The Maisha Film Lab will this month hold its maiden African Film festival that will run from Friday to Sunday at the National theatre. The festival will be free to the public and will mainly provide a platform for people to see African films.“We will have two and half days of African films. You’ll see great African movies that have showed at big festivals, like Carol Kamya’s Imani which will be showing at the opening night, Don Mugisha’s new movie Yogera on Saturday while Matt Bish will be premiering his latest movie, A Good Catholic Girl on Sunday,” Musarait Kashmiri the programme director at Maisha Film Lab said.
This will be at the climax of an intensive 26-day film lab, the biggest lab of the year within which 10 screen writers and directors have been working with six mentors. From this lab, four scripts have been improved for shooting and they will show to the public during the closing night. The other movies to be showed include Awaiting for Men from Senegal, Pumzi from Kenya and Sex, Okra and Salted Butter from Chad. However there will be an age limit to the shows, restricting attendance to those over 18 years of age.
Maisha was founded in 2004 by acclaimed director Mira Nair whose 1988 debut feature film, Salaam Bombay! won her the Golden Camera award at the Cannes Film Festival and also earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. She also did the 1991 film Mississippi Masala which starred Denzel Washington and Sarita Choudhury, and later on directed Kama Sutra. Filmmakers’ lab mentors include Ami Boghani, a programme coordinator with Maisha, Annmarie Morais, a graduate of York University with honours in film and video production, Dan Kleinman who’s been a mentor at the Sundance screenwriters’ lab and Jenna Mcgrath who has a Masters of Fine Arts among others.