Nairobi, Kenya, Thursday 21st June 2018; Kahonzi, a short film by producer Said Square shot in Kilifi County has won the best short film shot using a mobile phone. The winner walks away with a cash prize worth Kshs 200,000, Kshs 150,000 for 1st Runners up and 100,000 for 2nd Runners up. Said Square is a beneficiary of the commission’s master classes done around all the 47 counties. Previously with no formal training, Said and his team were empowered with basic skills of film making in September 2017.
The Strange Visitor produced by Leon Michuki came 2nd while Fiona by Steve Es got the second runner’s up position. The Jury also went ahead to give special recognition to Fading Away, produced by Anisia Kabue which they found to be inspirational with a story that many people could relate to.
The My Kenya My Story is a film competition for short Kenyan films shot exclusively using mobile phones run by the Kenya Film Commission which will be rolled annually and seeks to inspire creativity among film makers in the country and to widen the scope of film making.
The call for entries ran from the 28th of March to 30th of April 2018 where artists submitted their projects for the competition. This competition garnered interest from a total of 706 submissions received from over 35 countries, as far as USA, Mexico, UK, France, Russia, and Japan among many others. These huge numbers suggest that the global community is interested in the Kenyan film industry and the content produced therein.
32 Kenyan film projects were submitted and 22 successfully qualified for judging after filtering through the submissions. The public voting ran from 29th May to 14th June 2018. The voting process was broken down in such a way that judges had a contribution of 70% while the general public contributed 30% to the final vote.
The submissions drew from a variety of genres and exhibited very creative ideas and stories, production design, great editing capabilities, mastery of various software and equipment, proper use of lighting and outdoor landscape despite all the film projects being shot on a zero budget. We have noted that this is a great avenue for job creation among the youth as many have exhibited great talent in their submissions.
Kenya Film Commission Ag. CEO had this to say, “The ultimate business objective we want to contribute to through the competition is not only to indirectly grow awareness of the Kenya Film Commission Mandate but also to create interest and spark creativity in people of all ages with limited resources, and actually inspire creative Kenyans and amateur filmmakers to live to their potential and realize the opportunity to fulfil their dream”.
The competitors were required to meet the film competition primary objective that is to engage Kenyans across the country with a mobile phone to create a short film telling a Kenyan story and showcasing Kenya’s beauty and diversity. A jury of five judges namely: Gerald Langiri, Joy Nduto, Juma Tayari, Stephen Maina and Johnson Mutungi was constituted to vet the submissions and shortlist projects competing for the grand prize.