nyanja, who has worked on several international films and TV shows and some major Hollywood films like “Nowhere in Africa” and “Tomb Raider”, added he expects the “Rugged Priest” to win a lot more awards and hopefully get an international distributor.
“We achieved certain minimal standards and we are on the threshold of international recognition. We are sending it to some of the top film festivals like Berlin, Verona, Amsterdam, Toronto and several festivals in the US,” he says.
The Silver Dhow feature film went to another Kenyan film, “Togetherness Supreme” by Nathan Collett.
The Jury described it as a “remarkable, vibrant feature film of high technical skill and creativity” depicting a difficult and troubled period in the history of Kenya.
Drama at Jambo awards tour
Last Saturday’s first tour of Jambo Music Video awards, held in Mombasa, was marred by controversy as organisers failed to honour agreement with artistes who headlined the performances.
By last Thursday, main artistes who performed, including Mejja, Tierra G, BMF, among others, had not been paid the full amount of their performance fees, as the organisers were evading them.
According to artistes who spoke to Buzz, the organisers - Skeme Events - had promised to settle the deal by last Monday, but failed to do so.
At the back stage during the event, most of the Mombasa-based artistes had refused to go on stage until their down-payment was paid first.
“Now it appears that they haven’t even settled the accommodation fees at the hotel where the artistes were, since some of their bags and other belongings have been confiscated by the hotel,” said our source, who requested anonymity.
The show, held at the Mombasa’s Mama Ngina Drive last weekend was the inaugural event and they are planning to do a countrywide tour before holding the main gala night in August.
Efforts to reach the organisers for comments went futile as they had switched off their phones.
Golden Mic awards for October
The second annual Smirnoff Florida Golden Mic awards will be held on October 1.
This time round, they will be focusing on artistes and DJs in the East African region who kicked off their music career at the F2’s Jam Session years ago, and others in the Diaspora, said Graham Katana, Florida Group’s entertainment manager.
“It’s going to be bigger and better this year as we appreciate all those who passed through our stage to stardom,” said Katana.
The awards, started last year, aims to award all the artistes who kicked off their careers through the Florida 2000 Jam Session, held every Sunday afternoon.
Mwangaza fest to be launched
A new monthly family festival, Mwangaza Festivals, is set to be launched next month.
The gospel festival will target youths, children and parents who will be entertained with live performances from top gospel musicians.
According to the organisers, the aim of the event is to bring people together and enable them to network.
Entrepreneurs will also have stands where they can interact directly to clients at the event, which will be held at the Railways Club on August 7.