Kenyan film to ‘come out’ at New Zealand screening


A Kenyan is among five film-makers who will launch their short stories to highlight issues affecting them and their communities at the Commonwealth Shorts in New Zealand next week.

The Shorts are a capacity building scheme to give emerging writers/directors the opportunity to make a film on the theme of relationships.

The one documentary and four dramas explore migration, indigenous rights and same-sex relationships from New Zealand, Kenya, Bahamas, Barbados, and Canada.

Kenya’s offering to this event on February 26 is titled New Year’s Eve by Wanjiru Kairu, who describes the ‘short’ as a story of a married man who struggles to come out of a life of deceit and risks losing true love.

“These films are the result of many months’ hard work by five emerging film-makers from across the Commonwealth. As well as being accomplished pieces in their own right, each film highlights an important issue which affects its writer and their community in some way. Commonwealth Writers is excited to be able to share these films internationally to bring these new voices to a wider audience,” said Lucy Hannah, Programme Manager, Commonwealth Foundation.

“Throughout this journey, I re-learned how to develop, research, and write a universal story with a deep controversial issue. The insights I’ve gained are excellent and the team’s dedication to the task at hand, particularly through some testing moments, was second to none,” expresses Kairu.

The launch of Commonwealth Shorts takes place at Academy Cinemas in Auckland, New Zealand, in association with Documentary NZ Trust and with support from the New Zealand Film Commission.

The screening marks the end of the 2012 Commonwealth Shorts project and follows a film production lab in Auckland for the five international film-makers along with seven local writers/directors from the Pacific region.

“CBA WorldView usually provides support for international factual films but as in the case of these short films, drama enables film-makers to tell powerful and important stories that would otherwise remain untold,” according to Sally-Ann Wilson, Secretary-General, Commonwealth Broadcasting Association & Director, WorldView.

The other Commonwealth Shorts include:

Tom’s Diary by Oscar Kightley, New Zealand documenting ‘a love song to a childhood in a changing suburb’.

PLACEnta by Jules Koostachin, Canada

“Jules sets out to find a place for her Cree Nation traditional PLACEnta ceremony.”

Passage by Kareem Mortimer, Bahamas

“A group of Haitian refugees are smuggled on a Bahamian fishing vessel from the Bahamas into North America.”

Auntie by Lisa Harewood, Barbados

“Focuses on an often ignored side effect of migration – the disruption and heartache caused to the lives and relationships of the people left behind.”

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