On 18th July 2019, Kenya Film Commission in partnership with Film Lecturers and Trainers Association of Kenya (FLeTA-K) sponsored a film screening event at KCA University. The film screening event attracted over 100 students drawn from various universities within Nairobi that offer film studies.
Subira, tells the story of a young woman faced by societal prejudice but is determined to realize her dream.
Following a successful screening, Ms Ravneet Sippy Chadha, the director of Subira, engaged students on the journey in producing the multiple-Kalasha award-winning feature film and key lessons learnt in the film production.
“It took me eight years to make this film and I am glad that it has been appreciated everywhere in East Africa. My vision was to produce a world-release film. Currently, we are in talks with German distributors and Netflix to acquire it for Africa.
It is important that we develop the local film industry. There is also greater need for collaboration among the students in the universities that offer film studies since these are the filmmakers of tomorrow. For instance, Bollywood is 100 years old and it has taken time. Filmmakers in India travelled to various parts of the country in a bid to build audience for their films and that is what we wish to achieve with our film Subira.
A lot of research went into the feature film Subira. The context of the film was inspired by Lamu Island which creates a strong symbolism. Since the story was inspired by true events, I focused on keeping the film as realistic as possible.”
In attendance was the film’s lead actress, Brenda Wairimu, who notes that: “Kenyans are hungry for local content. They are eager to see people who look and speak like them. Film producers need to publicise their works more.” When asked about the challenge she experienced in the film, she remarks, “the biggest challenge is letting go of myself while on set since one always has personal perspective versus what the director wants done. This has led to fights with the directors sometimes.”
Noting the importance of the film screening, Ms Sippy notes that, “It is important that we screen Kenyan films so that we build an appetite for local productions. These are great avenues for producers to get feedback as the audience critic films since once a film screens, it belongs to the audience.”
The Film Lecturers and Trainers Association of Kenya (FLeTA-K) is an outfit that brings together scholars of the film discipline with an objective of enhancing film studies in Kenya through capacity building workshops and collaborative film production projects & film research.