Over 50 young film makers in Kisumu have benefited from a free training to equip them with the necessary skills to venture into the lucrative sector.
The training carried out by Naweza Films, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) based in Manyatta, Kisumu City, targets to support young and talented filmmakers from informal settlements to give them safe spaces to tell their stories and eke a living.
Naweza Films Founder Boniface Oduor said the initiative aims to keep the youth out of drugs and other social ills which they are prone to in the informal settlements.
Through the programme, he said the beneficiaries will have a chance to network with their peers in Uganda to share experiences and further hone their skills. “Through this training we have an exchange programme with Uganda where the beneficiaries are set to do joint projects,” he said.
The youngsters, he added, will also have an opportunity to meet some of the industry’s big names to mentor and nurture them as they seek to develop careers in the film sector.
Speaking during the training at Arena Community Hall in Manyatta, Oduor said through support from United Film Organisation which sponsored the training, Naweza Films plans to scale up the training to bring on board more youths at the same time reach other parts of the country.
“This will help us to reach more youth and vulnerable people in other slums and informal settlements across the country to create sustainable and indigenous film,” he said.
Harry Cherniak, a Canadian film maker who was one of the facilitators, said United Film has purchased two cameras to help the youth in shooting their films. More support, he added, shall be extended to the cohort to ensure that they have enough equipment to venture fully in film making.
Speaking during the same occasion, Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) Regional Manager Edward Koech said the training was essential to enable the young film makers to come up with clean content.
Koech said acquisition of equipment remained a big challenge for upcoming film makers lauding the efforts by United Film and Naweza Film to support the group.
He challenged the organisations to consider scaling up the programme to reach Universities and colleges in order to capture more youth who have a passion for film making.
Koech further urged the beneficiaries to take advantage of the training and support to produce clean content.
By Margaret Jobeyo and Francis Ochieng