Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SKIFF Workshop, Goma, DRC

SKIFF hosted two film and script-writing workshops led by Congolese filmmaker Petna Ndaliko and Kenyan filmmaker and human rights activist, Ndungi Githuku. Githuku and Ndaliko taught the workshop through the lens of the theme of the festival; how can art and film be used as a tool for development and social cohesion?

The students walked through the steps of critiquing a film and the research process in choosing a subject for a film. Ndaliko stressed the importance of Africans taking control of their own image through expression in media and art and creating an alternative way of educating Congolese thorough the mediums of film and literature.

The Congo has never had a functioning education system from colonization to the Mobutu dictatorship to the present day.

“People are not taught to think, they are not taught to ask for their rights, and the system does not give priority to the students. Our emancipation rests in changing the education system shaped by the construction of a critical, new media through films and literature,” Ndaliko stated.

Githuku and Ndaliko were impressed with the willingness and the thirst for learning from all the workshop attendees who told the two directors, “You have all this information that we want to know, how can we get access to this?” This is the problem that faces many African countries; especially Congo where it is rare to find relevant text books in schools.

“It is a matter of getting the information to the people in way that is accessible,” said Ndaliko, “we need to democratize the media space by increasing access to the internet and to books. We need to create regional and international educational exchanges so that people are connected to the information that will help them.”

The students finished by writing their own film synopsis after walking through research exercises. After reading their synopses aloud to the group, one of the students said, “We need more of this. We need space to be creative and people that teach us new ways of doing things.”

Click here to find out more about SKIFF.


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