The Film industry rise

The Film industry rise

Machakos County has officially launched its fourth edition of MachakosFest, a short film festival that aims to promote talent among film and music makers. With huge successes in the previous editions, this year is expected to be nothing short of double numbers, with the submissions having started. “The grand prize will be Sh1 million for the winning film and Sh500,000 for the second. The third and fourth prizes will take home Sh250,000 and Sh100,000 respectively,” Victor Muniafu, Machawood CEO, told Monday Blues.

Machawood is a Machakos County entertainment arm mandated to deal with film, music and creative arts. The submission categories include animation, horror, action, romance, thrill, Sci-fi, documentaries and drama. The submissions will close on November 2, ahead of the judging and the gala to be held in December. 

Elsewhere, a drama and comedy short film Janarobi, was launched at the weekend. The film, directed by award-winning filmmaker Robbie Odongo, was launched in a colourful event held at Vic Hotel in Kisumu. The event saw the cream of the Kisumu film and entertainment industry come together. At the same time, the Kenya Film Commission unveiled a jury of experts for the second edition of the ‘My Kenya My Story’ mobile phone film competition.

This is a competition for short Kenyan films shot exclusively using mobile phones. This year’s edition is themed "Mental Health and Wellness". By the closure of submission period on July 19, they had received 68 entries from around the country. The jury includes Stephen Maina, Carole Gikandi, Benson Mutahi, Cosmas Bii and Violet Okech. It has been tasked with reviewing the entries, shortlisting nominees and tallying votes.

The jury vote will constitute 70 per cent, while an online public voting exercise will constitute 30 per cent of the total vote. The best short film will receive Sh200,000 while the first and second runners-up will receive Sh150,000 and Sh100,000 respectively. This competition seeks to inspire creativity among filmmakers and to widen the scope of film making using smart phones. This year’s theme is geared towards highlighting the state of mental health in Kenya, characterised by the rising number of mental disorder cases and associated crimes. The winners of this edition will be announced on August 23.