Posted by Afrika Eye on Oct 23, 2012
A discussion on how Digital can expand the audience for the African moving image. Free. Why not reserve your place at Watershed? Otherwise you’ll need to pick up a free ticket from the box office on the day (space is limited).
STOP PRESS. If you can’t attend at Watershed or the iHub, why not follow the event via google plus and Twitter? Go to Tim Kindberg’s google plus page for a live video of the proceedings (and a recording afterwards). We’ll be tweeting with hashtag #africani. Add your voice!
Following on from the recent discussion at Encounters, Afrika eye is looking deeper into the question of how Digital can help expand the audience for the African moving image. We are holding a panel discussion simultaneously – both at Bristol’s Watershed and Nairobi’s iHub – live-linked by video.
The Bristol panellists are Afrika Eye’s Simon Bright, director of Mugabe, and Andrew Mugoya, founder of Afriapps.com. In Nairobi will be Wanuri Kahiu, director of Pumzi, John Mwangi, owner of Zenj Multimedia Communications, Bob Nyanja, director of The Rugged Priest. Additionally, David Tosh Gitonga, director of Nairobi Half Life, will join us from Los Angeles. See below for further information about the panellists.
Panellists and audience will debate where Digital will take the African moving image, and how African digital practices will affect the rest of the world. Differences between the Kenyan scene and other parts of the continent will be discussed. The goal is to look at some of the leading figures and the digital and cultural context they work in, including film creation, distribution and viewing.
Ultimately we aim to foster collaborations that will bring more African moving images to viewers inside and outside the continent.
The African Interactive discussion precedes the opening film of the Afrika Eye Film Festival, La Pirogue at 8.30 pm.
Producer Simon Bright (Bristol panel) is a director of Afrika Eye. He and co-director Ingrid Sinclair lived and worked in Harare, Zimbabwe, where they founded Zimmedia Film and Video production company and were founder members of the Southern African Film Festival. Last year Afrika Eye screened the European premiere of Simon’s new major documentary, Robert Mugabe… what happened?, which went on to be nominated for best documentary at the South African Film and Television awards. In the months to come, he’ll be on the lookout for the latest and greatest productions from the bottom of the world.
David Tosh Gitonga (Nairobi panel) popularly known as Tosh was born in a small town named Nanyuki in the East of Kenya on 20th Sep 1981. He studied Marketing and ended up in a Production Studio Baraka Studios for his internship. Here he was introduced to the world of Film as he did his first feature film Dangerous Affairs as a production assistant making coffee and photocopying scripts. He wasn’t bothered since he was only there for his internship but the film bug caught him and before he knew it he was doing more productions Babus Babies 2003 and going up the ladder into the Directors department. He dealt with extras in the German Film Die Weise Maasai (The White Maasai) 2005. Tosh continued to work on several other productions as an assistant director, Africa mon Amor 2006, Malooned 2007, Garden of Eden 2007, First Grader 2009 and finally in 2010 he enrolled in the One Fine day Master class where he was selected to direct his first feature film Nairobi Half Life under the supervision of Tom Tykwer.
In 2008, Wanuri Kahiu (Nairobi panel) completed her first feature film From A Whisper based on the real life events surrounding the August 7, twin bombings of US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998. The film won 5 awards at the Africa Movie Academy Awards including Best Director and Best Picture. The film went on to win awards including, the Golden Dhow award for Best East African Picture at Zanzibar International Film Festival and Best Film at Kalasha, Kenya Film and TV awards, Best Actor at Tarifa Film Festival and Best Film at Pan African Film Festival, Los Angeles. Shortly after she completed a documentary about the life of Nobel peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai entitled For Our Land (2009) for M-Net ‘Great Africans’ Series. In 2009 she wrote and directed a short Science Fiction Film Pumzi that was partially funded by Focus Features (part of NBC universal), Goethe Institut and the Changa Moto Fund in Kenya. After playing at Sundance film festival, Pumzi won Best Short at Cannes Independent Film Festival, May 2010 and took Silver at Carthage Film Festival Tunisia, October 2010. Wanuri is now adapting two books into feature length narrative films and working on a documentary about the indie-pop local group ‘Just A Band’.
Andrew Mugoya (Bristol panel) is the Founder and Technical Director of the Asilia creative agency (http://www.weareasilia.com). Asilia offers design, web and creative services. It has branches in London and Nairobi with an extensive list of clients from across the world, including Film Africa (http://www.filmafrica.org.uk) and Buni TV (http://www.buni.tv). Andrew has considerable experience as a developer and project manager having worked in technology for more than 7 years at Barclays, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan. He is the author of the well-received e-book, ‘African Apps in a Global Marketplace’ (available on http://www.afriapps.com) which draws from his considerable experience to offers useful insights and tips on how African developers can be competitive in the global marketplace. Andrew holds a First in Computer Engineering from Warwick University and a Masters from Oxford University.
John Mwangi (Nairobi panel) is the owner of Zenj Multimedia Communications and the Kenyan Media Production Company Riverwood Investments, which owns the upcoming website riverwood.tv. His goals are to help create a vibrant commercially viable Audio Visual industry in East Africa that reflects our common cultural and historic heritage, and to create products that are distinctly East African. He authored a report on the Informal Kenyan Film Industry and was featured by WIPO on Copyright Issues in the Informal Creative Industry. He was part of the team that drafted the yet to be adopted Kenya National Film Policy. Formerly, he was a publicity consultant for the Kenya Human Rights Commission.
Bob Nyanja (Nairobi panel) always wanted to be a film maker. Growing up in the dirty streets of Nairobi, Eastlands, Bob recalls watching Cowboy Films in the morning shows that cost only 2 shillings. Then there were the Bollywood blockbusters. His passion for Film grew and Bob focused his energies in the drama club through high school. At University, Bob committed his time to studying literature and towards the end of his Post-graduate programme, he got a Scholarship to study Film and Video Production in the United States. Bob returned in 1997 to work in Production companies as a Producer for TV commercials. He began to get opportunities to Direct and Produce numerous commercials, TV shows, Documentaries and Corporate Videos. In 1999, Bob proposed a Comedy Show for the New Nation TV station that was being set up. The popular comedy show called “Redykyulass” became a major hit, parodying politicians and the Kenyan society at large. “The Rugged Priest” is Bob’s second feature and it’s a controversial story inspired by true events.