Mark Kaigwa

Posts Tagged ‘Kalasha’

The Dance for Wives by Paul Ekuru

In Film on October 5, 2009 at 11:00 pm

As part of a series of posts on African FilmmakingUkwelii and The Eumagine Factory will be looking at East African Film in the region both those that have been in circulation for a while, and some new content in the region.

Eumagine is doing some great things including the amazing concept for EumagineTV (I found out about them via Twitter) and whatever insight I can lend towards shining a bit of light on the East African Filmmaking industry, I’d be glad to.

In this first instalment of the series, we look at Paul Ekuru’s trailer for his short film The Dance for Wives – who you can fan on Facebook here. Paul Ekuru’s a good friend of mine and a director I respect. He came out of the Maisha Film Lab with this screenplay and got it to shootable and actually shot it. He attended the Maisha Film Lab at the Kenya International Film Festival (I was another one of the participants) and his screenplay was selected from 8 screenplays.

Shooting, he was respectful to all cast and crew and went well out of his way to make sure everyone and everything was well taken care of. A mark of character that will definitely see him succeed in this industry, I believe.

He’s since had the film screened at the Zanzibar International Film Festival and was nominated for two Kalasha Award for Best Short Film (That award went to Judy Kibinge for her short film The Killer Necklace) and for Best Leading Actress – Karen ‘Kaz’ Lucas.

The Poster for the Nairobi premiere which was at Alliance Francaise. And the Cast and Crew in attendance getting recognised for their efforts in putting the film together. From Right to Left: My apologies for not getting all the names during the event. (Sound Guy/Jack of all Trades, Actor (Melvin Alusa), Actress (Mumbi Kaigwa),  Props and Costumes (Bernadette Otieno), Writer/Director (Paul Ekuru) and their Director of Photography)

 

And what you’ve been waiting for…The Trailer.

Any thoughts on the film? How about on Kenyan Film/African Film in General. I’d like to know.

Mawulire ki Kampala? Here I Come!

In Film, Happenings, Perspective, Real Talk on July 9, 2009 at 11:22 am

It’s been a minute since I hit up the blog, I know…but in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been pleasantly distracted by Posterous and Twitter, on which I proclaim you can follow me much closer, and much better. Blog is for big news, like this news. With that, I might as well make it formal: I have good news. I’ve been selected as a finalist in the Annual Maisha Filmmakers Lab Program for 2009.

Maisha lab snippet

The Maisha Film Lab is arguably the best Filmmaking and Technical Lab in the region and it’s main lab is it’s Annual 23 day lab in Kampala, Uganda. This is one of the greatest stepping stones for filmmakers in Eastern Africa with many Maisha Alumni going on to chart out some serious headway in their respective film industries. Besides the Annual 23 Day lab, they also conduct 4 shorter Screenwriting Labs (8-days) at 4 Regional Film Festivals (I was a part of last year’s at the Kenya International Film Fest in Nairobi.) I’d encourage you, if you’d be interested in filmmaking or writing for screen to participate and apply for one of their labs.

So I leave for the beautiful city of Kampala from the 25th of July to August 16th. Hopefully, if I don’t actually direct my film, I’ll assist in directing someone else’s. (fingers crossed) Directing is something I’ve really wanted to get into for the past couple months. I’ve been patiently writing, and though I’m yet to see a film through to production, it seems this might be my chance to do both. A quick recap into how I got into screenwriting.
In December ’07 I attended a Theatre Company Playwriting workshop with Playwright Roberta Levitow. I wasn’t a selected participant, but with some free time on my hands after finishing uni, I was so glad that Keith Pearson and Mumbi Kaigwa let me attend as the Go-pher :). I ended up participating and eventually writing a comedic play on an altercation I had with The Kenya Police regarding a safety-belt in what could (only in Kenya) be referred to as ‘The Crackdown Era’ – Where The Great Matatu Reforms of 2007(R) occured. The skills I learnt there were (and continue to be) invaluable to me. They were the best foundation and exposure anyone could ask for. I served some great tea as well, by the way 🙂
From then on, I went on to co-write the Warner Bros. Interactive  Project ‘Pamoja Mtaani‘ (Part of the HIV Free Generation Project) and work on 5 Animated Short Films. Cajetan Boy worked with me on Pamoja Mtaani, and he introduced me to Maisha. I sent in an application to the first Maisha Screenwriting Lab at KIFF (Kenya International Film Festival) and was accepted into the week-long screenwriters lab. I kept excellent notes and learnt plenty. I also developed a couple better screenplays, not to mention Radio and TV Scripts for Advertising (The industry, I’m slowly beginning to call House – not Home i.e. you can move house, you can’t move home… But no lie, it’s growing on me. 🙂
Of that lab, came out Writer/Director Paul Ekuru’s The Dance for Wives (Which premiered in Kenya at Alliance Francaise on Monday 6th July after screening at the Zanzibar International Film Fest and The Rwanda International Film Fest…I was at the premiere and uploaded pics to my Posterous. View them here) I’m so glad to see Paul’s film get the attention it has had. It was nominated for two Kalasha Awards recently, Best Short Film and Best Leading Actress (Karen Lucas aka Kaz)
So, long story short, applied as soon as I found out about this years lab, back in May and I got the call on the 2nd of July. Can’t wait to see what will come out of this Lab. I don’t know all of the other finalists personally, but I know that my friend Bernadette, also at last years Maisha Lab @ KIFF and Richard from Big Brother Africa 2 were selected.
Can’t wait to meet, study, re-write, re-write, re-write and make movies! Wish me luck!