In 2013, Charles Asiba, Festival Director of the erstwhile Kenya International Film Festival, established the Film Africa Documentary Festival.
FORMEDIA initiated linkages for Film Africa with DOK Leipzig and STEPS International. As a result, Film Africa received a great collection of films including from the global WhyDemocracy and WhyPoverty series. It also included a set of documentaries from India, primarily from film-makers associated with various FORMEDIA international projects.
Neelima Mathur was invited to conduct a workshop during the festival. Goethe Institut provided the facility for this intensive workshop with practising and aspiring Kenyan documentary film-makers. It was a friendly group of carefully chosen12 participants. Ms. Barbara Reich, in charge of Cultural Programmes at Goethe, took great personal care to ensure the smooth functioning of the workshop. All participants received a certificate during a warm closing ceremony. During which, Mr. Asiago from the Kenyan Film Commission indicated that they would offer much support to the Film Africa initiative in the coming years.
After an elaborate introduction to essential aspects of documentary film-making, the remaining sessions were devoted to exhaustive one-to-one discussions on projects between one film-maker and the trainer. Each participant had the opportunity to brainstorm and work through their proposal idea in depth. All participants were observers through this process and were also asked to provide their inputs for each project. As per the feedback, Kenyan documentary film-makers are obviously looking for more such workshops with scaling levels.
During the interim period, Cecilie Bolvinkel of EDN (European Documentary Network), offered to send a few copies of the famous EDN Guide for East Africa. They are ‘old’ guides (2013) but would be a great resource for sharing among the aspirants. The copies are being distributed by Goethe Institut to appropriate agencies like East Africa Documentary Network and Ugandan Film Festival.