The filmmaking sector in the country is slowly finding its way after a long period of dormancy attributed to underfunding among other factors.
One such good example of the growth of the industry is the upcoming Third Lake International Pan African Film Festival (LIPFF).
The initiative by Dr. Zippy Okoth, the first Kenyan female with a PhD in theatre arts, aims at celebrating the diversity of African cultures through film. This year’s festival attracted a total of 1,983 in different categories namely feature and short films, animations and documentary films, out of which 398 were produced by African filmmakers.
Under the Legacy Theatre & Film Lab umbrella registered in 2015, Dr. Okoth says she has seen tremendous growth from last year’s edition.
“It’s a great improvement from last year when we received 1,508 films in total. Films from 14 African countries will be screened during the festival,” Says Dr. Okoth.
This year’s edition of LIPFF is set to take place in Nakuru from November 7-10 with 46 films from Kenya being screened while Nigeria has 66 on the list. Other participating countries include Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ghana, South Africa, Madagascar, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal and Congo.
The screening will take place at the Nakuru Players Theatre, at the city’s Kenya National Library Services and in two social halls, one at Bondeni, one at Kaptembwa.
Dr. Okoth who has vast experience in acting, directing, producing and scriptwriting says that the support she gets from her team is the reason she has been able to achieve this milestone alluding to the fact that even selecting which films out of the 1983 to make it to the shortlist was not an easy task.
The film festival which comes in handy with a three-day training workshop will take place as it has been instrumental in supporting upcoming filmmakers. Best case scenario is the “Seredo” film that was made by three Kisumu youth groups that attended the training last year. All the films have to be made in African languages as a prerequisite condition to make it to the festival.
“Seredo was made by three Kisumu youth groups who wrote the script during the workshop. All the films had to be made in African languages. All the films must have English sub-titles,” she says