MASHAA: A SHORT FILM BORN OF AFRICAN TALENTS DURING COVID

Mashaa”, a short film shot in one of the most difficult suburbs of Nairobi, will be presented on August 19th at at Giffoni Film Festival and also on August 20th on Iris Channel (22 Italian TV).The initiative is promoted by Amref, Fondazione Aurora and Mediafriends.

Cinema makes young talents grow in the suburbs of Nairobi: the participation to the Giffoni Film Festival and Iris streaming is a proof of it. The Dagoretti Film Centre (DFC) will present “Mashaa”, a short film, written, directed and performed by young Kenyans. This movie was produced thank to the collaboration between Amref Health Africa, Fondazione Aurora and Mediafriends.

Mashaa shows the great capabilities that the DFC audiovisual center has.

DFC’s participation to Giffoni and Iris broadcast are in continuity with the activities of scaling up promoted by the Fondazione Aurora started last November, when Jackson Odonga Odiaga, Director of DFC and Peter Waiganjo, Venture Development Manager took part at Book City Milano. In that occasion, Fondazione Aurora organized numerous B2B, including the presentation of the Dagoretti Film Center to Mediafriends, who appreciate their technical and artistic qualities.

The event, scheduled for 12 noon on Wednesday 19th August, will be attended by the Director of the Dagoretti Film Center, Jackson Odonga Odiaga, connected from Nairobi, Renato Raffaele Amoroso, of Fondazione Aurora, Massimo Ciampa, Secretary General of Mediafriends Onlus and Gabriella Guido of Amref Health Africa-Italy.

“Mashaa” tells the life of a young boy who lives in a Nairobi slum and has passion for cinema and cameras. One day he runs into a TV crew who is not able to film life in the slum. To help his family financially, with a borrowed cell phone, Mashaa starts taking photos and filming. He is a reporter within his own community and sells his audiovisual products to the national television. Mashaa embodies the experience of some young people from Dagoretti Film Center: to be story tellers of their own reality and make a job out of it. Director, actors and technicians – all linked to the Dagoretti Film Center – made the short film in an informal settlement in Nairobi County.

Due to the quality of the short film and the collaboration with Mediafriend, Mashaa will be broadcast on the Iris channel on 20th August at 00:55am e 08:35am. This is an extraordinary opportunity for DFC but also an important contribution to integrate Kenyan culture on Italian TV.

“The primary objective of our video production center,” explains Jackson, the Director of DFC, “is offering a chance for growth to vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people in terms of talent and career in the film sector. The film production center will give these young talents tools to tell new life stories, from their point of view. The works will then be screened and circulated on various media and on different film festivals. Thus, their participatory view of the world will reach everyone.” The film is directed by director Peter Gitau, an award-winning video-maker, who has made productions in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.

The Dagoretti Film Center (DFC) is a training and film production center: a social enterprise created by Amref Health Africa and the Dagoretti Child Development Center (Dagoretti child protection center in Nairobi). In this Center, in over 20 years of activity, Amref has supported more than 26,000 children in accessing education and facilitated the professional training of 850 adolescents. Due to the spread of Covid-19 in Kenya, the Center has decided to continue activities with children, in compliance with safety standards.

Over the years, with a focus on the participatory approach, the Dagoretti Film Center has allowed many young people to express themselves through screenplays and video techniques. As the film market is rapidly growing in Kenya, DFC is trying to support their youth in job placement in the audiovisual market. For this reason, the Fondazione Aurora has decided to support the company with the aim of “developing an entrepreneurial initiative with a self-sustainable and income-generating social impact to be reused also in the reception and protection activities of children and young people within del Dagoretti Child Development Center ”, offering the center a rich supply of cinematographic equipment.