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Comments on "The ABC of ROFFEKE" Screenings (September 2015 at iHub)

I liked all the films especially the one for Superman [“This is Joe”] and the last one which was longer [“ Frontman ”]. I look forward to at...

Friday, September 16, 2016

ROFFEKE Screening and Networking event at We Create Kenya on 17th September 2016

Below is a link to the original programme for the event but a few hours ago, a lady asked me whether the films would be appropriate for her nine year old daughter, who aspires to be an actress. Obviously not all the films are appropriate for children. This IS a rock 'n' roll film festival after all :-) But I am passionate about encouraging the youth to pursue their dreams so I am going to change the program slightly to accommodate the nine year old girl. The first thirty minutes of the event will feature the following child-friendly short films and music videos:

1. Rock is not an attitude (5 minutes)
2. An Angel's tale (3 minutes)
3. Underneath (2 minutes)
4. The girl with the red balloons (1 minute)
5. Song no.23 (5 minutes)
6. Banned Band (10 minutes)

Check out the complete program here


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Review: "Rita" - Music video for song by Tsenzura

Review by Josephine Koima: Intern

Director: Yuzefovich Valery
Category: Animation
Duration: 4:09 minutes
Music: Tsenzura

Rita’ is an animated film adapted from a song by the same name, done by an Israeli Band (Tsenzura). Tsenzura’s music can be described as hardcore punk/rock. as It is about a young girl’s struggles and need to indulge in alcohol and drugs, the things she tries to run from. Perhaps hoping suicide will end her anguish, she gets into a fantasy world, for a few minutes, and realizes that it is scarier and threatening compared to her reality.

Since the song forms a big part of the film’s narrative, it is essential to dig into the lyrics and meaning of what the band represents. ‘Tsenzura’ is Hebrew for ‘Censorship’, most of the song/video contains elements of drugs and sex. These young singers integrate the issues they have grown up with and around into their songs, and the character brings the song to life. There are sexual connotations in Rita’s fantasy that also depict her struggles as a woman i.e. the doctor telling her that ‘she has girl problems’ and suggesting a disgraceful and demeaning ‘cures’.Color has been used to reinforce elements of the story ;Yellow representing the alcohol, red for her kidney that’s apparently damaged because of her abuse of drugs, and interestingly, it has been used as a gag in her tormenting fantasy, the multicolored vomit as she had too much to drink as the song says ‘She can’t learn to drink’

The film makes use of fast-cutting or fast-paced editing where actions follow each other in quick succession, so the viewer gets to absorb much more information, and it also shows chaos e.g. In her fantasy, Rita gets through a lot after taking a pill from the doctor, we see the impact of that action-her distress is magnified.

The song is also a form of criticism; against the many people who tend to associate rock n’ roll to sex and drugs. In another instance, they talk about social issues of democracy and injustice.

It is interesting to learn more about the band, with a name that raises curiosity as ‘Censorship’ and an even more daring choice of genre as rock, one will easily enjoy the diversity that the Israeli music industry can offer.

Interview: Kenyan Rock band "The Seeds of Datura"

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Review: An Angel's Tale (ROFFEKE OFFICIAL SELECTION 2015)

Review by Josephine Koima: Intern

Director: Sara Boix Grau
Country of origin: Canada
Category: Animation
Duration: 2:43 minutes

I personally really love animated films because they defy almost everything we are used to as being ‘normal’ and ‘ordinary’ For example ,characters in such films can stretch, tear, melt, explode, fall from very high places and still remain alive, creating humor in the process.

An Angel’s tale is of such a nature. An angel is kicked out of heaven, quite literally because he creates a disturbance among the other angles. I know that for most of people, when we think of heaven, we think of mellow, preferably exquisite harmonic sounds, beat-less melody and therefore any instrument far off from an electric guitar like the harps used by two angels. Then comes this different angel, who enjoys hard rock music. He is thrown out of heaven by an irate fellow angel and falls to earth, and then tries to find his way back.

This fallen angel is different, and not just his choice of music. His wings are shorter, not sturdy as with the other angels. Perhaps this is why he cannot easily fly back to heaven. Or when he tries to, he cannot leave behind his beloved guitar and amplifier.
Sara Boix’s character is true to the spirit of rock n’ roll; expressing sheer joy and energy to what he likes, and remaining non-conforming. This film teaches one that, there’s nothing wrong with being different, and not being ordinary.

Bluegrass is greener in Kenya!

Thanks to the Friday 29th July episode of The Trend hosted by Larry Madowo, bluegrass has begun to grow in Kenya! Henhouse Prowlers, a bluegrass band from Chicago, performed a wonderful cover version of Sauti Sol’s “Sura Yako”, complete with the trademark bluegrass instruments: upright bass, acoustic guitar, banjo and mandolin. The only instruments missing were the fiddle and washboards :-)

Bluegrass is a close cousin to country music and Kenya is no stranger to country music. The very popular Sundowner show on KBC has for many years featured country music greats such as Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Skeeter Davis and Roger Whittaker who was born and brought up in Kenya.



Roger Whittaker’s 1975 song “The Last Farewell” was number one in 11 countries and the king himself, Elvis, recorded it. “His drummer told me that, when they were preparing to record anything, Elvis would play my version of The Last Farewell about 20 times over to people in the studio, and he’d say ‘and that’s how we should make records…’ “ Whittaker says in this article

I got introduced to Bluegrass via Voice of America’s “Roots and Branches” (hosted by Katherine Cole) and my passion for it was further fueled by “Under the Radar” (the home of gourmet music). So which are my top 5 bluegrass/bluegrass-inspired songs? I’m glad you’ve asked! Below are my top 5:

5. The Big Reprise by Catie Curtis.

The church went down and it didn't go gently
The burning steeple fell right onto Main Street
The old stained glass exploded
Pieces of Jesus at my feet
Molten broken Jesus at my feet

Sample it here

4. “Barbed Wire Boys” by Claire Lynch


3. “Redemption Day” by Sheryl Crow (covered by the great Johnny Cash!)



2. "He ain’t never done me nothin’ but good" by The Isaacs



1. “Build your Kingdom Here” by Rend Collective



Sunday, July 17, 2016

Review: Microphone

(Microphone was screened at the Samosa Festival in Nairobi, Eastleigh.)

Review by Josephine Koima: Intern

Producer: Kareem Ghafour
Director: Kareem Ghafour
Screenplay: Kareemok
Duration: 9:10 minutes

This short film takes place in a Kurdish society, whose inhabitants are Islamic. A woman and her son are seen walking on a street and the young boy runs to the bathroom in a mosque. The woman isn’t allowed to go in. Worried that her son may be lost, she forces herself in, though after a brief confrontation with the gatekeeper.

It is interesting to note that although the gate keeper is a mute, he and Kamo’s mother are able to communicate and he evens helps with finding the boy. The boy, Kamo, runs off with a microphone that he uses to sing and equally chant a prayer as he had heard before. He’s reluctant to give it back, perhaps realizing the ‘powerful’ tools he’s laid his hands on. The innocent child is simply excited to express himself, and it’s thrilling to know that almost the entire town can hear him due to the microphone’s connection with the mosque’s speakers. This is one element that gives meaning to the film.

The distinct sounds draws one’s attention to the narrative- the sound of the mother’s boot, the water dripping at the bathroom, the sound of the gatekeeper cycling his bicycle. I would say that Soram Fahim did a great sound mix and editing. For example, in the scene where the boy is in the bathroom, he reads the writings on the wall, one can hear water dripping, the prayer being chanted at the mosque plus the film’s soundtrack, all at once. Subtle ‘rock and roll’ elements can be heard in form of music. Kamo plays the harmonica for a while before he grabs the microphone. The film music score incorporates a bit of what I would call jazz rock- there’s the distinct sound of a stringed instrument, probably a cello and drum beats.

The title ‘Microphone’ would make one focus on the microphone, hence the majority of this film’s plot focuses on the boy and what he does. However, there are some subtle themes that may arise e.g. there is the white scarf that the gate keeper gives Kamo’s mother, this and the brief moment of touch as she hands over the microphone. They seem to have bonded over the little incident with her son. The phone is a reason for the gatekeeper to see Kamo’s mother again.

Certainly, this film is provocative and refreshingly funny to watch.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Nirvana, Michael Stipe (REM), Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame

Excerpts from Michael Stipe's speech prior to the induction of Nirvana into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.

I’m Michael Stipe. I’m here to induct Nirvana into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

***

Like my band REM, Nirvana came from a most unlikely place. Not a cultural city centre like London, San Francisco, Los Angeles or even New York or Brooklyn but from Aberdeen Washington...a largely blue collar town just outside of Seattle.

***

We were a product of a community of youth looking for a connection away from the mainstream. Dave Grohl said: "We were drop outs making minimum wage, listening to vinyl, emulating our heroes - Ian Mackaye, Little Richard – getting high, sleeping in vans, never expecting the world to notice."

***

Keep in mind the times. This was the late 80s, early 90s. America, the idea of a hopeful democratic country, had been practically dismantled by Iran Contra, by Aids, by the Reagan-Bush snr. administrations. But with their music, their attitude, their voice, Nirvana blasted through all that with crystalline nuclear rage and fury.

Nirvana were kicking against the system, bringing complete disdain for the music industry and their definition of corporate mainstream America, to show a sweet and beautiful but fed up fury coupled with howling vulnerability. Lyrically exposing our frailty, our frustrations, our shortcomings, singing of retreat and acceptance ,of our triumphs,of an outsider community with such immense possibility...not held down or held back by the stupidity and political pettiness of the times; they spoke truth and a lot of people listened.

***

When an artist offers an idea, a perspective, it helps us all to see us who we are. It wakes us up and it pushes us forward towards our collective and individual potential. It make us, each of us, able to see who we are more clearly.

***

I’m purposely using the word artist rather than musician because the band Nirvana were artists in every sense of the word. It is the highest calling for an artist, as well as the greatest possible privilege, to capture a moment, to find the zeitgeist, to expose our struggles, our aspirations, our desires;to embrace and define their time. That is my definition of an artist. Nirvana captured lightning in a bottle.

***

Solo artists almost have it easier than bands. Bands are not easy. You find yourself in a group of people that rub each other the wrong way and exactly the right way and you have chemistry, zeitgeist, lightning in a bottle and a collective voice to help pinpoint a moment, to understand what it is we are going through. Nirvana tapped into a voice that was yearning to be heard.

***

The potency and the power of their defining moment has become for us indelible.

***

Nirvana defined a moment, a movement for outsiders; for the fags, and the fat girls, and the broken toys, and the shy nerds and the goth kids...for the rockers and the awkward and the fed up and the too-smart kids and the bullied.

***

They were singular and loud and melodic and deeply original. And that voice...that voice. Kurt, we miss you. I miss you.

***

...that voice reverberated into music and film, into politics, into worldview and so many fields in so many ways....this is not just pop music. This is something much greater than that.

Source: Youtube.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Review: The Day Trippers (2011)

Review by Josephine Koima (Intern)

Director: Pat Comer
Producer and Writer: Keith Bogue
Lead Actors: Dick Tobin, Barbara Seery
Duration: 6:46 minutes

There’s always the secret longing to re-live the younger, more youthful years of our lives, this film offers an insight to some ideas on how to do that. The Day Trippers is unquestionably entertaining, portrayed by characters trying to defy old age restrictions, for example, an old man lifting his crutch when completely lost in dancing.

The story, written by Keith Bogue is simply told, an old couple and friends have an avenue to have fun and reconnect, a secret rave that they alone know. Their choice of meeting, a closed hall that is deserted proves that. Their preferred mode of communication is a text message, where they are given details about the mystery rendezvous.

The sound is a favorable choice, since there is hardly any dialogue in the film, the music gives us perceptive on how the story unfolds. The characters share a love and enjoyment for Rock and Roll. Perhaps, this symbolizes the genre transcending time and age, more so with the use of Tom Newman, (a legendary record producer) performing as an ageing rocker with his band July. My deduction from the lyrics of the song performed is, it forms part of the narrative of the film, e.g. the line ‘regeneration of my generation’ being a catchphrase.

The director uses elements to help in the telling of the story. As the couple drive away from the beach, three cars follow them, they flicker their lights and this shows they know each other and probably heading the same way. The lighting at the rave is mellow, red and tends to recreate the ‘old school’ disco halls that the old timers were used to. This includes the disco bulb that seems prevalent in important scenes; a note is attached to it with a message about their next rave.

It is inferred that the old couple (Dick Tobin and Barbara Seery) are more excited about this rave as compared to the boring and ordinary moments spent on a beach that has little activity. In fact, they interact directly at the dance floor than at the beach. As it turns out, raves by old people are not that different from the ones young people go to, same things apply… secrecy, ambiguity and the objective is always to have fun. This short film could be for the amusement of people who value such pleasures as dance, and may just be an idea for prospective old rock and rollers.

***

The Day Trippers is #ROFFEKEOFFICIALSELECTION2015

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Rock 'n' Roll and Social Change

Excerpts from "U2: Anthem for the 80s"

Edge
“Rock ‘n’ Roll should be escapist, should be just about having a good time…and sure, I think rock ‘n’ roll has always had that. But why shouldn’t it also face what’s actually happening and try to deal with that as well.”

Bono
“I’m aware of the contradictions of being in a successful rock ‘n’ roll band and yet at the same time writing about the lack of success in my own contemporaries. …literally the people on the same street as I grew up are having to leave Ireland and go to America to find jobs.”

Dr Garrett Fitzgerald, Irish Prime Minister 1982-1987
“According to the New York Times, U2’s performance in the US has caused the Democratic Party in its approach to the next Presidential election to reevaluate its understanding of how young people in America think and feel.”

Bob Geldof
“In the 60s, Dublin was a very small, pretty European city. Due to corruption and mismanagement and appalling planning, they removed people from the heart of the city out to these appalling ghettos out in the suburbs….When they removed the heart of the city they took its soul with it. Some of the businesses started folding and it became a wasteland. And the city itself became destroyed at the hands of the city management.”

Kenny
“We’re only a number in this country. U2 have a name.”

Bob Geldof
“If over half the country is under 25 you are looking at a potentially vicious explosive situation where you have classic African conditions like urbanization…a city that can’t live up to the expectations of the new immigrants…no jobs for those who have got the gumption to go out and try doing things themselves or for those who just look for a regular job or for university graduates then you have mass immigration again and that destroys the country.”

Bono
“People think because I am attracted to people like Gandhi or the Reverend Martin Luther King or even my faith, my believe in Christ, that I therefore am some sort of hero or man of God or peacemaker….One of the reasons I am attracted to these people is because I am the very person who would not turn the other cheek. I grew up with the violence in me and it’s still in me and I despise it."

“There was shouts of “Up the IRA”…. We were an Irish band and they thought we would fit into this version of Ireland and the revolution. I’m very clear on the way I feel about that. I would love to see a united Ireland but I never ever could support any man that would put a gun on somebody else’s head to see that dream come true. And we wrote Sunday Bloody Sunday in a rage.”

“I just set out this story: Broken bottles under children’s feet, bodies strewn across a dead end street. But I won’t heed the battle call. It puts my back up, puts my back against the wall. And then: And the battle’s just begun, there’s many lost but tell me who has won? The trench is dug within our hearts. Mothers , children, brothers, sisters torn apart. How long, how long must we sing this song?”

“I have often thought to myself…maybe we did fail…maybe the song Sunday Bloody Sunday is a failure…we didn’t succeed in making the point that we wanted to make…it has been misinterpretated…we’ve alienated the Republicans who wanted to use it as a battle cry and we’ve alienated the Unionists who only see it as a slap in their face.”

“LiveAid proved that music can unite people towards very specific ends if called upon. …music in the 60s surely contributed to the close down of the Vietnam war.”

Edge
“I think we write songs that we believe in. I don’t think we are trying to create a movement or tell people what to think. I think if there’s a message to U2 it’s think for yourself.”

Bono
“Amnesty International has doubled its membership as a result of the Conspiracy of Hope tour in the US. That’s real…that’s tangible evidence that the tide is turning…”

Edge
“I see that kind of concern coming in waves. I think the early 80s was a particular low point… and LiveAid was the beginning of a new awareness…I don’t think it’s unusual or precedent. I think it’s happened before and it will happen again…

Monday, April 11, 2016

Interview: "Brother" director Captain Chambers

ROFFEKE: What inspired you to write "Brother"?

Chambers: When my Mother passed away in 2012, I came back from Oklahoma after her funeral, and I was at that place where I needed a direction. My Mother was very influential to me in a creative sense, and I had this Pentel mechanical pencil since 1985 that she had given me. I wrote countless works with that pencil, and it even had rust on the clip! I placed that in the coffin with her at her funeral. I bought a new pencil the next day, and the first thing I wrote was the handwritten script for "Brother".

ROFFEKE: Was “Brother” autobiographical?

Chambers: All of my films are autobiographical in some way, and “Brother” has elements of me and my mother. It also has a special place for the lead actor, as he had also lost a dear friend around the same time. We both worked through our own interpretations of this as we progressed through production. This was one inspiration. The other was watching Clint perform one night, realizing how kind and happy he is. I challenged him to be the opposite and he ran with it.

ROFFEKE: Why black and white?

Chambers: Two reasons: it's cheaper, but it also lends itself to a mood, a contrast and a visual expression like none other. I simply love working in black and white.

ROFFEKE: High point and low point during filming of "Brother"?

Chambers: The low point was getting a film transfer done locally and the whites were all washed out. I was shooting with extreme tension in each scene, and I pushed the boundaries of light. The local studio tried their best, but I had to look elsewhere. Eventually, all was well. I was not creating dailies, but I would have developed and transferred film ready by the next shoot, most times. The highlight, aside from watching all these great people, new friends and old friends (one of which passed away this last January) come together and have fun, it was seeing the screening filled to capacity and beyond and enjoyed by all.

ROFFEKE: Which directors/films inspire you?

Chambers: Oh...well, a great many. Kurosawa, Kubrick, Maya Deren, Lucas, Ridley Scott, Herzog...mainly the old guard. Godard, especially. Very few new directors. I like Abrams and his dedication to celluloid. In that same vein, I also like Nolan and Tarantino. Joss Whedon is another. People who are dedicated to the story. My earliest and what is still a big influence on me was science fiction film and television, and I love B-Movies. Roger Corman comes to mind, and John Carpenter, a real indie pioneer, though often forgotten. I love Ed Wood films. There's also Steve DeJarnett, and countless others. Cameron Crowe....really good storyteller. I like people who also have an eye for the visual (Kubrick, Trumbull, Spielberg, Dario Argento). I think Star Wars was the one film that made me want to do the same.

ROFFEKE: Advice for aspiring writer/director?

Chambers: I don't think many of the indie film scenes and a growing number of festivals are there for the filmmaker, and I am certain that people care less and less about "cinema" or "art". It's becoming a popularity contest without honesty, story or integrity, just like the music scene, and people are more focused on what gear is being used. That being said, my advice is, don't give anyone your money, or tell you what to do. Film schools are worthless. Go read, and then do. And do some more. Don't discount the discipline of shooting film, even if the digital world is prejudiced against it. Choose your cast and crew carefully, and I would even say stay away from most "scenes" or groups. I feel Seattle is horribly lacking in film, though they don't think so. And, again, listen to your voice, your heart and your vision. Everyone has opinions. The problem is that everyone wants to tell you about them. A good example is, it IS okay to shoot a film with your friends. Many successes are based on this.

ROFFEKE: In your opinion, does luck play any role in the making of a film?

Chambers: Chance is an opportunity if we have the mind to see it. I don't really take a side on this. We choose what to do, but there are serendipitous moments and we have to be ready. Otherwise, we have to be patient. That is something that many in this tech age do not understand. Everything has to be instantaneous, and so you will miss out on a great deal. I think we, the auteurs and the thinkers and the dreamers are the luck for any kind of creative endeavor.

ROFFEKE: Film by female director that you would recommend?

Chambers: Anything by Maya Deren. I like Sofia Coppola, but not all her films. One director that does stand out is Kathryn Bigelow. I haven't seen all her work, but when I watched her documentary on the making of "K19", she resonated with me when she made the decision to make the film despite what the producers thought, because she felt she needed to make an honest representation of the man and his story, and that this piece of history needed to be told. That is filmmaking. There is a woman in California named Anna Biller. She makes stylized Technicolor-esque films that are brilliant and unique. We need more of that.

ROFFEKE: Why did you choose to submit your film to ROFFEKE?

Chambers: I am growing numb and discontented with the way film is treated all over the world. As a former film festival found, director and programmer, I found it more and more difficult to find good films. Still do. The film may have all the gear and look and sound great, but if there is no story, then what's the point? I like diversity and the "off the beaten path" kind of endeavor, where somebody chooses to do something unique as opposed to the same thing over and over. That is why I chose ROFFEKE.

ROFFEKE: Tell us about your experiences as a film festival founder, director and programmer.

Chambers: I founded the Blue November MicroFilmFest in 2003. It began in Tulsa, OK, after I made my first film for eleven dollars and spent over a hundred dollars in festival submissions, none of which accepted me. I thought this type of math didn't add up. And being a starving artist, I thought, "people should be able to enter their films for free, and people should be able to experience great cinema for free." So I began a festival, out of my own pocket, that neither required an entry fee nor did it require admission. It was an international film festival with local musicians and artists. It was hard work, and maybe I missed the mark here and there, but I tried my best to support local, support film, and support art in general.

ROFFEKE: Best and worst part about being a film festival director/programmer?

Chambers: The best part is seeing what you can do, and seeing some of the most beautiful visual images you will ever see. The worst part, and what caused me to end the festival after a ten year run, was that people (sadly) began to ruin what made it fun. Those filmmakers that I could find locally were overly demanding and dramatic. The Seattle press and community did not support what I was doing, and the films became less and less astounding. It was like I was watching everything that made cinema great, for me and in general, I was watching it die. So, after ten years, I turned off the projector, and put my screen to bed.

ROFFEKE: Lessons you learned?

Chambers: If I have any lesson to take away from the experience, it is this: people will let you down. I had some great people that worked closely with me, and they are one of the reasons I miss the festival. Find those people and keep them close, cherish them, for everyone else lacks what community really means. Films, even indies these days, are becoming boring and tiresome businesses. There is very little to do with the art. And so films are suffering. Art is suffering. It is a lonely field when you stand alone, but sometimes that is the way of things. But then, every so often, someone stumbles into that same field for the same reasons. Hold on to those people, those festivals and those types of communities.

You can read more about "Brother" here .

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Interview: Alexander Thomas, writer/director of "Beverley"

On 5th March, 2016 (the weekend before International Women's Day) at Pawa 254, Mageuzi Theatre, ROFFEKE will host "Chicks as Crew and Cast", a celebration of short films and music videos by female directors and/or with female protagonists. The main feature will be Alexander Thomas' "Beverley".

ROFFEKE: What inspired you to write “Beverley?”

ALEX: The most honest answer would be my producer, Cass Pennant. The idea of making a film with the 2-Tone subculture as the backdrop to the film was his idea. I was only just born when it was going on, so whilst I knew the music and the bands as it has had such an impact, I didn't know too much about the social and cultural importance of the movement. It was only when I came to research it thoroughly that I realised what an exciting project this could be.

Also having Beverley Thompson involved in the project was hugely helpful. She lived through the period and was a Rude Girl back then searching for her identity as a mixed race teenager. Her life stories and experience were a key inspiration for the film. Finally, there were so many things that period had in common with now: we were dealing with economically tough times; a neo-liberal, highly ideological right wing government; divisive cultural and media messages which were leading to problems around race and multiculturalism; high youth unemployment rates - a genuinely disaffected youth which led to social disturbances such as riots. All of this is incredibly familiar today. We haven't moved on and the questions of British identity which the film poses are just as relevant today.

ROFFEKE: What are the challenges of directing your own screenplay?

ALEXANDER: I think there are more benefits than challenges. You understand what you are trying to achieve from the start. The important thing is to make sure everyone in your team understands your vision and that you thereby enable them to maximise their own skills and creativity to enrich the project further. I think that's probably the main challenge whether it's your own screenplay or not - with filmmaking the key is always to be collaborative - to realise you have a whole team of incredibly talented people and you need to bring out all of that potential creativity to make the film a success, not just try to keep it all to yourself.

ROFFEKE: Highest point and lowest point during the shooting of “Beverley”

ALEXANDER: The highest point was probably the gig scene. We weren't sure how many extras were going to turn up, but we ended up with a really good crowd and there was an incredible atmosphere to shoot in. As well as that, just day one - being on set with the incredible cast I had really felt like a privilege. Low points, there were a few. With a low budget, highly ambitious film, we had to take risks. Sometimes we ran into problems, but luckily everybody pulled together and we always got through one way or another. When it all works out in the end, you kind of forget the problems you faced - so I won't dwell on them now!

ALEXANDER: Advice for writers wanting to get into directing?

Just to go out and start making films. Anything really: docs, fiction, music videos, whatever. There's no lesson like trying something out yourself - you viscerally feel the successes and failures and those experiences are then burnt into you in a way just watching films will never quite equal. You can shoot things on your phone nowadays, so there's no excuse for not having access to what you need. Just come up with an idea that makes use of the tools, places and people you have access to and do it. I started with documentary for that reason. There's endless infinite real life stories out there and fascinating people you cross paths with every day.

ROFFEKE: Film by a female director that you would highly recommend?

ALEXANDER: Frida by Julie Taymor. A brilliant film about a brilliant woman.

Come watch "Beverley" and other short films on 5th March, 2016 at Pawa 254, Mageuzi Theatre. More details here.

Monday, February 29, 2016

United Nations of Rock: Review by Erastus Hinga

The Kenyan film industry is growing fast and young, innovative brains are coming up with amazing ideas to satisfy the thirst for Kenyan stories. It is 30th January; the long dry month is coming to an end. Few people stream into the auditorium of USIU. Notable among them is a lady in all black. Her dressing during the festival tells it all; she loves rock. And in her eyes you can see a vision larger than a mountain.

The USIU auditorium is far from full. Over 20 films and music videos are screened. The most popular film is about Joe [This is Joe], the guy who invented Superman then went ahead to become blind and lose his rights to the character. We also get to see a preview of Mildred’s upcoming short film, "Abso-bloomin-lutely" [inspired by the song of the same name, done by Kenyan rock band Murfy's Flaw].

The aim of the festival is to desensitize Kenyan society on the myths surrounding rock. Come next time, I’m sure you will enjoy.

[The next ROFFEKE screening will be on the 5th of March, on the Saturday before International Women's Day. Theme: "Chicks" as Crew and Cast. See this for more details]

Erastus Hinga is a screenwriter and a member of the Kenya Scriptwriters Guild

Thursday, February 18, 2016

#Freeconfess Metal band from Iran arrested for...just being a metal band


ROFFEKE's motto is "Friendship, Fun, Freedom". Freedom. ROFFEKE supports freedom in any part of the world because when we protect freedom in some place, we protect freedom in our space too.

Here's a link to a petition that every freedom-loving rock fan should sign. Let's help our brothers in metal.

SIGN PETITION HERE

"Help Free CONFESS they were arrested by the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution and are facing charges of blasphemy, advertising against the system, running an illegal and underground band and record label promoting music considered to be Satanic writing anti-religious lyrics and granting interviews to forbidden foreign radio stations."

(words from Metal injection)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Jonathan LaPoma: 67 Awards and Honors for his screenplays

Jonathan LaPoma is an award-winning (67 awards and honors!) screenwriter and a novelist. He submitted his screenplay to ROFFEKE:

“Thank you so much for submitting your screenplay to ROFFEKE. I have read the first ten pages and really enjoyed it. It reads well, is quite engaging and hints at a rock 'n' roll/music theme. Unfortunately, I will have to decline because we are currently only accepting screenplays that are ten pages long, maximum. However, if you are interested, I would still love to interview you for the ROFFEKE blog.”

Jonathan was gracious enough to agree to the interview.

ROFFEKE: What inspired you to write "A Noble Truth"?

JONATHAN: A NOBLE TRUTH was my first screenplay, and it's very loosely based on a road trip I took with a friend after graduating college. While the majority of the events in the script are made up, the tension between the two characters is similar to the tension between me and my friend while we were on this trip. I built upon that tension, and centered the script around the idea that, when we move towards our suffering rather than away from it, we can start to understand our misery and take steps to overcoming it. I wanted to use the script as a means to challenge people into looking at the negative forces inside of themselves holding them back from peace and success in their lives, and to see what the effects might be on society if a large number of people were to do this.

ROFFEKE: How long did it take you to write it?

JONATHAN: I wrote the first draft of A NOBLE TRUTH in about six weeks. I spent the first two weeks reading David Trottier's THE SCREENWRITER'S BIBLE (which I highly recommend) to learn how to format the script, then I actually wrote the script over the next four weeks. I did so many revisions to it over the next few years that I've lost count. The script is almost entirely different now from the first draft, but it took that amount of time to become what it wanted to be. Some scripts come together quickly in a matter of days, but A NOBLE TRUTH required more time to get all of the elements right.

ROFFEKE: Briefly, what's your writing process like?

JONATHAN: When I get an idea for a script, I'll let it germinate in my mind for some period of time where I pick it apart to see if it has the legs to stand on its own as a script. If it passes this test, then I usually write an informal outline with rough sketches of the scenes. Once I have that, I start writing. Sometimes the script comes together quickly (I wrote THE WAY BACK HOME in about five days), and sometimes it takes more time (DELLWOOD took about eight months). Once I have a first draft down, I'll usually try to forget about it for a few weeks, then I'll come back and re-read it to get a better understanding of what it is I've written. I'll then think of what it is I'm trying to say with the script--what important message lies underneath it all--and I'll do some shaping and pruning to better bring this message to the surface. After that, I'll go through it a few more times to make sure I've formatted everything correctly, that there are no typos, that the jokes and/or insights are fresh and original, that I've done my best to accentuate the personalities/journeys of the characters, etc... Then I submit to contests and see what they have to say.

ROFFEKE: "A Noble Truth" features a songwriter. You yourself have written approximately 60 songs. Your short story "A Sacrifice to the God of the Blues" is loosely based on a road trip you took with a friend. "A Noble Truth" features a road trip. How much of you/your life finds its way into the screenplays, songs, poems and novels you write?

JONATHAN: Pretty much everything I've written has been based on some event I've experienced that has had a profound effect on me, whether positive or negative. If something can cause such a stir inside of me, I figure other people will also be able to relate with it in some way, even if they're not consciously aware of it. Some of my stories/poems/songs are very close to real events that have happened in my life, and others are complete fabrications--but even those fabrications are based on real emotions I've felt.

ROFFEKE: You have won numerous awards for your screenplays. What's your secret to screenwriting success?

JONATHAN: Well, the most important thing is to write a great script. While "great" is subjective, if you can write a script with strong, unique characters, a fresh, compelling storyline, and with some insight into the human condition, you're well ahead of the curve.

Once you have a great script, I recommend researching the various competitions out there to see which might be a good fit. If you've written a sports story, look for festivals/competitions that have a sports theme. If you've written a thriller, look for festivals/contests that are looking for thrillers. There are thousands of contests out there, so even if you've written an abstract, inaccessible art house piece, you're bound to find at least one looking for your kind of work. I'd recommend getting on FilmFreeway if you haven't already done so. You can look up thousands of contests and submit to them as well.

ROFFEKE: Advice for aspiring screenwriters?

JONATHAN: Know your story. I think that's the strongest advice I can give to a fellow screenwriter. The screenwriting community is filled with "gurus," and how-to books, and writers groups, and coverage services just waiting to tell you exactly what's wrong with your work, for a fee of course! If you don't know your script, you may be advised into editing the best parts out of it and replacing them with meaningless, formulaic drivel (or, maybe, inspired, insightful moments of genius, but that just don't work for your story). That's not to say that these groups, book, etc... have no merit.

I've received a lot of great advice from other members of the screenwriting community (Jacob Krueger Studio being one of these--I highly recommend checking him out), but that's because I know my scripts and I know what advice will work and what won't. The majority of the bad advice I usually get has more to do with the tastes of the person giving it than it does with actual story/character problems with my scripts.

If you take everyone's advice, you may quickly find that your story is no longer yours and becomes something you never intended to write. I see a lot of other screenwriters who take this advice to heart and quickly make changes without thinking about whether those changes will improve their story. I think a lot of this has to do with insecurity. There's a lot of shame out there, and those who are the most insecure run the risks of being steamrolled by it.

Again, that's not to say that good advice doesn't exist, because it absolutely does and has benefited my writing, but if you don't know your story, you run the risk of never knowing your story.To prevent against this, ask yourself why you decided to write your script in the first place. What about it is intriguing? Inspiring? Original? What about it shows your unique perspective of the world? Hold onto that information and let it guide you when you feel as though you're getting lost in the sea of advice, and it just might guide your script into production some day.

For more information about Jonathan and his work, check out his website

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Comments on "The ABC of ROFFEKE" Screenings (September 2015 at iHub)

I liked all the films especially the one for Superman [“This is Joe”] and the last one which was longer [“Frontman”]. I look forward to attending all the rest.
– Angela Nzisa, Actress and Moi University student.

The video of Jonny making a deal with the devil ["Souled Out"] had an interesting ending... I liked the one with the Jazzy feel, the Maroon 5 song Jazz version… I liked the Marlowe song…. The 1980’s group with the underappreciated guitarist was funny [Wild Oates]… Also the one with funny bathroom noises [The Big Pain].
–Jerry Shidzugane, writer and illustrator of Uncle Pedro's Chicken


The most memorable was the guy shooting at cockroaches with a gun [Copula]. Also the rockstar losing his hearing...that stirred something and left a mark."
- Betty Mutimba

“I teared up during this one because, I have thought of all my favourites losing body parts or hearing or sight… or voice. You never know, going into surgery if you are going to come out better or damaged beyond repair, or at all, you know? Live NOW!!! Is what it felt like it was telling me.” https://web.facebook.com/RISHKENYA/?fref=ts, Kenyan female rock musician, commenting on "Frontman"

“The screening was amazing. I saw the poster the day before and decided to come. I would appreciate if I can get a poster for the next event earlier to share with my friends because I'm sure many would be willing to come. We were four of us from Nairobi University and had the news reached us earlier, we would have been more. The main feature [“Frontman”] was awesome and it was great how it illustrated the various relationships the artist had with his fans, daughter and the manager.” – Bedan Mwathi

The ABC of ROFFEKE - 33 short films/music videos divided into 3 categories: Animation, Black & White and Comedy.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

ROFFEKE AWARDS: Most Troubled Rockstar


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Of broken homes, family portraits and unborn children - Universal Children's Day

"The one thing all children have in common is their rights. Every child has the right to survive and thrive, to be educated, to be free from violence and abuse, to participate and to be heard. "- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Is divorce violence against children? The writer of this article seems to think so.

Penelope Trunk thinks “Divorce is immature and selfish: Don’t do it”

Are the kids better off when the parents “stay together for the kids” or are they better off when the parents divorce? It’s a heated debate that will continue even as the divorce rate continues to rise. But whatever side of the fence you are on, you cannot deny the anger and angst in these rock songs about children and divorce.

Stay Together for the Kids by Blink 182


Broken Home by Papa Roach


Blurry by Puddle of Mudd


Family Portrait by Pink


Serve the Servants by Nirvana


“Every child has the right…to participate and to be heard. "- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

"Natasha had great prospects and dreams for herself and her generation, but all crashed when her dreams were cut short..." - Synopsis of "Losing My Pride"

Nigerian filmmaker Ayo Donaldlove allows the child in his short film "Losing My Pride" to actively participate and to be heard. My colleague Luci Doll said of this short film: "Film is an art-form meant to elicit a reaction from the viewer. "Losing my Pride" certainly achieves that. From the beginning to its gruesome conclusion, it is a sadly familiar story, consistently surprising in it's retelling of an age old tale. The use of rock in the sound-track was unexpected, and surprisingly appropriate. Very nicely used."

"Losing My Pride" was one of five short films submitted to ROFFEKE from Nigeria and was the only one accepted. You can read more about “Nollywood: Punk Filmmaking in Nigeria” here

The debate continues as to when a child becomes a child but no matter which side of the fence you are on, when you watch Donaldlove’s short film, you will agree that it is a powerful short film that allows the child to be heard. You can watch it here

Another powerful short film is the animation "The Sound of Road" by Barzan Rostami, also a 2015 ROFFEKE Official Selection. There is no monologue by the child but he/she speaks volumes. You can watch it here

For the children and the flowers are my sisters and my brothers
Their laughter and their loveliness could clear cloudy days
Like the music of the mountains, and the colours of the rainbow
They're a promise of the future and a blessing for today
- "Rhymes and Reasons" by John Denver

Happy universal children’s day!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Rock 'n' Roll, Rifles and Remembrance Day

I began writing this post at 11am (Kenyan time) on the 11th day of the 11th month. In 1918, these three 11’s marked the end of the first World War hostilities; Remembrance Day (for we from Commonwealth nations) or Armistice Day or Veterans Day (for Americans). Today’s blog post is in honour of all those brave men and women who served or are serving in the Armed Forces.

Did you know that:

1. Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Maynard James Keenan (Tool), Ray Manzarek (The Doors) and other famous rock stars served in the Armed Forces? Read more about it here

2. The World War Memorial Statue on Kenyatta Avenue (formerly known as Delamere Avenue) in Nairobi was erected in 1924 “ to the memory of the native troops who fought: To carriers who were the feet and hands of the army: And to all other men who served and died for their King and Country in Eastern Africa in the Great War, 1914-1918”?


3. Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) and Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) took part in the “Music Heals” concert? The concert’s aim was to create awareness about MusiCorps, a program that uses the healing power of music to help wounded war veterans with their rehabilitation.

4. In 1984, a Kamba veteran of both World War 1 and World War 2, Mzee Kitiku wa Mukuu, claimed that he was one of the three African soldiers depicted in the War Memorial monument, specifically, the barefooted gun bearer with a walking stick. He was known by his Kamba nom de guerre Mukua Ivuti (Gun Bearer) and according to WONI.WITU: “It is most likely that he was an aide to a European officer. He gained fame when he eliminated a notorious German sniper during the battle of Mbuyuni in the present Taita-Taveta in 1916.” He goes on to write that: “For the Akamba, the war was pointless as they were unaware of European quarrels and they wanted no part in it. However, the colonial government forced many young men to join the non-combatant section of the military known as the Carrier Corps.”

http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=6181
5. “Afraid to Shoot Strangers” by Iron Maiden “ is a political track based on war and how governments and generals are using soldiers as pawns when they don't really want to kill anyone. Written around the time of the first Gulf War” (From Songfacts.com)

Below is the short film of the same name, submitted to ROFFEKE by Luis Camacho Campoy



6. “While Kings George VI and his father King George V before him seem to have rewarded the British soldiers who fought the wars for the crown with large chunks of protectorate land, very few of the so-called ‘native troops’ and ‘our glorious dead’ were ever rewarded for their contribution in the victory of the allied forces in the wars. They actually came back home and were still treated as third-class citizens.” (From enchantedlandscapes.com)






Tuesday, October 27, 2015

ROFFEKE at #BFMA2015 (Broadcast Film and Music Africa)

Attend the ROFFEKE workshop at this year's BFMA conference. 28th October, 4pm at Trinity Centre, All Saints Cathedral, opposite Serena Hotel. Registration is free. You can register here.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Food, Film and Rock 'n' Roll

Today is world food day so this post is going to touch on matters food, film and rock ‘n’ roll.

First, a glimpse into some of the short films and music videos submitted to ROFFEKE that touch on food or feature food:

Music Video - WOO HOO (You're So)
Director: Martin Brozers
Synopsis: An explosive Thai cook, an evil man on the fish market of La Paz and an old Provençale granny lying on her hospital bed. What on earth could connect them?... TV, of course! 2nd music video for the very rock band Jesus Is My Girlfriend.

Don’t you have a good feeling?
Synopsis: A young man decides to play a prank on a street cleaner in order to get the attention of a lady. But the lady has a much better idea.
Featured Food: Weird smelling food and a sandwich



Music Video - Wonderland: What do you really wanna say
Director: Eszter Angyalosy & Dániel Szőke
Featured Food: Marshmallows (I think). You can watch it here and let me know if it is indeed marshmallows.

Synopsis: "Wonderland is an imaginary band from the novel by the Hungarian authors Eszter Angyalosy and Akos Baranyai. But the imaginary band's imaginary biggest hit, 'What Do You Really Wanna Say' has become real, thanks to the musicians Adam Szeker, Gergely Ambrus Horvath and Akos Baranyai. Isn't it a wonder? Be part of this extraordinary experience, come with us to Wonderland, listen our song, watch our video, and enjoy the Wonderland feeling."

Speaking of imaginary bands, I would like to officially introduce The Shenganiguns. They feature prominently in the short film “Banned Band” which was shot on location at Pawa254. To conclude this blog post about food, film and rock ‘n’ roll, below is an interview of Shiru, head of “The Roaming Cook”. Lunch for the two days of shooting “Banned Band” was prepared by “The Roaming Cook.”


ROFFEKE: What were your observations when you were on the set of “Banned Band”?

SHIRU: I would be generic and just say that the cast and crew were very nice and accommodating and for the most part, that would be true.

ROFFEKE: What did you learn from this experience?

SHIRU: This experience for me was part of the learning curve. I got to see my coping mechanism at work. It is interesting working among young people.

ROFFEKE: What were your observations of the cast and crew?

SHIRU: I didn’t quite get to know the cast and crew. Here are a few observations...
I think Cajetan is amazing. He didn’t quite engage with me on any level though I would have appreciated the opportunity to interact with him.
His AD she is the real deal. Very supportive and solution oriented. I feel that she gets things done without being bossy and overbearing.
I think my fave cast member is Gitau. That’s a good man. Easy going, confident, kind and 100% helpful. He is a keeper!!
As for the producer, I’m grateful for the opportunity given to me. Very hard working and definitely talented in putting together a story, a crew and making it work. Leadership is about managing expectations while carrying the vision and ensuring that it all gets done. It is high pressure because individuals are hard to manage- they have opinions. In my opinion she did well.

Banned Band
Director: Cajetan Boy
Assistant Director: Jackie Emali
Writer/Producer: Mildred Achoch (founder of ROFFEKE)
Executive Producer: Dr. Marc Rigaudis (Film Department, USIU-A)
Caterer: The Roaming Cook

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

60 Hour Challenge: A Chat with Cajetan Boy, Producer/Assistant Director of “Light Sleeper”

TEAM NAME: NA KADHALIKA
TITLE: Light Sleeper
LINE OF DIALOGUE: Can you smell that? I don't know what to do anymore.
LINE OF ACTION: A razor is cleaned in water...
DIRECTOR: Caroline Odongo
PRODUCER/ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Cajetan Boy

ROFFEKE: What were the highlights of the 60 hour challenge?

CAJETAN: Highlights? Everything was a highlight!

ROFFEKE: How was it working with the USIU-A trainees?

CAJETAN: A few challenges here and there but they have come round now. Some really good workers too. Though we did not manage to cover every department.

ROFFEKE: What would you have done differently?

CAJETAN: Had more time and resources - equipment wise.

ROFFEKE: Advice for aspiring 60 hour challenge contestants?

CAJETAN: Teamwork. When you meet an obstacle - Improvise adapt and conquer (stolen motto/quote, but works.). Teamwork. Do your 1 job 100% - don't cross lines. Teamwork. Have fun. Teamwork.

Cajetan Boy is the director of “Banned Band”, the first short film in the 10-short-film series titled “Let it Be Rock
Below is the link to the 60 hour challenge short film: “Light Sleeper”, directed by Caroline Odongo.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Spirit Dance: A Screenplay by Kitania Kavey

"After the death of her father, a disabled girl dances her way back to happiness and provides her grieving mother with an opportunity to connect with people again."

ROFFEKE: What inspired you to write "Spirit Dance"?

KITANIA: It is the visual representation of how I experience the world. Like the main character in my story, I have mental and physical disabilities, and have found myself throughout much of my life living with external challenges. I wanted to show that people with "different" ways of viewing the world aren't bad or wrong... and that music and dance can help us connect with people of all abilities.

ROFFEKE: Why animation as opposed to live-action?

KITANIA: I wanted a way to clearly define the contrast between what is in the main character's imagination and the "real" world around her, and I thought that in animation, my characters could also more easily be ethnically ambiguous, like me!

ROFFEKE: What are your thoughts about how people with disability are portrayed in film?

KITANIA: For me, I am most comfortable when the disability is not the focus of the story, or used as a trigger (the sole reason why a character is evil or depressed, for example). It doesn't bother me when 'regular' actors portray disabled characters. I've acted in many roles for which I had no 'real life' experience, but one can develop empathy and understanding about how to portray a particular type, personality or occupation. It would be great to see more disabled actors in 'regular' roles, though!

ROFFEKE: Your advice to aspiring screenwriters?

KITANIA: Learn proper screenplay formatting. A brilliant story may be overlooked simply because it is hard to read due to formatting problems and plot issues. However, if you plan to direct your own screenplay, then break any formatting rules you want.

ROFFEKE: Your advice to female screenwriters?

KITANIA: Find your voice, and write for your intended audience. If the odds are 1 in 100, be the one. If you can't find the examples of women who have done what you want to do, then lead others by your example. And of course, if you're not directing your own screenplay - use good format!

About Kitania Kavey: "Disabled screenwriter who finds purpose and passion in writing short and feature-length live-action and animation screenplays."

Also check out Rock 'n' Roll and Disability

Friday, September 18, 2015

Animation School: Things you should look for when choosing one

I asked prolific filmmaker Robert Lyons his views on this article by Atlantis Studios titled “4 things You Should Look For When Choosing A Animation School in Kenya.” Below are his thoughts:

I am in agreement with it in regards to their 4 points, they are in fact valid points. I do have a few "howevers" in regards to some of them.

#1) Does the program teach all aspects of the art of animation? This can be pretty subjective; animation is a broad discipline involving many aspects, including art & design, film theory, history, software and computer skills, as well as other technologies. It also depends upon the goals and objectives of the curriculum; are they preparing students for the existing animation job market, or are they helping them to become independent animation filmmakers in their own right. Personally I find many schools offer an over emphasis on software skills in sacrifice of many of the other items I mentioned. But this seems largely driven by economic times and the rising costs of going to school. People want to know they can find employment quickly after graduating.

#2) How much experience does the instructors have in the animation industry? I have taught now in 5 different universities (The School of Visual Arts, The New School, NYU, The University of the Arts, and Pratt Institute) and in all of them my academic credentials were secondary to my professional experience. However that seems to be changing, many of those schools would not hire me today because I do not hold a masters degree. I think this has to do with a changing landscape in the accreditation process.

#3) Where is the animation school located? This is important, but not necessarily essential. Four of the schools I have taught at are in NYC, three in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn, the fifth one is in the city of Philadelphia. The NYC schools hold a greater appeal and some additional clout as a result of being in NYC and as a result being more connected to a more active animation community and job market. However, sometimes it can be advantageous to be removed from the commotion and distractions of a big city when one is trying to focus artistically. Personally, I went to college in a small town in upstate NY and am very happy that I did so. Also there are great schools like Sheridan College in Canada that are located hours outside of the nearest big city/job market.

#4) Does the school have a good alumni network? This is also a plus, but often is more a function of the student body themselves than of the administrative structure. Students set up a variety of different social networks that usually continue on beyond their years at school.

A couple of points that were not mentioned in the article that come to mind as equally important are:

1) What kind of facilities does the school have. Are their computer, software, cameras and other equipment up to date, in good repair, and is there an adequate supply to support the enrollment.

2) Does the school have a campus, or is it like some NYC schools a number of dislocated buildings or even a single building with no other support infrastructure for the students to interact and otherwise replenish their energies and inspiration when not in classes.

3) Does the school have a strong internship program in place? I am the internship coordinator for the animation department at Pratt. The internship program offers opportunities for students to begin bridging the gap between academia and the professional job market while still in school giving them a valuable foot in the door to possible future employment.

Hope all of that helps. And let me know if you would like me to submit any more films to ROFFEKE.

On 19th September, at iHub you will have the opportunity to watch Robert Lyons’ animation films at “The ABC of ROFFEKE”, from 2pm. Some of his films that will be screened include:

DRAW HERE

At the 46th annual 2015 ASIFA-East Animation Awards Festival after party held at The New School in NYC we set up a whiteboard with many colored markers for the animation artists in attendance to have some fun with. I documented that fun via time-lapse photography setting up a digital still camera connecting to a lap top with Dragonframe stop motion software. I shot 1 frame every 5 seconds with a 1/2 sec long exposure time for the duration of the party. Have fun trying to spot some of the animation celebrities as they briefly flash by in front of the camera. The music used is "Sweet Tea" by the Woggles.

SUMMERTIME

This rotoscoped animation created in my 2012 U-Arts Animation ll class was derived from a music video for the group Mungo Jerry of their #1 hit song "In the Summertime".

IMAGINARY SUPERHEROES (Anijam)

Created in my 2015 Pratt Experimental Animation class based on a theme chosen by the class, each of the ten students worked independently and contributed a different segment to this animated film exploring the culture of the superhero.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Rock is Not an Attitude: Short Film by XIAOXIAO TANG

Synopsis: A stop-motion rock band talks about life before their band: Rock is not only an attitude. Our lives are a reflection of our attitudes: just like music, we are all different and unique, but there is no distance between us.

Luci Döll’s review: “This beautifully composed stop-motion film manages to skilfully force one to ask themselves, is rock and roll something you put on, or something that puts you on? Lovely, lovely work.”

ROFFEKE: What inspired you to do a film about a rock band?
XIAOXIAO TANG: I love rock music but in reality I cannot sing or play a musical instrument, so I wanted to make an animation about my own rock band, which would allow me to live out my fantasy:)
ROFFEKE: Are the characters based on real people or are they completely fictional?
XIAOXIAO: The rock band in my film is fictional.
ROFFEKE: Which band member of this fictional band is your favourite and why? :-)
XIAOXIAO: My favorite character is the bassist, because I used to rely on a headphone in a environment where I could not enjoy. I also really like the hair style of the singer and drummer. After all the work for this film, the band members all feel like my kids and I do have a special feeling for them.

About Director Xiaoxiao Tang
Xiaoxiao (Soup) Tang is a director/artist who was born and raised in Beijing, China in 1989. She graduates from MFA Computer Art at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Xiaoxiao has worked as an animator on mixed media in both China and the US. Her projects include: Motion graphics for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, character animation for KAKU Media, directing videos for BAMC Mobile TV, as well as a stop-motion artist at Flick Book Studio in New York. She specializes in stop-motion animation and is particularly interested in its ability to allow a deeper expression based on its direct physical foundation. Now she works as mixed media artist at Hornet Inc.

Director’s Statement
As a stop-motion and mixed media animator/artist, I create work that is ‘alive’ and connected to the world. Our lives are a reflection of our attitudes: just like music, these attitudes can be classified as rock, classic, jazz or pop; just like music, we are all different and unique, but there is no distance between us.

WATCH "ROCK IS NOT AN ATTITUDE" AND OTHER SHORT FILMS AND MUSIC VIDEOS AT THE FIRST ROFFEKE SCREENING OF 2015. VENUE: iHUB, BISHOP MAGUA BUILDING, NGONG ROAD. TIME: 2PM TO 6PM ENTRY: FREE!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Happy Birthday Philipp Griess!

Today is the birthday of German director Philipp Griess, who directed a fascinating and entertaining rockumentary titled "CHAO LEH - PUNK NOMADS"

For 18 years,German punk band “Speichelbroiss” have been making noise in the Bavarian backwoods. With “ChaoLeh” they have written a German-Punk-Hit for Asia. CHAO LEH - PUNK NOMADS is a film about the everyday life of a punk band on a Do-It Yourself-low-budget tour through Asia.

Philipp Griess was born in 1981. He studied history in Berlin and documentary-camera at the film school ZeLIG in Bolzano, Italy. He works as cameraman for documentaries and as scriptwriter for German broadcasters and independent productions.

Director’s Statement: I hope we managed to make a melancholic comedy, that tells us about the times when reality hits you while you try to live your dream, sometimes emotional, sometimes with a toungue-in-cheek distance. What do you think?

Well, courtesy of ROFFEKE, Kenyans will have an opportunity to watch this documentary soon, and give their thoughts on it.

Happy Birthday Philipp!

(You can wish Philipp a happy birthday in the comments)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Of Sons of Robots, Robot Dreams Made Flesh and Wearable Android

“Sons of Robots” by Kenyan rock band RASH

“With everyone on their computers, phones, I-pads, games, and other sorts of gadgets, humanity has come to a point in which it is predominantly composed of slaves of technology... or rather "Sons of Robots"...



Robot Dreams Made Flesh by Robert Lyons (ROFFEKE OFFICIAL SELECTION)

An optical FX experiment combining time lapse photography with in-camera multiple exposures on 16mm film using Bolex cameras and an Oxberry animation stand. The subject is model maker/animator Michael Sullivan at work on his stop motion opus "The Sex Life of Robots". The music is "Five" by the Hadron Big Bangers.

Wearable Android by Keita Nishida (ROFFEKE OFFICIAL SELECTION)


Luci Döll's review: "Sitting on a bed of a funky bassline, is this hilarious look at how we tie ourselves to technology and how much technology owns us. This is literally laugh-out-loud funny."

ROFFEKE: What inspired you to make this very unique and entertaining short film?

Keita Nishida: "Wearable Android" was made as one of Japanese comedy movies project "TETSUDON -THE CRAZIEST SHORT FILMS FROM JAPAN-". I wanted to make a nonsense film. "Android" means both a smartphone OS and a robot that looks like a person. What if an android smartphone was a robot-like human? It sounded funny to me.I tried.I think it became a film which was not only nonsense, but also was satirical.

ROFFEKE: How long did it take you to make it?

Keita Nishida: 3days shooting. Including pre-production and post-production, it took 3 months.

ROFFEKE: What challenges did you face when making "Wearable Android"?

Keita Nishida: The hardest problem was the actors carrying the "android" while running. The actors had given up.HAHAHA.

ROFFEKE: Which are your favourite Japanese rock bands?

Keita Nishida: I like:The Blue Hearts (already broke up);SUPERCAR (already broke up);NUMBER GIRL (already broke up);Maximum The Hormone (Active).And I love the Clash and the Smiths too. Alicesailor (the actress in "Wearable Android") is the vocalist for the Amaryllis.

ROFFEKE: What was it about ROFFEKE that made you submit your film to the festival?

Keita Nishida: The name of the film festival is Rock'n Roll!I love Rock'n Roll. And I want to go to Kenya and Africa once, though I don't know I can go to ROFFEKE yet. Anyway, ROFFEKE has a very exciting name to me.

Friday, August 7, 2015

What a Wonderful World

“Some of you young folks been saying to me, "Hey Pops, what you mean 'What a wonderful world'? How about all them wars all over the place? You call them wonderful? And how about hunger and pollution? That ain’t so wonderful either." Well how about listening to old Pops for a minute. Seems to me, it ain’t the world that's so bad but what we're doin' to it. And all I'm saying is, see, what a wonderful world it would be if only we'd give it a chance. Love baby, love. That's the secret, yeah. If lots more of us loved each other, we'd solve lots more problems. And then this world would be better. That's wha' ol' Pops keeps saying.”
- Spoken intro to "What a Wonderful World" (1970 version)

This week (on August 4), the late great Louis Armstrong would have been celebrating his 114th birthday. He was 63 when “Hello, Dolly!” topped the charts on the week of May 9, 1964. “Hello, Dolly,” actually ended The Beatles’ streak of three No. 1 hits in a row over 14 consecutive weeks. The other song that Armstrong is known for is “What a Wonderful World.”

“What a Wonderful World” features in the soundtrack of two films that have been officially selected by ROFFEKE:

“The Hitchhikers.” Directed by Joung Han. Synopsis: A young driver is racially prejudiced. While he is traveling, he meets some hitchhikers by chance but refuses to give them a ride. This film is a wry comedy and a biting satire on racial discrimination.

“Wonderful World” Directed by David Saveliev. Synopsis: “The film is a visual comment to the song "What a Wonderful World" written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss, recorded by Louis Armstrong made as a science fiction drama about a lone survivor of an apocalypse who tries to escape his surroundings of a destroyed abandoned city through his imagination while listening to the song. The film raises the themes of how people interact with the world: after people destroy their world they search for it and try to come back into it. The film speaks of ecological problems and the importance of respect for the environment."

“What a Wonderful World” was also used to great effect in the film “Good Morning, Vietnam”:

“In Hollywood, director Barry Levinson was then working on Good Morning, Vietnam, a film that would star Robin Williams as Airman Second Class Adrian Cronauer, a military disc jockey who comes to work for the Armed Forces Radio Service in Saigon during the war. Levinson needed a song to use as a musical backdrop under a montage of Vietnam War images. He considered dozens of songs, but when he heard Armstrong’s version of “What A Wonderful World”, he knew it was the perfect choice for the counterpoint he had in mind. The poignant lyrics and Armstrong’s gravelly voice stood in stark contrast to the images of war Leivnson would screen, a paradox of sight and sound – not exactly the imagery Thiele, Weiss, and Armstrong had in mind at the song’s creation. Still, the music made its political points in the film, but the song also struck an emotional chord with audiences. As a result of this exposure, Armstrong’s 20 year-old recording of “What A Wonderful World” was re-released as a single, hitting No. 32 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in February 1988. In Australia, the single charted at No. 1 for a brief period in late June 1988....According to Thiele and Weiss credits listed at the Internet Movie Database, the song has also been used variously in at least 50 other TV shows and films.” (Source: The Pop History Dig - "Good Morning, Vietnam soundtrack")

“What a Wonderful World” has also struck a chord with various rock stars including Joey Ramone (he recorded it during his illness) Rod Stewart (duet with Stevie Wonder), Nick Cave (duet with Shane MacGowan) and Willie Nelson. Check them out: TOP 10 VERSIONS OF LOUIS ARMSTRONG'S 'WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD'
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So that’s that for “ a song sung by a Jazz great and covered by rock stars”. ROFFEKE is happy to announce that the music video for "a song done by a rock band and covered by an awesome Jazz singer" has been officially selected. The beautiful music video was directed by Jethro Massey. Synopsis: “An American in Paris... Texan jazz singer Hailey Tuck in a 1920s style music video for her cover of Maroon 5's song " My colleague, Luci Doll, said: “The singer seems to take the original Maroon 5 song to its logical conclusion, and the video happily follows the music where it's leading. Lovely, fresh re-imagining of the concept. Also, the two guys with the finger snaps are making me incredibly happy. I don't know why.”

Have a finger-snapping day!

ADDENDUM: Today (21st August), I found out that Kenyan rock band "RASH" have done a cover version of "What a Wonderful World"!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Tarantino, Tarantulas and Calebe Lopes’ “Copula”

“Wow, I'm so glad you liked it! It’s an honor for me and for the Brazilian independent cinema to be in ROFFEKE! The mention of Tarantino genius will leave me with insomnia! I Just LOVED IT!”

This was the enthusiastic response of 19 year old (Yes only 19!) Calebe Lopes to my message regarding his film “Copula”. My message: ‘Hilarious! I love Joel's (non) acting! We officially accept it :-) My colleague, Luci Döll said: "Entertaining film, like Tarantino but without the dialogue. To be perfectly fair, I'd react exactly like the protagonist in the same situation."’

The protagonist of this film is Joel. Synopsis: “Poor Joel ! He just wanted to see a movie about spiders, not fight them!”

ROFFEKE: What inspired you to make a movie that features spiders?

Calebe Lopes: The initial idea came after I watched “Enemy”, a movie by Dennis Villeneuve. The final scene of that film gave me a huge scare! I have been very afraid of spiders since childhood. They are not reliable and are very, very fast! Surely they are my phobia!

ROFFEKE: Who are your favourite directors and why do you admire them?

Calebe Lopes: My favorite directors in order: Alfred Hitchcock, Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese. I love their movies because above all, they are AUTHORS! They know the art of cinema, they know what they want from the camera and the public, and they all have their own style! I love the suspense and the stories that Hitchcock had, the narrative and shots of Scorsese and love the classic style of Tarantino, full of references laden with humor and pop culture! I tried to pass some of that on to “Copula”! There is the unexplained attack as in Hitchcock's The Birds, there is the camera moves and breaking the fourth wall of Scorsese and the irreverent style, the zoom in and zoom out, the quick cuts and B Movies language from Tarantino.

ROFFEKE: How long did it take you to film “Copula"?

Calebe Lopes: The shooting lasted the whole night and the morning of the next day. 10 hours of footage on average. The home scenes were filmed in my house, in the state called Bahia. The city scenes were filmed in a Brazilian megalopolis, Sao Paulo.

ROFFEKE: What challenges did you have?

Calebe Lopes: The main challenges were filming with no money and no staff. I had no money, had no professional actor. It was all done by friends: a soundtrack composed by a friend, the visual FX by a friend, you know, it's an indie movie.

Well ROFFEKE salutes Calebe Lopes’ indie, do-it-yourself punk ethic!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

President Obama's Tribute to Led Zeppelin!

"I worked with a speech writer. There is no smooth transition from ballet to Led Zeppelin. (Laughter). We were trying to work the Stairway to Heaven metaphor...it didn't work. (Laughter). When Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham burst onto the music scene in the late 1960s, the world never saw it coming. There was this singer with a mane like a lion, a voice like a banshee; a guitar prodigee who left people's jaws on the floor; a versatile bassist who was equally at home on the keyboards and a drummer who played like his life depended on it..."

Watch the rest of the AWESOME tribute.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

BARACK OBAMA, TOM MORELLO, W.KAMAU BELL AND ROBERT LYONS

W. Kamau Bell: You've often drawn comparisons between you and Barack. You both went to Harvard, you're both half Kenyan, devastatingly attractive...
Tom Morello: I have a pretty good outside jumper.
W. Kamau Bell: Yeah, pretty good outside jumper. So how disappointed is your Mom that you're not the first black president?
Tom Morello: (laughs)

Watch Tom Morello's very interesting answer:



W. Kamau Bell: Your latest single "we are the 99 percent" is about Occupy Wallstreet. You are deep in the Occupy Wallstreet movement. Why do you think it's so important for artists to be connected to social movements and should all artists do that?

One artist (who is a literal artist, as in drawing and painting etc), that was also involved in the Occupy Wallstreet movement is Robert Lyons. He is "An animation artist with a history in photographic and optical special effects that has worked with many of NYC’s most prominent production houses." His film and TV credits include: “Pee Wee’s Playhouse”, Peter Gabriel’s “Big Time” music video, Paramount Picture’s “Star Trek V”, Bill Morrison’s “Decasia” and Zbigniew Rybczynski’s “The 4th Dimension”. In 1992 he founded his own animation/effects company, Interface Arts. Currently he is working as a media arts professor at Pratt Institute and The University of the Arts teaching film and animation courses while also creating his own independent animation, documentary, and experimental films.

Five of Robert Lyon's experimental films have been officially selected by ROFFEKE. The other Robert Lyon film that has been selected is his documentary titled "Occupy Wall $treet, Taking the Brooklyn Bridge". It is a documentary "disguised as a music video. Shot over the course of apx. 4 hours on October 1st, 2011, in Zuccotti Park, and on the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC. It's day 14 of the Occupy Wall Street movement and a march has been planned, however the destination was as yet unknown. Participating for my first time, I wanted to document this emerging phenomenon and brought a video camera. As it turned out, for a brief time we collectively occupied The Brooklyn Bridge, at least until 700 of us were arrested. This was my experience."

You can watch the documentary here.

Long live positive rebellion!

And long live Tom Morello's awesome guitar solos :-)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

SOULED OUT: A fun film that touches on the question - is rock 'n' roll the devil's music?

Souled out is a fun and funny short film with a twist in its red,pointed tail! :-) It touches on the question: "Is rock 'n' roll the devil's music?" The synopsis: "Simon Lake discovers what it takes to become the greatest rock star of all time." It was directed by Stephen Broekhuizen.

Director’s Statement:
Souled out was perhaps the most fun we have had on a shoot. The actors were great and everything really came together well. The idea for the story was just in taking a little twist on how the Devil is often thought of in both the world at large but also in film and TV. It really was a joy to work with such a talented crew and as professional a group of actors as anyone could ever hope to work with.

ROFFEKE: How long did it take you to film this?

STEPHEN: It took us 7 hours to film it, but that was down to doing a lot of prep the week before, having all the sets ready to go. The makeup for the devil took a further 2 hours. The actors had the scripts for maybe 8 weeks before we started filming, so while it was fairly quick to shoot on the day, a lot of work was done before filming. We had the lighting set up ready to go and the fact that we had not far to travel between locations also helped. Like we always say, the more you put into pre production the easier the production goes. We were also so lucky to have a group of actors who fully bought into the script and just had fun with it. Had we a budget or anything we would have maybe done a bit more with it but given it was done without any funding we did the best we could.

ROFFEKE: Did you write a full screenplay for this or did you just work with the idea/treatment and had the actors ad lib?

STEPHEN: It was scripted. The only ad lib was a little in the radio interview but even parts of that were scripted. I usually write very quickly; the script took about 40 minutes to write once I had the idea.

ROFFEKE: Any challenges?

STEPHEN: Getting the hospital bed was very tricky. We already had the radio studio as we do a podcast now and then and double it as our editing suite, but for sure getting the hospital bed was tough as patients can't get them. We were lucky in that a nursing home was able to give us a room they use for training for a few hours. The next challenge was, for sure, getting the devil looking right. Our makeup girl is fantastic and our wonderful devil (Paddy Gilley) was so patient in his having the makeup applied. It was always going to be key to have the devil look somewhat right or the film wouldn't work really so that was a worry but it turned out very well. Other issues are the usual things you come across such as issues around camera angles in tight spaces. The radio scene was filmed in an attic space that was very tight so that was a technical challenge for sure. Outside of that like anything else you need a little luck for things to work out and we managed to get that as well. My crew are all fantastic and that gives you a confidence to focus on the story and know the shots will look good and everything else will be taken care of.

Director's Bio:

Stephen Broekhuizen grew up between Cork in Ireland and Lisse in Holland. He graduated in 2008 from the University of Southern Maine in America and has been involved in film making and radio production and podcasting since 2003. He is a founding member of Here is No Why productions and has been making films and music videos with them since 2013.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

ATTENTION ALL KENYAN ROCK BANDS! - Machakosfest: A short film festival

Hey Kenyan rock bands! Here is a great opportunity for your music to be used in a short film. Alternatively, you can take the initiative and commission a short film to be made and have your music used in the soundtrack. Here's more information.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Josep Calle Buendia, The Devil’s Nephew and a Fairy Tale!

Josep Calle Buendía produced and directed the MUY low-budget yet MUY creative music video for the song “Fairy Tale”. The song was composed and sung by El Sobrino del Diablo, which in English means “The Devil’s Nephew” :-) Josep submitted the music video to the ROFFEKE festhome.com page, together with the following synopsis: “The song deals with the world economic and values crisis, especially in Spain, and how it is affecting children.”

I was so impressed and blown away by the music video that I just had to interview Josep! He was gracious enough to answer my questions.

ROFFEKE: Gracias por su película maravillosa! I loved it! I would really like to know how you did it, the process of making it. How long did it take you? How much did it cost?

JOSEP CALLE BUENDIA: Thank you for your words. I did it with an animation process called "stop motion". It's like a cartoon, but I took photos instead of making drawings. I took 12 pictures per second.

ROFFEKE: How long did it take you? How much did it cost you?

JOSEP: The making was long, about 2 months. It costs less than 100 euros (the cost of some material, photocopies and prints). You can find the videoclip on Youtube too.



ROFFEKE: What was the most challenging part of making the video?

JOSEP: The most challenging part was the animation process. It is difficult to move the objects the right millimetres at the right time!

ROFFEKE: Milimetres. Wow! Why did you particularly use the stop motion technique to make the video? Was it your first time to use this technique or have you done other similar projects?

JOSEP: I am animator and the stop motion technique is my favourite. The musician also loves this technique. He gave me total freedom to adapt his song into images. I have done more animation shorts films. You can check my webpage

ROFFEKE: Were you the one who approached the musician or was it the musician who approached you? In other words, how did you guys find out about each other's work?

JOSEP: I approached the musician because I am a fan of his music. He was very kind and our collaboration was a success. He made other video clips in the past, but this was the first with the stop motion techniques, and it was very exciting. The song is so visual that it was easy for me to imagine the stories for each verse.

ROFFEKE: If someone wants to get into stop motion animation, what words of advice would you give them? What tools would they need? What qualities, apart from the obvious one - PATIENCE - would they need?

JOSEP: The tools I use for modeling are clay sculpting tools. I capture every movement with a DSLR camera connected to a laptop through a stop motion software.The main word of advice for anyone to get into stop motion is determination. It's very common to have unfinished projects because of the hard work required, especially in the beginnings... With patience and determination you can do anything.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Rock 'n' Roll and Superman (and Supergirl too!)

ROFFEKE is currently receiving submissions of rock 'n' roll related short films and music videos on its festhome.com page. So far, 8 amazing films and music videos have been submitted and 7 have been selected. This blog post is dedicated to the fourth short film that was submitted. "This Is Joe (Éste Es Joe)" was written, directed and produced by Francis Diaz Fontan. The synopsis: "During the 70's, in New York, Joe Shuster works as a delivery guy. But it wasn't always like this...". Francis lists the genres of his debut film as "Art - Human Rights - Drama - Fantasy - Historical - Mockumentary - Silent Movie - Portrait" and the themes as "Disability - Employment - Historical - Death - Poverty - Loneliness". He lists the categories it falls under as "Animation - Documentary - Experimental - Fantastic". It is indeed a fantastic and memorable four minute film! One of the best (and tear-inducing) endings I have watched in a long time. For those who don't know, Joe Schuster is the co-creator of Superman. Yes, Superman is very much a rock 'n' roll theme. Remember "Kryptonite" by 3 Doors Down? "Superman" by Five for Fighting The theme song for Smallville My favourite Superman song and video is "Superman" by Luna Halo. A telephone booth takes centre stage and for those who know your Superman trivia, you know why a telephone booth should take centre stage in a Superman video :-) There is even an Indonesian punk rock band called "Superman is Dead" :-) Check out this out-of-this-world comic book story about the legend of Superman and rock 'n' roll legends :-) And just to be gender sensitive, I must mention Supergirl. I can't wait for the new Supergirl series! IT'S NOT A BIRD, IT'S NOT A PLANE, IT'S NOT A MAN :-) Here's the trailer. By the way, June is Superman month because: 1) He debuted in the June 1938 issue of Action Comics #1. 2) The (very real) town of Metropolis, Illinois became “Superman’s hometown” in June. 3) In some of the comics, Superman celebrates his birthday on June 10, which was the day he landed on Earth. 4) Clark Kent’s birthday is on June 18, the day he was adopted by the Kents. 5)June 18 is also the birthday of the first Superman actor, Mr. Bud Collyer! HAPPY SUPERMAN MONTH!

ADDENDUM: I discovered that Superman began defeating the KKK on June 10 !

Here's the original episode 1 that aired on June 10, 1946


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Are hackers the new rock stars?

Today I had the awesome opportunity to attend a workshop on #digital security, expertly facilitated by Harry Karanja and organized by CIPESA and KICTANET. It was aimed at journalists, bloggers and activists and was held at the beautiful Riara University. Day 1 went very well and I learned a lot of useful information, including about digital security tools such as torproject.org. But one issue that emerged during the group discussions was the issue of the “good hacker” or “hacking with permission”. Is there such a thing as a good hacker or is that an oxymoron? Isn’t hacking, by its very nature, “wrong”? Tomorrow, on day 2, we will be discussing the ethical and legal aspects of digital content/ digital content providers and I am really looking forward to it! But I just couldn’t help myself: I had to Google “ are hackers the new rock stars?” :-) Below are some of the very interesting sites that resulted from that Google search “Are hackers the new rockstars” Here is an excerpt from the article by Richard Kastelein: “TV is ripe for change. Forbes [magazine] says theres half a trillion dollars up for grabs as the Internet collides with TV." A very good example is the ROFFEKE TV channel, courtesy of brandcoder.com Kastelein goes on to write that: “Both print and music have been hit hard by the web and theres no reason to think that TV is immune from rapid and enormous change to the current value chain.” He then gives us some mind-boggling statistics about “The rise of the second screen”: (1)In the US, 77% Use TV and Internet simultaneously (2)87% of US Smartphone and 88% of tablet owners use it while watching TV (3)44% of total tablet usage is while watching TV (4)72% of under 25s in the UK comment on programs via social networks. “All these developments…are deeply affecting the TV industry as scarcity is removed due to IP delivered content. Innovation is what will save the industry…” The article poses this interesting question: “…who does not want a developer (hacker) community like Apple, Facebook and Google? Each company basically has 50,000 developers on spec, driving innovation at the speed of light.” Apparently many people in the TV industry are not yet ready to embrace hackers, um, I mean “developers” because: “…the walls are still high and tight intellectual property ownership is the core of the business. But building higher walls is not the answer. Its not going to save the TV industry.” The article closes with this thought-provoking morsel about what will save the TV industry: “Innovation will. And that’s likely to come from the outside [including hackers?] not inside [Entertainment industry executives and stakeholders]. Other articles that deal with the theme of hackers being the new rock stars include: “Hacker to InfoSec Pro: New Rock Star Generation” This talk was at the South by Southwest film festival: "Malicious hackers tend to be smart, young – many are only teenagers – and they seek respect, power and financial gain. Many of them perceive hacking like being a rock star – they jump into the action and start reaping the rewards. But what if we could help young malicious hackers understand the damage they are doing, the legal ramifications of their actions, and how these actions could hamper their future? What if we could reshape their mindsets and encourage them to channel their work into something more productive – like Information Security, white hat hacking or even working with the government? It’s a wonder that the InfoSec and IT industries have a shortage of talent when salaries are rising and work is comparable to that of hackers, but they are doing it for good. It’s time we turn InfoSec and IT professionals into the new rock stars, the new hot ticket future for the hacker generation. This panel is going to address why and what we need to do, and how to start making change." The South by Southwest conferences and festivals: "...offer the unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies." “New York City’s newest rock stars: the IT boys” Aaron Elstein writes: "There may be no surer sign that the cybersecurity experts' moment has arrived than the newfound attention they get from celebrities. Glee star Jane Lynch kicked off a trade show in San Francisco last month by tweaking the lyrics to a classic David Bowie song to express how angry she is at cybercriminals and ready for ch-ch-changes. "Work to save domains," she crooned." “Mondelez: Coders and hackers the new rock stars” "Coders are the next rockstars. We're entering an economy were we can create greater value by breaking things. [Corporates] have to hack and break ourselves to be better and create a different future for start ups and different future for ourselves.” “What developers think when you say “Rock Star”. One interesting thought by timwiseman: “I’ve always felt like going to a “rock star” job interview with dyed blue hair in a Mohawk, ripped jeans, chains, black string vest, black nail polish, black eye liner, leather jacket, walk in late and demand only blue M&Ms” :-) And “ANH” added: “Don’t forget to bite the head off a bat and trash the place on your way out.” :-) Zachwaugh said: “If by rock star, you mean someone that parties all night, comes in late and hungover, has weird contractual demands, and trashes hotel rooms on business trips, then yes, I guess I’m a rock star. When do I start?" :-) smokey-the-bear revealed that: “A Microsoft rectruiter told me I was a rockstar after an internship interview in 2001. It felt awesome at the time. But now it sounds like a dated way to recruit 19 year olds.” Motters1716 points out that: “The whole notion of software engineers having much in common with rock stars seems rather misguided. Being a software engineer does not usually involve making loud noises, trashing hotel rooms, having a shallow superficial personality, attracting teenage groupies of the opposite sex, repeatedly firing your manager or buying football teams.” Iph981716 says: “A rock star is somebody who plays in a rock band! There is no such thing as a rock star developer. It’s a stupid term. You have no inherent connection with rock music, you are not famous and don’t have thousands of adoring fans.”