The Kitale Film Week has formally opened its doors for the submission of films ahead of its second edition which is to take place from the 4th to the 11th of February, 2024.
The festival is fast becoming a tentpole for entertainment and culture in Trans Nzoia, and a destination for new, ground-breaking storytelling from established and emerging filmmakers in Kenya and Uganda.
Under the theme, ‘Experience Difference!’, the 2024 Kitale Film Week Festival promises to continue its exploration of innovative storytelling through the medium of film.
Festival director Peter Pages Bwire emphasised their commitment to bringing films closer to audiences and fostering artistic collaboration between Kenya and Uganda.
“We want to bring films closer to audiences, and enhance artistic collaboration between Kenya and Uganda, so we are calling on filmmakers who are just starting out in Kenya and Uganda, and also those who are experienced to submit their works for consideration,” festival director Peter Pages Bwire said.
The festival follows a highly innovative approach with space, given that there is no film infrastructure in Kitale. The use of spaces not traditionally meant for art and film was highly commended by attendees in the 2023 edition, and this pop-up approach is expected to continue in 2024.
Trans Nzoia County executive committee member for gender, youth, sports, culture and tourism Ms Chanelle Kittony is optimistic about the future in light of the festival.
“It was such an amazing event. The film week was well planned. The turnout of the youth impressed me. It was a clear indication that we are embracing the Kenyan film industry. We are eager to tap into the ideas and opportunities that help the youth grow their gifts and talents while learning how to monetise their craft,” she said in an interview.
In 2024, the festival organisers intend to hold special screenings on food security, housing, and women’s sports; and are urging filmmakers to submit any films related to these subjects.
“We want to do all we can to contribute to the development of our county and country, and these are agendas that are top of our daily conversations, and on the list of priorities for both our governor and our president,” Bwire said on Sunday.
The festival also announced its planning committee for 2024 as energy now shifts to implementing the second edition where UK-educated film executive Peter Pages Bwire retains his role as festival director for the second year, as does competition manager Wangui Ngunjiri and festival coordinator for Uganda Joel Tugaineyo.
Ambrose Nguti continues as school film programmes manager while Brenda Nanjala Khaoya stays in charge of special events. New faces in the team include 21-year-old Kitale National Polytechnic second-year student Angela Annabelle Achieng who has been handed the daring role of audience development.
Joshua Wambua joins as training and workshops manager. Patricia Chepkemoi and Kings Katembu will lead efforts in guest experience and screening facilitation respectively, while Jacktone Otieno is the new manager for fundraising and production.
Film submissions for Kitale Film Week 2024 are open until November 11, 2023. Filmmakers can find detailed information about deadlines, submission rules, regulations, and eligibility on filmfreeway.com/kitalefilmweek.
The 2024 Kitale Film Week promises to be a vibrant celebration of cinema, culture, and creative storytelling, bridging the gap between Kenya and Uganda’s filmmaking communities.
ABOUT THE KITALE FILM WEEK
The Kitale Film Week is an 8-day film festival that aims to position film as a strategic factor for sustainable development in Trans Nzoia. The festival organisers include a mixture of young men and women mostly born and bred in Kitale, some of whom have worked at the top of the film industry in Kenya and abroad.
The main reason for this is the need for knowledge transfer from the higher to the mid and low cadre of filmmaking in the region and even across the border.
The main events in the festival include film screenings which have been integrated with conversations on filmmaking and some key community issues and are moderated by local filmmakers, media personalities and students from Kitale; school film events geared towards developing filmmakers and film critics from primary and secondary school level; filmmaking workshops with top industry professionals seeking to develop socially engaged filmmakers locally; and an ambitious short film fund which the festival hopes can help two projects by upcoming local talent to get produced in Trans Nzoia.
The film week also involves a competition for top awards open to Kenyan and Ugandan filmmakers, to enhance artistic collaboration between western Kenya and Kampala. Future plans include extending the festival to South Sudan filmmakers, further integrating community development issues in the film spaces, and a push to get Kitale to become a UNESCO creative city for film.