"FilmInAfrica!" is a project supporting young African film makers and is run by DW Akademie, Tom Tykwer and the Kenyan production company, GingerInk.
Tom Tykwer, a successful German film maker, flew to Nairobi, Kenya in September to attend the workshop's opening with 56 young film professionals from five African countries. The up-and-coming talents had been accepted for one of the following areas: camera, scripting, directing, editing, production, production design and sound design.
Being part of the project offered participants a unique opportunity. "I've never attended a directing workshop because we don't have anything like this at home," said the budding Kenyan director Jim Chuchu. And Krysteen Savane, a young producer, was equally enthusiastic. "I wish we had an extra five weeks of training because there's so much to learn!"
Tom Tykwer and workshop participants
During the workshop the German and British trainers focused on creative aspects. They wanted the participants to develop and express their own ideas. "I now see that editing is not just a technique, but something I can be creative with, where I can make something new," said film editor Job Maina.
Tom Tykwer, who accompanied the workshops in Nairobi, reports, "The participants are incredibly enthusiastic and extremely interested in improving their skills." The next step is to choose the best participants "and form them into a team that can create its own film language and use its own ideas." Starting mid-October, the African colleagues will be supported in producing a 90-minute film with the working title "Nairobi Half Life".
Production design training
But this is not just about professionalizing individuals, says DW Akademie project manager Michael Tecklenburg. "The goal is to strengthen an independent African film industry. The local film scene needs as much support as African films need when they enter the international market."
The FilmInAfrica! project is funded by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The Goethe-Institut also supports the initiative.