Four Kenyan filmmakers will be among those who will pitch their films to prospective well heeled funders at the Kenya National Theater on October 8. The invite-only Good Pitch2 Kenya Live event is organised by Docubox, a local fund started by filmmaker Judy Kibinge to train and fund documentary makers. It is the second time the event is coming to Africa, the first being in South Africa in 2012. Good Pitch Live events connect the best social justice films with new allies and partners. They are behind the wild success of documentaries like Virunga, about the intervention of communities to save the Congo Forest, and Citizen Four, which is about the American whistleblower, Edward Snowden.
The six films on the spotlight will include Jackie Lebo’s Turkana, Race for Resources, which documents the changing dynamics of the Northern Kenya community after the discovery of oil. Toni Kamau’s Truth is about the lies some people are forced to tell to survive and the consequences of those lies. The Letter by Chris King and Maia von Lekow unearths the real story behind the witch killings of elderly people at the Kenyan Coast. There will also be Thank You for the Rain by Kisilu Musya and a Norwegian producer, which captures the effects of climate change on Musya’s Eastern Kenya village over five years. In The Land of Milk and Honey from South Africa brings to light the untold story of the women of Marikana, who fight for justice after the massacre in August 2012. Survivors from Sierra Leone gives voice to the experiences of Sierra Leonians during the devastating Ebola crisis of 2015.
All these films are in production and will benefit from the funding, endorsements and partnerships that result from Good Pitch Kenya.
Peter Mudamba, the program director at Docubox, says each film has its ‘asks,’ which may include funding, distribution, marketing and networking. He says in Australia’s Good Pitch event, filmmakers raised Sh300 million, and they are hoping to replicate that kind of success.
Organizations that have been invited include embassies, foundations, international development organizations, the government, the media, funding organisations and universities. In attendance will be, among others, AGRA, the Aga Khan Foundation, Amnesty International, Ford Foundation, MasterCard Foundation, HIVOS, Safaricom, Equity Group Foundation, BRCK, Amref, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), TED, Tribeca Film Institute, Truth, Turkana Natural Resources Group, Forum Syd, Heinrich Boell Foundation and the UN. Hadeel Ibrahim, daughter of Sudanese-British philanthropist Mo Ibrahim and the executive director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation will give the opening speech.
“The six films were selected from 100 applications sent in after a call Docubox made at the Durban International Film Festival in 2015. We are confident that these films will rally organisations behind them,” says Mudamba.