07 Nov 2016

Slum films for social change

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Slum Film Festival is the first of its kind platform featuring films makers from the slums in Africa and beyond with the aim of telling the slums story and the reality of life in this environments. Aimed at promoting dialogue about slum life by using stories from slum communities to promote deeper perceptions associated with slum livelihoods, this festival demonstrates that slums are also a home for the very talented, creative and culturally active artists.

 

Not only does the Slum Film Festival aim at celebrating Film Makers, it also has a platform to bring together young people interested in film, and mentoring them through the process of professional film making. In 2016, the Film lab was structured to capacitate young filmmakers from the informal settlements on the art of storytelling and using film for social change including development, production and distribution. With the theme “Africa is Rising”, lab participants embarked on producing a 13-part episodic video drama series, “Jihusishe” Swahili for “Get Involved” which mainly seeks to promote civic education and use it to effectively engage the informal settlement communities especially as we approach the 2017 General elections.

Enock Oyoo was among the participants in the 2015 and 2016 Lab. He narrates his experience being part of this platform.

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“I grew up in the slums of Korogocho. Most of what I recall in my child hood was that I wanted to become a gangster mainly because most of my peers were into that life which back then looked ‘groovy’. This was until 12 of them were gunned down in broad day light. I decided to take charge of my life and go on with my studies. Later on after completing high school, I developed an interest in photography and was even first in my photography class, an achievement that came with being awarded a Nikon Cool Pix Camera. In 2015, I applied to be part of Slum Film Festival lab and was selected. In the lab, I felt a sense of belonging and team work towards achieving similar goals as film makers. That’s a very rare thing to find in a class! The lab basically entailed everything from script writing to video editing-the entire film production process. It was a great opportunity and through team work, I have created networks by involving film makers from different backgrounds in my projects as a photographer. Being part of the crew behind Jihusishe makes me to believe that I have so much to give as a film maker. All I have to do is be bold and take action. I am humbled to have participated in the Film Lab twice in a row. It was an invaluable experience! To the youth out there, Slum Film Festival is the place to be if you really want to achieve your dreams as a film maker.”

The Slum Film Festival wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of donors such as World Friends.