Docuboxers, can you believe we’ve crossed the 100 day mark of 2017? The first quarter is slowly ebbing away. Global warming is undeniable: its been a parched and dry start to the year and we have born witness to the desperation that accompanies drought. Desperate farmers and clashes up North over grazing rights between pastoralists and ranchers have dominated the news and we are extremely thankful for the rain.
Its with this in mind that we celebrate our Good Pitch filmmakers (Kenyan farmer Kisilu Musya, Norwegian filmmaker Julia Dahr and their producer and their moving and timely film THANK YOU FOR THE RAIN in our April banner. The film launched at Copenhagen DOX in March to criticall acclaim.
WARRIORS FROM THE NORTH MASTERCLASS
On the 22nd February 2017 we held a Masterclass of our Film of the month Warriors From the North. The Directors Nasib Farah and Soreen Steen together with the Director Of Photography Henrik Ipsen spent the whole afternoon at Docubox sharing insights into how they made their film – and why. The filmmakers in attendance made invaluable learnings about the challenges of shooting in Somalia, the treatment of the Muslim person in Denmark and more. We also learned more about the filmmakers and their bodies of work. If you’re a film maker, oh you missed,! Big time! Don’t feel too bad – watch our spaces for future workshops. We want you the filmmakers to learn from the worlds best so that we can raise the bar.
FEBRUARY FILM : Warriors From The North
This insightful film about young Somali men living in Nordic countries recruited to join Al Shabaab evoked the most extreme of emotions. The filmmaker, Nasib, grew up in Denmark and his unique access to the young men in the film – Nordic citizens turned terrorist – gives rare access to a shadowy topic. In the opening scene, a young man with his back pointed away from the camera outlines the conditions that make boys such as him susceptible to the lure of the “holy war”, explaining that “nothing in my life made any sense.” So eloquent is he in his account that one might think it was scripted, but what happened to him is as real as the scenes from a suicide attack by one of his former friends that was shown in the film. Many audience members demanded wanted to know why the film was so dark and why it felt so hopeless and it was great to have the filmmakers present to respond directly – in this case, sharing that documentary films power isn’t about painting a positive picture of the world, but about reflecting the world as the filmmaker sees it and encouraging dialogue, debate and change around issues that shape the world today.
From right Director of Photography Henrik Bohn Ipsen Directors Søren Steen and lastly on the right Nasib Farah .
MARCH FILM: An Insignificant Man
Arvind Kerjiwal is a “kawaida mwananchi” (common citizen), in India. This film follows him, and his Common Man’s Party – an insurgent new political party, as they wield basic public issues like water, electricity, and graft against the country’s oldest and most powerful two political establishments. The discussions after were a heated portrayal of what becomes of political discussion anywhere, and it did help fuel the flames that our panelists were radical and different in their own rights. Our Panelists were Boniface Mwangi a reknown photographer turned activist in Kenya who brought out his combative freedom fighting side to the table. The audience got to learn first hand about his newly registered Ukweli party and why Boniface thinks its different from the other political parties around. A former media personality Sabina Stadler Anyango brought the “Christian calling” side of politics and God led leadership that she believes in. Willice Onyango put the fight for the youths on the table in a cool manner, impressing the audience with his eloquence and oft bombastic) arguments. Together with our monthy moderator, Docubox Programs Director Peter Mudamba, the three gave the room alot to think about. Lets hope the coming August elections bring own crop Insignificant Men to parliament!
Political Activist & Aspirant for Member Of Parliament Starehe Consituency.
Media Personality & MCA aspirant Mugumo-Ini Ward Langata Area Nairobi.
International Youth Advocate Chairperson of the International Youth Council Chapter in Kenya
The city of Hamburg found a new resident – our very own Peter Mudamba who spent a few weeks polishing up his German before heading to Berlinale. A Mudamba Special For You…
“The German visit to Hamburg and then to Berlinale in Berlin was facilitated by the Goethe Institut Nairobi. The support was to aid me to attend German Language Course (Deustch SprachKurs) and more importantly to me is that it gave me as Docubox PD a chance to seek linkages and partnerships in both cities in Germany. I initialy held Hamburg a fruitful meeting with the Head of the Short Film Festival known as KIFF (Internatinale Kurz Filme Festival in Hamburg) Mr. Sven Shwarz.
In Berlin, a highlight of the Berlinale was the Africa Hub, a great space for presentations and networking. I held Fruitful meetings here with David wa Maahlamela of Director of DIF in KZN, Jackie Motsoepe KZN Film Commission with whom we to have a closer working relationship. I also met Angela Lee of Film Independent, Dorothee Wenner, Barbara Off of DOK Fest Munich, as well as several Directors and Producers all who were pleasantly surprised by Docuboxs’ progress and eager to connect, visit train and/or work with, or share experiences at the Film Hub we are setting up.
Other important contacts made were with World Cinema Fund (WCF), and alos Mr Uwe, a representative of Heinz of Independent Film. It was also nice to meet familiar friends such as Don Edkins and Steven Markovitz there too. I also watched at least 6 great films at different venues, which is part of the Festival experience.”
THANK YOU FOR THE RAIN… COMING TO SCREENS AND MARKETPLACES AROUND KENYA SOON!
Long form documentary feature films aren’t easy to make . And even harder for audiences to find and see. Emily Wanja our in-house producer who is working as Impact Producer for our Good Pitch film Thank You For The Rain. We extend heart appreciation to SItawa Namwalia who opened Good Pitch Kenya with her stunning poetry and then generously volunteered to coach the already eloquent and engaging farmer. Kisilu, the main character of the film a farmer form Makueni literally brought the house down and received a standing ovation from the TED TALKS audience. He is one of the handful of hopefuls selected for the next TED GLOBAL in Arusha later this year – one of just 8 selected from hundreds of hopefuls.
SO that was the beginning of our year. Pretty mindblowing! We look forward to the next quarter of 2017!