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  AFRICA INITIATIVE

2013

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.

2012

In October 2012, Pramod Mathur and Neelima Mathur were invited to be on the jury of the Kenya International Film Festival and conduct a documentary workshop for Kenyan documentary film-makers during the event.

The aim of the workshop was to expand the knowledge base about the international documentary field and initiate capacity-building for global documentary projects about Africa by African film-makers.

The response to the workshop was immense. The film ideas presented during these sessions reflected a wide-ranging overview of the pulse of East Africa with subjects ranging from modern views on marriage to ancient questionable practices and norms to historical recreations of leaders and activists who have spearheaded democratic movements.

The documentary workshop has succeeded in building a deep association between FORMEDIA and the East Africa Documentary Network (EADN) and future collaborations with Kenya and Uganda have already been confirmed.

Subsequently, FORMEDIA has secured reduced rate packages for EADN from an international copyright free music portal, Audio Network and the premier networking institution for documentaries in Europe, the European Documentary Network (EDN). Both Audio Network and EDN have been very proactive and responsive in opening their doors to this emerging world of documentary film-makers in East Africa.

FORMEDIA has also provided a video kit of learning tools for basics in camera, sound recording and editing for each chapter of the EADN in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. This is seen as a starting point for advanced level capacity- building workshops in the future.

 

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