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Winners of Slum Film Festival headed for big screens

Friday October 24 2014

About Ndugu and I Have Just Had A Dream film posters. PHOTO | MARGARETTA WA GACHERU

About Ndugu and I Have Just Had A Dream film posters. PHOTO | MARGARETTA WA GACHERU 

The winners of this year’s Slum Film Festival (SFF)  are set to feature on the continental and European screens.

Festival Director Josphat Keya says the top films that celebrate slums and videos that emerge from informal settlements will be shown at SFF partner festivals in Africa and European countries like Spain.

In Spain, the productions will be screened during The African Film Festival of Cordoba (Festival de Cine Africano de Córdoba).

The works that will be shown to foreign audiences include About Ndugu directed by David Munoz (SFF Documentary Winner 2014), I Just Had a Dream directed by Java Navaro Mentero (SFF Drama Winner 2014), Dagoretti’s Breath of Fresh Air directed by Eric Sirama (SFF Community Journalism 2014) and Invisible Scars directed by Michael Kuria/Hot Sun Foundation (SFF Judges Award 2014).

Winners were picked after the two-week festival that ended on October 11.

In its fourth year, the SFF “continues to define itself as a platform for urban slum films,” Mr Keya says.



This year, SFF’s call for narrative features, documentary features, short film entries and community news media projects received over 80 entries — doubling last year’s.

During SFF’s running, full day filmmaking workshops were held at the Alliance Française in Nairobi.

SFF also featured five days of film and documentary screening in Kibera, Mathare and Kawangware, and at venues in Nairobi and Mombasa.

The screening offered a free cinematic experience to thousands of residents.

SFF judges and film mentor Victor Gatonye, a renowned local filmmaker, says they accepted productions from all over the world, but for the winning lot, they looked for films that fitted the Kenyan context.

“They either had to match our culture or be related to people living in slums and their socio-economic situation, but not necessarily,” he says.

“The Drama category winner: Just Had a Dream wasn’t shot in Kenya, but its theme was about appreciating where you’re from and what you have in life.”

Mr Keya says the sharp rise in the  number of entries saw more local stories being told during the event.

Moving forward, SFF aims at becoming an institution that “comes up with film activities and training that can run throughout the year” besides calling for local film submissions,

The 2015 SFF will be held between September and October.