Ugandan film, Surrogate, was voted the Best African production at the recent 7th Slum Film Festival in Nairobi.
A gender and equality production, it tells the story of a young woman who is impregnated by a homosexual man out of wedlock in a society that is weary of both scenarios.
A DR Congo national residing in Kenya, Lisala Alphonce, captured the best Kenyan actress award. She is a refugee.
She featured in the local production, It Killed My Mother, produced by refugees from DR Congo, living at the Kakuma Refugee Camp in north western Kenya. It was also declared the best Kenyan film. It is the story of a girl living with her grandmother, who went through Female Genital Mutilation at the tender age of 10.
She falls in love with a man, but unfortunately loses her life due to FGM complications while giving birth.
This year’s event attracted 2,600 entries from different parts of the World. Apparently the film industry is not that big in Africa as the organizers received only 200 entries from the continent.
A Cameroonian entry, H20, whose theme was on provision of clean water and health services, captured the best Sustainable Development Award.
But it was French production, Animal, which dominated the night, winning four awards.
The futuristic film tells the story of Jawak, who lives secluded with a strange animal he cares for. At night, haunted by a serious accident, he prepares for his revenge.
It won the best sound, costume/make up, director and cinematography awards.
Fugazi, a futuristic Belgian production, won the best international film award. It was also declared the best in production design. It tells the story of a woman working in orbit defence, a space station in charge of the earth and what happens to her when she returns home after three years.
The winners were: Best Documentary – Water and Dust (Kenya); Jury’s Award – On The Kids Skin (Italy); Best ScrIpt – It Has Killed My Mother (Kenya), Best Score (music) – Mwavita (Italy), Best Editor – Fugazi (Italy), Best Children’s Film – All I want (India).
Others were Best Social Development – One Foot Ahead (Kenya); Best Male Actor Kenya – Geoffrey Mwikulu; Best Slum Voice – E Do Enough (Cameroon).
The Festival seeks to raise more public attention while changing people’s perception towards urban slums and those who live in them.
It is organised by a Kenyan community-based organization (CBO), Slum Film Festival.