By Margaretta wa Gacheru (posted 2 May 2018)
The 27th European Film Festival opens tonight at the Michael Joseph Centre in Westlands with the Kenya premiere screening of the 2017 Irish film ‘Sanctuary’, directed by Len Collins.
This year’s festival will run from the 4th all the way to the 27th and will be unprecedented on several levels.
First and foremost, there will be more participation by Kenyan filmmakers than ever before. Everyone from Jim Chuchu, Tosh Gitonga and Mbithi Masya to Nick Njache, Kevin Njue, Ng’endo Mukii, Philippa Ndisi-Hermann and Maasai Mbili Films will be both screening their respective films and taking part in question and answer sessions immediately after their films are shown.
There will also be Kenyan video short makers on hand, including Kenyan artists Jackie Karuti, Longinos Nagila and Faith Wanjala as well the winners of the Smartphone competition run by Alliance Francaise. All of them will share their shorts.
And every weekend throughout the festival, the Kenya Scriptwriters Guild will be running workshops either at the Michael Joseph Centre, the National Museum or Alliance Francaise.
The other venues where the festival’s film screenings will take place are Goethe Institute, The Alchemist, The Metta and the August 7 Memorial Park.
Other local organizations taking part in the film fete include Chocolate City, Black Rhino, Association of Animation Artists of Kenya and Machawood.
Never before in the 26 previous EU film festival have we seen so many Kenyan filmmakers participating and showing their films for everyone to see. As the Festival is free admission, it will offer a marvelous opportunity to not only watch some of the best European movies made over the last decade.
Viewers will also have a chance to see films like Tosh Gitonga’s Disconnect, Kevin Njue’s 18 Hours, Jim Chuchu’s ‘Let this be a warning’ and Nick Njache’s Kidnapped.
The 20 European countries that will be showing their films (up from six when the EU film festival first took off in 1991) include Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and United Kingdom.
A number of films will be child-friendly including several animations. But there will also be documentaries, dramas, comedies mysteries, historical fiction, biographies and even a few thrillers.
So there will be films for everyone as well as plenty of interactive features to ensure this will possibly be the liveliest EU film fest to date.