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ROFFEKE Values

ROFFEKE Values
Friendship (networking), Fun (experimentation), Freedom (purpose, empowering, transparency)

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ROFFEKE logo by Jozie of Kenyan band 'Murfy's Flaw'

ROFFEKE is a member of the Universal Film and Festival Organization

Featured Post

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...

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Review: Nice Shoes - Written and Produced by Tommy Mack, Directed by Jonathan Lawrence

Reviewer: Tetley

This epic music video has a captivating plot, making reference to over 40 popular Sci-fi movies and shows. A guy abducts an alien during its autopsy and takes it back to its mother-ship in an attempt to rescue it. Touching on space exploration and human experience with complex character exploration from the cast.

There’s nothing fancy about the lyrics. The line,“…At the end of the day, I am everything and I am nothing…” was what saved the otherwise crappy lyrics of the song. Regardless, this epic music video definitely makes your to-watch-before-I-die list.

Reviewer: Love Kassim (June 3rd 2020)

The video is captivating. Definitely in trend considering Space X trials to the moon and over are ongoing. I like the Sci-fi theme, in this case, the shoes being either the aliens or the astronauts. Rammstein meets Limp Bizkit type of vibe. Music is thought provoking; that line "I am everything and I am nothing." 

I love the inclusion of the Star Wars characters. Other Sci-fi references I noticed include Back to the Future, Men In Black, and Terminator.

Note from ROFFEKE: In this poster, there is reference to ET and Lexx. Top left is of course Men In Black. What are the other two Sci-fi shows/movies in this poster? In the music video, the opening is a parody of The Twilight Zone. Check out the whole music video here and see how many Sci-fi references you can list!

Thursday, September 10, 2020

World Suicide Prevention Day 2020: Interview with Nikita Litvinov, director of "Elevator to the Top Floor"

My name is Nikita Litvinov, I am from St. Petersburg, Russia. I am the director of the movie "The Elevator to the Top Floor"
ROFFEKE: What do you consider to be success? Litvinov: It is a great success for me that we managed to implement this project. This is my debut film as a fiction director, before that I only shot documentaries. It is important for me that about 20 festivals around the world - from South Korea to the United States and Kenya have agreed to show our film. The most important thing is that the audience is watching it.
ROFFEKE: What challenges did you face as you were directing "Elevator to the top floor"? Litvinov: There were quite a few difficulties. We had little time to shoot (about two days) and a very modest production budget. But thanks to the help of like-minded people and the production company "Potential", we were able to cope with all this. The shooting was not easy due to my inexperience. Many of the things that I wanted to see from the actors didn't get to be fully realized. But I'm not ashamed of the result - it's important.
ROFFEKE: How do you take care of your mental well-being? Litvinov: I still don't know how to stay cool and always be confident in myself. Sometimes I find it difficult to cope with emotions, I am a very expressive director. Maybe with experience I will become calmer, who knows? So far, I think so - you need to constantly shoot something, be in the process. Then your creative energy is always in good shape.
ROFFEKE: Advice for aspiring filmmakers? Litvinov: What advice do I have for aspiring filmmakers? First of all, don't be afraid. Making a movie takes a lot of courage - from start to finish. You must be ready to walk this path. Cinema is always research, you never know what will turn out in the end. But if there is a huge will and desire, you need to rush into it headlong and constantly learn something new. Yes, these are very common words, but something like this, I think, and it works.

ELEVATOR TO THE TOP FLOOR from My Video Pro on Vimeo.

("Elevator to the top floor" will be available online, only on 10th September 2020 during World Suicide Prevention Day, from (Kenyan time) 12:01 am to 11:59pm. You can watch it here: )

Monday, August 31, 2020

Review: The River Don't Care

"Love the video. The unresounding effort of a band to start new somewhere else. LA in this case is very different and welcoming. It shows the lengths bands go to to find a niche even if it means to up and leave. I think they should have played the song not just in the background and then tell their story as cut out excerpts in between the video. The video reminds me of behind the scenes of U2, touring and production of their songs. I generally like the vibe and now I have to Google their complete song and have a listen." - Love Kassim "The part I liked most about this is that everyone has what it takes to be what he/she wants to be in future, as long as you believe in yourself, for everything is possible in a willing heart. Best friends in our lives add more value to our lives as they encourage us on our way to success. The most beautiful message in this is how we can choose our friends and it is not a matter of having many friends but what is important is having valuable friends." - Mereru David Stanley

Sunday, July 19, 2020

ROFFEKE Conference: Spotlight on ROFFEKE Interns

Thank you so much Lesley Gakuo, Joseph Ochieng and Josephine Koima. You rock!

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Review: Dear John

Reviewer: Mereru David Stanley

Fabulous song and a very beautiful composition by Kristen. Kristen is trying to express her love to John, how she loves him and how she has missed him.I like the content of this song: love is a beautiful bond that brings two souls together and distance does not separate true lovers but what is important is the true love between the two souls.This reminds me of the special person in my life; that distance may separate us now but my true love remains strong.I really love this song so much and the true content in it.

Reviewer: Love Kassim

I like the song. Vocals are not up there but it's a decent song. From what I gathered, the theme is loss. A lover or family who left them behind. Seems like there wasn't any closure.

They have dragged the song especially since the rapper comes in late and if someone was looking forward to that part, they'd have tuned out. The rapper should have had a longer part though coz them alone is just blunt.

Nice aesthetics!

"Kristen Karma explores the pain of loss with “Dear John (Feat. Marian Hann, Mr. ATP)”. Lyricism possesses a keen anguish for it explores the feeling of losing a parent."

"Dedicated to the memory of her father, with “Dear John” Kristen Karma gives us a thematic song that warms the heart and pulls at the strings of our deepest feelings.The result of her collaboration with emerging artist Marian Hanna and rap artist Mr. ATP, “Dear John” is a song with warm and colloquial lyrics. The theme of the track brings a moving message that melts hearts, to which anyone who has ever lost a loved one can relate ...."

ROFFEKE UNIVERSITY: Lessons 1 - Slave Trade, The Blues and Rock 'n' Roll

“The history of rock and roll is a history of race, of gender, of class, of protest, and it is tied deeply into the structure and struggles that underlie society's foundations. From the protest music of the Vietnam War era to the boundary-pushing sexuality of David Bowie in the 70s to the dirty urban angst of the 90s, chronologically tracing the turning points in rock music is not so different than flipping through the pages of a textbook.” - Jeva Lange, “The most important class I ever took: Rock-and-roll history” #roffekeuniversity



Thursday, April 23, 2020

Review: Pagando al Barquero (Pay the Ferryman)

Reviewer: Love Kassim

"Logline: Before the terminal boat ride, an old punk rocker travels back in space and time to try to make his life count."

Love the theme... music is great

Sultans, Pharaos, Caesars, Mandarins
all lusted for what Faust once tasted
but neither soothsayers, magicians
or monuments of blood
ever managed to move Caron.
They all sought special treatment,
to be placed above good or evil,
but whether Whores, Queens or Panhandlers,
we must all pay the ferryman


Concept is a tadbit confusing... did the lady pay the tribute to the ferryman? and is that tribute the kid? Who has grown to be that vocalist...

"Synopsis: On his final journey, the ferryman presents an old punk rocker with one ultimate ordeal. Judgement, symbolized in the figure of his young daughter, is held hostage while he chases death in a nightmare run through a tunnel which transports him instantly to the Madrid of his youth."

I see it's a going back in time kind of thing but one wouldn't get it if they have never seen similar themes.

"Shedding off the years and old age as he runs, he tries desperately to pass the trial and pay for the continuity of his child, before his own blood runs the last few drops of his existence through the hourglass of eternity."

The video reminds me of the supposed molten sulphur river where grim reaper sails you across to meet your doom.


Disrobe of your name and unmask your face,
where you're going you won’t be needing them
for as tears in rain your memories dissolve
in the voices of an immortal stream.
Your deadline is now being met,
you had your time to learn the lesson:
you only take what you leave behind,
once you pay the ferryman


I love the quality of the video.

Check out stills from the music video as you listen to an audio review by Winnie Miriti:

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

ROFFEKE Happiness Day, Corona Virus, Social Distancing and Staying Connected

20th March is International Day of Happiness. ROFFEKE had planned to commemorate this day with a physical meeting, screenings and talks but in light of current happenings, it is prudent not to meet physically. But that doesn't mean we can't meet online! The event will take place online with speakers, watch parties and discussions. Stay safe AND stay connected. ROFFEKE's motto remains Friendship, Fun, Freedom. Join us on Facebook:
https://web.facebook.com/events/213263963212200/

VIDEO POSTER OF THE EVENT

Monday, February 3, 2020

Centric Air Ambulance represented at ROFFEKE #edumental #EducationDay event

Victor Mumo represented Centric Air Ambulance at the ROFFEKE International Education Day event which was commemorated on January 24th 2020. Below is a transcription of his presentation:

The company is called Centric Air Ambluance. We are a medical evacuation business. We offer services such as ground rescue, air evacuation, medical escort, hospital transfers and others. We have membership products in such a way that you can access all these services for free, for a period of one year.

We have different packages. One package is called Centric Resident. With this package, you will get unlimited ground rescue, that is, you can be air evacuated anywhere depending with the area you are covered in. You will get services such as: unlimited ground rescue, unlimited air evacuation and unlimited hospital transfers. This cover only goes for Kshs 2463, paid once a year. Just in case of any emergency, you will be evacuated within 8 to 15 minutes and either taken to the nearest hospital or even the hospital of your choice.

Why should you choose Centric Air Ambulance? First, we are affordable. We reach all classess of people. We are available any time. Whenever you need us, we will be there for you. Within Kenya, in case you are air evacuated, it will cost between $2500-10,000. When you have the cover, it will only cost Kshs 2463.

Check out the different Centric packages here.

And in keeping with the theme of education, check out the Centric Scholar package below:


Saturday, February 1, 2020

#Edumental #EducationDay ROFFEKE Event: Speakers Bios and Quotes

"I love teaching children. They are my joy. You may go to work feeling down and a child will say "Hi teacher!" And you forget all about your problems. As an ECD teacher, we go through a lot; from the administration, from the parents and even from the neighbours. Getting underpaid is the biggest issue. ECD teachers are the most underpaid teachers in the country. When I started teaching, my first salary was Ksh 2000. And my boss by then would not even pay me that Ksh 2000. He would stay with it for 3 months. One time he told me: "You do the least work." I had 35 pupils in my class, all below 5 years. If you want to start a family, you may not get maternity leave. Right now, the school year ends in October. No pay in November and December and sometimes even in October." - Grace Gicheru.

Grace Gicheru is a 25 year old teacher with four years experience. She has a diploma in ECDE.

"There is a myth that the human brain stops developing at a certain age. In 2005, new information emerged that the brain develops continuously. There is a higher potential for the human brain than we thought. And even those who have mental challenges still have a great potential. Like in the movie "A Beautiful Mind", the character had mental challenges but he became a Nobel Laureate." -Dr. Hussein.

Dr. Hussein is a Medical Doctor that’s amazed by humanity’s potential. Specialized in Clinical Psychiatry, probing Mental Health and Wellness, seeking to puzzle out what makes us tick and how by far we uniquely respond.


Wangari Kabiru is a consultant and Champion for YEES! Program Africa, an education leadership program that delivers an enterprise education curriculum to school kids. She serves as a dispute neutral (CPM). Wangari is a fan of technology, game thinking, entrepreneurship and travel.

"Whenever we address mental health, we need to first address the society. Secondly, we need to address education. How are we taking care of our kids who are thinking outside (of the standard design of the) education system? We are channeled into one system of thinking where you have to get a white collar job. We are quick to judge people rather than first understand them." - Dr. Shevvy Mugweru.

Dr. Shevvy Mugweru is a medic with eight years experience, he has worked at KENWA, Aphia plus, Nairobi Hospital, D.O.D and now works in a private practice. He specializes in A and E Psychiatry and EMT.

"In whatever field you are in, you will interact with some legality. Two issues are very important to mental health: human rights and Intellectual Property rights especially since the latter has everything to do with creative arts which is an element that is sometime displayed by mental health victims. There are laws that protect you when you create something on your own volition and/or when you are employed. Our education system, especially at the higher level, needs to introduce teaching of basic law to all for the betterment and benefit of society in general." - Njoroge Mwaura.

Njoroge Mwaura is a laywer practicing in Nairobi with the firm BMN Advocates. Focusing on general legal consultancy, real estate, criminal litigation and intellectual property rights. When not lawyering his interests are in creative art, writing, performance and sports.

"Environ-Mental. Mental health and the environment are two sides of the same coin. I think children should be taught about the environment so that as they grow up, they are aware that whatever they do will either have a negative or positive effect on the environment and by extension, on their mental health and the mental health of others." -Emma Ochieng,

Emma Ochieng is the Founder of Towards a Better Earth Initiative. Twitter: @TBEi

"Where do children seek affirmation? What defines them as human? Are they defined by their gadgets? If they don't get (social media) "likes", do they get depressed? Do they have FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out? Have important values been addressed?" - Annmercy Wairimu.

Annmercy Wairimu is a tech enthusiast with a special interest in user experience design and cyber security of our devices.

VIDEO PROGRAMME OF THE EVENT

VIDEO POSTER OF THE EVENT

Monday, January 13, 2020

Interview: Abbie Hills - Writer, Director, Producer and Art Director of Texas Radio

"Its 1972, 4 outcasts from Texas follow their favourite band on a psychedelic trip across America."


ROFFEKE: Period pieces pose many potential problems. What challenges did you face in the making of this short film set in 1972?

Abbie: Most if not all of my films up until now have been period pieces, I love creating something in tribute to a particular decade and do my best to evoke authenticity with costume, set design and even the dialogue and story. With this piece in particular the most difficult part was finding the van that the kids steal. Unfortunately, we weren't successful in getting an actual 70's van but I think we made a good go with what we have.


ROFFEKE: You were the writer, director and producer of Texas Radio. Which of those three roles would you say was the easiest for you and why? Which of the three was the hardest and why?

Abbie: The short film was actually taken from a feature film script that I had written while at university, so it was difficult to choose which parts to include in the short, so I decided just to show a 'through the keyhole' experience of the whole road trip. In reality, the kids actually travel from Texas to San Francisco and encounter many problems and parties throughout, but I just couldn't show it all in the short.

The directing was super fun and enjoyable as I had such a clear vision, fortunately I had a wonderful crew who shared that vision with me, so that part was probably the easiest. That would leave producing being the hardest part, there were so many little things to remember at all times, not to mention all of the paperwork, permission to film, making sure everyone was in the right place at the right time..... It's a very stressful process but still so fun!

ROFFEKE: Writer. Director. Producer. Art Director. How did you not go crazy during the making of this film? :-) In more diplomatic terms, how did you maintain your mental health? What self-care strategies do you use as a filmmaker to maintain your equilibrium?

Abbie: I think I did go crazy to some extent, but then... so do all filmmakers i guess. With this film I did a great deal of planning in advance and had different stages to the pre production. As i said before, I already had the script written so it wasn't a totally new idea. I'm a very visual person so would scribble and doodle pretty much everything, including the characters and their outfits. In terms of art direction, I am a bit of a hoarder and love a jumble sale, so some of the props and costume I had collected over time. I think one of the best self care strategies I had on this film was the wonderful team around me, by the end of the week we were all like a big family. Sometimes when you are so invested in something you lose sight of looking after yourself, that's where we all took the time to look after each other - you don't get that with big productions usually.


ROFFEKE: As a female filmmaker, what unique perspective did you bring in the writing, directing and producing of Texas Radio?

Abbie: I'm not sure if being a female made any difference to me creating the story, more my love for the culture of the decade, the music and fashion etc.

ROFFEKE: What was your role in the song "Getaway Roy"?

One of the main things I wanted to create for this film was an original soundtrack. I had never written a song before, but I had an idea for an album for this film, and the story of what each song would be about. For Getaway Roy, I wanted a happy - sad country song about a boy that runs away from home. I wrote the lyrics, with no idea how to make it into a song and I gathered the musicians who were already involved in the film and said 'help me make this into a song.' they did a fantastic job over a jam session, and then we took it to the studio.

ROFFEKE: If you could do this all over again, what one thing would you do differently?

Abbie: Shoot it over more time, definitely!

ROFFEKE: Advice for female filmmakers?

Abbie: I would give the same advice to all filmmakers, regardless of their gender. Keep creating, find a crew that you love to work with - and keep working!


Watch Texas Radio here

Abbie Hills is the Company Director and Talent Scout at The Dazey Hills Company
facebook.com/thedazeyhillsco
instagram.com/thedazeyhillsco

Monday, January 6, 2020

Remembering Nikola Tesla

Tomorrow is the 77th death anniversary of one of the greatest scientists that many people do not know about. Attempts to cover up, destroy, ignore or belittle the achievements of Nikola Tesla largely succeeded, although in recent years, more and more people have become aware of the great contribution that this genius made.

The global rock 'n' roll community has done its part to shed light on the genius of this man who we should spare a thought for when we switch on the lights:

Tesla

Brought the X-ray photo to the world

Brought the AC power to the world


From They Might Be Giants, to Math Rock band Jardin de la Croix to the band that was renamed Tesla, rock bands have not shied away from paying tribute to Nikola Tesla.

He was electromagnetic, completely kinetic,

"New Wizard of the West."

But they swindled and whined that he wasn't our kind,

And said Edison knew best.


In 2017, on his 161st birthday, ROFFEKE did its small part to celebrate Nikola Tesla. Read the blog post here.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Vale of Ammonition acceptance speech at #hbawards

I'd like to thank all the people who've been along for the journey. There's been a lot of people in and out of this band. From Japheth to Zach and so on, who are not with us right now. This is for me and this is for Solomon Dust(?) who slaved over a lot of the material that has sort of propelled us to the main - not really the mainstream; we're still very underground, but um - the stuff that has sort of gotten us to the point in our career where we are actually a force to be reckoned with.

I want to thank our manager Darrell, he's right here with me, he came through. He's sort of helped us to get to a very good point. He's right here.

I want to thank Aaron.

I want to thank Chuck Suo(?), the very first person who released our material on vinyl.

Steve Gene, Ugandan producer and his brother Henry, who recorded our material.

Hueskillz, he showed up for concerts...

I want to thank anyone who has ever lent us gear.

I want to thank Ivan, he lent us gear.

I want to thank Djae of Crystal Axis, he lent us gear.

I am so proud to do this in Nairobi. You guys have always embraced us with open arms. You've always been there for the band. You embraced us way before Uganda embraced us. We're gonna keep on doing what we're doing so thank you very much.

Monday, December 23, 2019

The Right Now and The Other: A Comparison

Kenyan rock band Murfy's Flaw released the music video of their song "The Right Now" on 19/9/19. The song is featured on their most recent album "Nataka Sitaki" which was also released on the same day as the music video.

"The Other” is the first Solitude in Apathy single taken off their debut EP and was "composed spontaneously during a rehearsal". The music video was directed by Gaetano Massa.

Similarities

1. Nature

The setting for "The Right Now" is all outdoors, with plenty of trees, rocks and even a cave.

The opening shot of "The Other" is outdoors, with plenty of trees and a big rock.

2. Slow Motion Walk

There are copious amounts of the slow motion walk in both music videos.

According to The Society of Aerial Cinematography:

"...overcranking makes footage look smoother in addition to slower, so it tends to give the subject a more dramatic, epic, or massive feel." The traditional use of overcranking was "simply to slow down time in a shot in order to convey importance, add suspense, give time for the audience to inspect the frame, or mirror a character’s psychological state."

"The Other" is "about the will to understand the other or simply oneself, reaching its epilogue with the inability to truly do it; the same themes underpin the fascinating video directed by Gaetano Massa."

According to TVtropes.org:

"...in movies featuring Godzilla and similar monsters, overcranking adds a sense of ponderous weight to the monsters' motion."

I wonder, who is the monster/The Other in "The Right Now"?

Differences

1. Light vs Dark

Although lyrically there is a bit of light in "The Other" ("The song...is built around a single sentence “In the other, try to see”), "The Other" is decidedly darker than "The Right Now", at least in terms of the sound of the song and the images of the music video. This is in keeping with the genres that Solitude in Apathy draw their influences from: "...shoegaze to darkwave and alternative rock, with a hint of gothic."

Light saturates the lyrics of "The Right Now":

Far-off streaming lights like a rainbow

Savour the moment while it’s open, and still honest
Don’t fear

...as long as we commit to the right now
That's something we will never regret


But there is also a hint of the underlying darkness in the song:

But you know the stars never cared,
And as we kissed they just callously stared, with their icy glares


2. Band vs No Band

Solitude in Apathy makes an appearance in the music video for "The Other" while in "The Right Now" Murfy's Flaw is no where to be seen, thus joining the long list of rock music videos where the band is not seen.

From the list of ROFFEKE official selections, here are a few of such music videos:

Rita
A bigger man
Cadger
Astronaut




Astronaut in Room 403: When two films talk to each other

As luck (fate?) would have it, Astronaut (directed by Pierre Ponchant) was submitted to ROFFEKE right after Spinoza Hotel: Room 403 (directed by Dr. Robert David Duncan). I usually watch the short films/music videos in the order they were submitted so I couldn't help but immediately notice the similarities between these two works of art. It's like Astronaut is an amplification or continuation of Room 403. But don't just take my word for it; see for yourself how these two films are talking to each other! (The lyrics of Astronaut are in bold while the narration from Room 403 is in italics)


Looking at the window, it's another day
Man that sun is a monster
I hate the day

Woke up very tired just like yesterday
The time I spend down here is a necessity
I dress up like man and I take my place
But that's just to keep this body going
Maybe all your dreams will come true
Maybe no one cares about you

I know a guy who knows how

Trains tickets for nowhere on a holiday
My entire place is a radio paradise
Every friday night I play silly games
Most of the time I'm in touch with my brothers in space
I follow the horizon it's the only direction
They orbit and orbit and I orbit with them
There's something wrong in me but I can't think of another way
I can decipher the static and check in with my souls
Maybe all your dreams will come true
Maybe no one cares about you

That's why I had to get to the top floor
Moving closer until I got 403 with the roof access


Up there
I have my foil antenna up there
Everything must
Be so tiny

The foil is as good as a microwave dish
Oh so tiny

One day, you'll see,
I won't come back
One day, you'll see
I'm not coming back tonight

I'm going to convert myself to pure radio emissions
and just upload into space

"Room 403 is another follow-up to the award-winning trio of films. In this one, we meet the Cosmonaut, who operates a network of radios from his room, communicating with lost spirits in space, a place he hopes to transport himself to someday."


"Astronaut is a no budget Space Odyssey, a voyage into the imaginary world of a hero who, night after night, explores the universe seeking for a safe haven."

Friday, December 13, 2019

This Day on Kenya Rocks: December 13th 2004

It's Friday the 13th! What luck that one of the very active members of Kenya Rocks agreed to have some of the messages he posted on the Kenya Rocks Yahoo group reposted on this blog. This is what he wrote on December 13th, fifteen years ago!

My Weekend Rockscapades
MAMBONO Dec 13 9:25 PM
What an event filled weekend, went Sikiliza rock night on Saturday, damn those mud fighters, problem is the bunch of kids around. Come Sunday, The venue was Choices, hooked up with one of my rockfreak pals. We brought the underground sitting area down. We had like this makeshift rock band downstairs, got each of us three straws, one for taking our beers (ohh you don't get that much drunk when you use straws to take your beer, no hangovers... and it's so cooool, come on go ahead next time you are out taking some beer, ask for a straw as well) and two for, guess what....... well for our "drums". LOL I love that. So like I we was three guys, one doing drums at some point and the other two doing the guitars, well you would find that once in a while the numbers interchanged. So we rock down the place, playing each song that comes around apart from the techno stuff(Rasmus, Darude) and that bad rock from Shania Twain and the other "commoner" rock. That's when we would sit down to sip our beers and take a rest from our "busy schedules". Well my two pals were able to hook up with some chics just because of that, other tables started ordering for their own straws and we had some "Battle of the Bands" downstairs, well underground, that's where the whole show was taking place. Don't ask me if I hooked up with any chic, just for the record my Rock does't mix with chics, either one of them will suffer if the other was brought into play, and knowing me as I am, rock makes up half of the primary pillars in my life(comps make the other half), so definitely the chic would have to suffer, so why not save the maiden some heartbreak and concentrate on my drums.

Well all this ended up with some guy who used to play guitars for Hot rod having an interest in us and we got some contacts, the dude's called Leroy like Wheatus' Leroy( Leroy's my mojo man tonight). Oh you don't want to know what I've been planning with my pals for sometime, but you just chill out I will let you in on one of rock's best kept secrets pretty soon.

Well I realised one thing though, Kenyans are not that much into metal or even hard rock, the hardest it's ever gone for them is Bryan Adams and BonJovi. When it goes almost metal, then it's Linkin Park, but you know what, I guess Numb's not yet touched the hearts of many (phew, no more waste at last). Ok I digged my rock all night, till the phuckin DJ started his Techno so I was back to my beer for a while while the tweeps got jumping up and down, until rock was back and I hit the floor running till early morning when we hit out everyone to go home.

As for one of my pals who had hooked up with these chics earlier on, well he was reduced to a chauffer, having to drop all of them at their diggz. SO much for hookin up with a chic in a club, if it's not the beers you buy her, then you drop her home, and if you are not like me, then you might just get lucky and get some One night stand. HAHAHA. I wonder if he had a 5 some or not :-) HAHAHA.

Well there goes the story of my weekend and my rockscapades. Damn what a Sunday night.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

ROFFEKE WORLD PHILOSOPHY DAY AND MENTAL HEALTH EVENT: PROGRAMME AND SPEAKERS' BIOS

THEME: Philosophy and Mental Health

VENUE: American Spaces, 5th Floor, Bazaar Plaza (cbd)

TIME: 5PM to 7.30PM

CONTACT PERSON: Mildred Achoch
Whatsapp 0799149677
Email: mildandred@gmail.com
Twitter: @roffeke
Facebook: facebook.com/rffke

HASHTAGS: #worldphilosophyday #mentalphilosophy

PROGRAMME
5:00-5:10pm
Refreshments and Introduction/Welcoming Remarks

5.10-5:15
Speaker Session
Mental Health
Grace Wanjiru
Planning and Coordination Secretary, www.alfajirispace.com

5:15-5:30
Speaker Session
Mental health: Who, What, Where, When, How?
Brian Emmanuel Maina
Mental Health Champion.

5:30-6:00pm
Short Film/Music video Screenings
Red Omen by Ed Roman and N. Diaz
Everyday by Jethro Massey
Souled Out by Stephen Broekhuizen
Spinoza Hotel by Robert David Duncan
140 characters by Dean Winkler

6:00-6:10pm
Speaker Session
Tech and Mental Health - Annmercy Wairimu
- Tech gadgets (mainly smartphone use).
- How you get pulled to the gadget and its effects on mental health.
- Tips for promoting more efficient phone/tech relationships

6.15-6:40pm
Screening
Rock is not an attitude by Xiaoxiao Tang
Be my Rebel by Virgil Widrich
Livin’ Free by Dave Tabar
Pangea by Derek Frey

6.40-6:55pm
Speaker Session
Mental health philosophy: How to manage/deal with patients suffering from mental health illnesses - Dr. Shevvy Mugweru

6:55-7:00 Closing Remarks/Vote of Thanks

7:00-7:30 Networking/One on one Session
Guests/Brian Maina and team.

Read the detailed programme Here.

SPEAKERS BIOS

BRIAN EMMANUEL M. MAINA
Brian is a visual artist and innovator who is passionate about Mental Health Awareness and Anti-stigma campaign. He was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 disorder at 21 years and Clinical Depression at 26 years. He used his lived experience with a mental illness to sensitize people about the importance of mental health and opening up to the conversation so as to challenge stigma. He is now one of the pioneers of a Global Mental Health Anti-stigma Campaign by Time To Change Global here in Kenya and runs an online based safe space for young people and marginalized communities to access information and help in regards to their mental health.

DR. SHEVVY MUGWERU
Dr. Mugweru is a medic with eight years experience. He has worked at KENWA, Aphia plus, Nairobi Hospital, D.O.D and now works in a private practice. He specializes in A and E Psychiatry and EMT.

ANNMERCY WAIRIMU
Annmercy is a tech enthusiast with a special interest in user experience design and cyber security of our devices.

GRACE WANJIRU
Grace is the Planning and Coordination Secretary at www.alfajirispace.com

Monday, September 9, 2019

ROFFEKE and LTMHK WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY event - Programme

PROGRAMME

5:00-5:30 Registration, Refreshments, Entertainment (Entertainment by DJ Hueskillz).

5:30-5:35 Introduction/Welcoming Remarks by Mildred Achoch (Founder, ROFFEKE)

5:35-5:45 Speaker Session: "Emotional pain fuels suicide" by James Kinyala Nyiva (Actor and filmmaker)

5:45-5:55 Short Film/Music video Screenings
Wonton Raptor directed by Robert David Duncan
Contagious directed by Neil Haeems and Raviv Haeems
Broken Lullaby directed by Stella Rosen and Bill McGarvey

5.55-6:00 Spoken Word Session by Jefferson Kinuthia (Filmmaker and poet)
A girl commits suicide. Her ghost discovers people’s opinions of the suicide.

6.00-6:05 Speaker Session: "Environ-Mental Health" by Emma Ochieng (Founder of “Towards a better earth” initiative)

6.05-6:10 Speaker Session:
Why are suicide cases on the rise among youth?
What are the leading reasons for this increase in suicide cases?
Mitigation?

by Kelvin Mabonga (Founder, Mabbo Creative Ltd, creative director of WATTS-UP magazine)

6.10-6:15 Speaker Session: EMT Experiences by Jacktone Tamba

6.15-6:20 Speaker Session: "Reaching out: Being a friend no matter what"
Mary Kiio, director of Roshani Consultancy Services (Roshani CS) will speak on the impact losing a friend to suicide had on her and what she is doing in her own small way to reach out to others so that no other friend is a suicide statistic. Mary Kiio

6:20-6:40 Short Film Screening
Nevermind directed by Jean-Marc E. Roy
Tap directed by Joseph Ochieng

6:40-6:50 Speaker Session: "Psychological reprieve approach to minimize suicide" by Dr. Shevvy Mugweru (A and E psychiatry/EMT)

6:50-6:59 Short Film Screening
PHAT Girl performed and directed by One Single Rose aka Rosemarie Wilson (Filmmaker/Poet)

7:00-7:25 Panel Session followed by Q and A

7:25-7:30 Vote of Thanks, Speed Networking, Guest leave

Register HERE

ROFFEKE and LTMHK World Suicide Prevention Day Event: Speakers and Panelists Bios

Hiram Chomba is a Psychotherapist working at Befrienders Kenya. He also works as a Suicodologist at Befrienders Kenya. He is a member of the International Association for Suicide Prevention. He is passionate about preventing suicide and raising awareness on mental health.

Keziah Githinji is a PhD film scholar and a film lecturer. She is passionate about dealing with films on maternal health & mental health.

Mary Kiio is the director of Roshani Consultancy Services (Roshani CS). She conducts customized media engagement trainings for journalists and organizations interested in working with the media, and is a communication practitioner. Mary is also a freelance journalist and author of a children's book. She serves as an editorial board member of the Kenya Farmer Journal, a publication of the Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK).

Jefferson Kinuthia is a filmmaker by profession. Poetry is his talent. He loves spending time alone “coz that’s when creative thinking happens.”

James Kinyala Nyiva is a 21 year old award winning actor (MVT Awards). He is a director and a filmmaker but specializes in acting. He loves true stories, which is why he creates films based on true stories. He is a mentor and gives back to society.

Kelvin Mabonga is a graphic designer and a creative director of WATTS-UP Magazine. He holds a degree in communication and graphic design. He is the founder of Mabbo Creative Ltd. He is also an organizing committee member of East Africa Women in Energy Conference and Awards, a council member of FGM to STEM initiative of Women in Energy in partnership with Amref Health Africa. He is passionate about the involvement of youth in the SDGs, communication for development paradigms, climate change, and clean energy.

Doctor Shevvy Mugweru is a medic with eight years experience. He has worked at KENWA, Aphia plus, Nairobi Hospital, D.O.D and now works in a private practice. He specializes in A and E Psychiatry and EMT.

Mwari Muthaura is an independent health practioner and consultant. She graduated from Wheaton Graduate School in Illinois, Chicago with an M.A. in Clinical Psychology. She also holds a B.A. in Social Work.

Emma Ochieng is an environmentalist and the founder of an initiative dubbed “Towards a better earth”. She is also a student pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce degree. Twitter: @emmaochieng5

David Ogot is a published author and multiple award-winning print and electronic journalist who earlier on almost had his career cut short permanently by his now raging disease of alcoholism. He finally managed to end a 27-year drug use and abuse “career” which included several suicide attempts, before founding in February 2001 the goinghomedotcom Trust, a media NGO and an organization of addicts and those affected by addiction. The organization agitates for the rights of addicts, while also carrying out awareness, prevention, counselling, treatment, social reintegration, as well as policy formulation activities. #ulizakiatus

Jacktone Tamba has been in the field of pre-hospital care for 19 years. He has been an EMT for 10 years and has worked with several ambulance providers including Kenya Red Cross. He is currently with Medecins Sans Frontiers.

Popularly known in the showbiz world as Jemedari, Joseph Wambua is a Musician, Elite MC, Voice Artist, Biker, Ad Exec and recently taking on the new challenge of being a Mental Health Champion. He has been vocal in different circuits concerning mental health and uses his experiences of the same to talk about suicide prevention, trigger management and alternative approaches to wellness.

Register HERE

#WSPDrock #WSPD2019

"Mpenzi" by Simply Tomas...in beautiful sign language!

I have always wanted to learn sign language. I think it is so beautiful and graceful. So when I was introduced to someone who knows sign language, I asked her if she could translate the chorus of a Kenyan rock song into sign language. Check out the result:

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Review: Sustainable Futures, Survivor Girls

ROFFEKE is honoured to welcome Rahma Rashid as a new intern. She graduated from Egerton University with a Bsc in Natural Resources Management. Rahma's personal statement can be read after her first ROFFEKE review below.

Director: Nicole Watson
Duration: 8 minutes 44 seconds
Location: Kolkata, India.
Reviewer: Rahma Rashid

Sustainable Futures, Survivor Girls is an inspiring story of hope and resilience, directed by Nicole Watson. It focuses on the issue of human trafficking and the contribution that people can make in societal matters.

India is a heavily populated country with not enough consideration on SDG 10 which focuses on equality. Economic status, caste, color etc... inequality in India - just like in many other countries - is a major issue. For a society existing within strong cultural morals, it is indeed a shame that man uses this as an opportunity to sexually exploit the girl child. The most painful bit is that this is done to a minor, using what would seem to be very 'righteous courses'. An 8 year old who has not even attained puberty! It angers me as much as it makes my heart weep.

In Nicole's short documentary, we also get to see how a centre like Sanlaap, commendably contributes to the rehabilitation of these girls and SDG 16. In a world where praise and support is granted to unworthy politicians, people do need to get their priorities straight and show support where it's due.

The film talks about the use of solar power as a form of renewable energy and its advantages, like it's facilitation in the accessibility of clean water, thereby contributing to both SDG 6 and 7. At a time when the world is mourning the loss of the Amazon Forest, it's a good assurance that people are paying attention to the environment. And hey, for anyone who didn't get the science behind the working of solar panels, this is your chance! A briefing of the same is made in the film! You are welcome.

All in all, it is amazing to learn that good still exists in this world. For women like Nicole, Sindhura, Indrani and Priyanka, we learn that aid comes from a single soul. It starts from the little input one gives. Let's not be ignorant of our surroundings. Just like the Survivor Girls, no situation is permanent, we all need a stretched out hand to give us hope where there is none.

***

RAHMA RASHID'S PERSONAL STATEMENT

Rahma is a result oriented female interested and ready to transfer her academic knowledge and professional experience into a challenging work setting while contributing to her own personal growth. She has a background in Natural Resource Management that makes her better understand the principle of sustainability to achieve the set sustainable development goals.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Dr. Robert David Duncan on improv acting, collaborating and giving back

ROFFEKE: This collaboration begun with your status update:

“I like to make myself available as an actor to one or two indie projects in the summers as a way to give back and say thanks for all the support I've enjoyed with my own projects. If you have a part you'd like to write me into or have me consider, do feel free to be in touch and we'll see what can work out. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5399017”

How important is it for actors to “give back” and what are the advantages of doing this?

ROBERT: In the indie no-budget film world, we are almost always begging favours and hoping people can help us, often for free. That's an unfortunate reality of the work, and even if we have a tiny bit of money, we can never pay people what they are worth. So the art of making indie films becomes a lot about trading favours, and that's where "paying it forward" is a good habit to get into. For my part as a producer-director, I can help by giving people a good experience on my films. I try to keep the days short, with an eye to efficiency and respectfulness. I'd like people to go home feeling good about the work so that they will help someone else some day. I can also help by making sure people get IMDb credits right away, and by doing my best to have the films get out into festivals and beyond so our work gets out there. I also like to offer people their "one-up" position as much as possible, which was a piece of advice I got from a director who was very helpful to me early-on. What this means is a supporting or character type actor can get a shot at a lead role, a background actor can try out having some lines for a change, a person who hasn't done sound but wants to learn can hoist a boom and get a bit of field experience with the recording gadgetry; basically it means that people can try out the next level up that they are aspiring to. For this reason, i see my productions as training vehicles for people, and we treat them as educational opportunities, creating a culture of sharing knowledge and taking chances on people so they can grow. So when I look back on all the goodwill people have extended to me, I like to give back by offering to help others when I can. For me, the most fun way to do that is by offering my time as an actor, since it is what I like to do most, and making my own films and being responsible for the work of others can actually take me away from acting for the pure joy of it!

ROFFEKE: The project required you to improvise. How does improvisation help actors to improve their skills/craft?

ROBERT: Improvisation turns accidents into gifts! A table that gets knocked down on stage unintentionally by an actor can turn into a hilarious moment or a great character reveal. It's all in how you handle things. By training in improv, an actor gains a great sense of being present in the moment with maximum flexibility and a willingness to say "yes" to all sorts of things that happen. It creates a great framework for fun story development with a spirit of playfulness. One of the improv games I like is one where an actor says something, and the other actor says "Yes, and..." and then adds another little bit to the story, passing it back or on to someone else who says "Yes, and..." There are various versions of that kind of game, but they all create a sense of positivity that keeps something growing and building, and each person comes to realize that they don't have to say something totally amazing, but rather they just have to be accepting of what is sent their way and build on it a little bit. I love improv and I encourage everyone to try to take a weekend workshop or something if they can or get a book from the library and try it with a few friends, or watch some YouTubes to see some good improv games. It's fun, and will help your acting immensely!

(Robert was gracious enough to avail "The Dance of Collaboration", an excerpt from "Improv to Improve your Business". Interested in checking it out? Send an email to mildandred@gmail.com).

ROFFEKE: In this project, you went the extra mile; researching how we say hi in Sheng, putting the Shenganiguns logo in the background. What are some of the ways that actors can go the extra mile?

This was a fun project! I think it is important for actors to understand some key things, such as where their part fits into the overall story, who their character is and the function of the character in helping get the story across. It's often said there are no small parts, but actually there are, and the size and importance of the role to the story should to some extent guide the actor's preparation. A role like the one I just did for the Shenganiguns was not intended to be a major role or one of the sustaining characters responsible for carrying a lot of the story line. I saw it more as being like a single piano chord: "bom!" and you're out of there as the story moves on. A bit of funny counterpoint to whatever is going on in the main story, perhaps to illustrate the growth of the band's fame and increasing global reach. So for a character like that, I feel it is essential just to hit that one chord and not hold back. So in preparing, what I like to focus on is who the character actually is, in the sense of what type of person. I knew from the production team that he was the president of the Canadian fan club. Given my age and look, I tried to picture this guy - the kind of person who in middle age is a total fanatic for a new band. Once I start picturing the character as a whole being inhabiting my physical self, I try to isolate one main quality or trait the person has. In this case, I decided it was enthusiasm. So that is my main play - enthusiasm. Then I spice it up with a secondary trait, and I settled on fearlessness as in the sense of being without fear of trying new things - the kind of guy who would learn a few words of Sheng and Swahili and just put them out there with a big smile on his face! From that point it gets easier once you have made these first few choices. I then searched out some key phrases in Sheng from the web and lucked into this site ( https://answersafrica.com/kenyan-slangs-meanings.html ) which explained to me what Sheng was and gave me some ideas of a few words I knew I wanted to work into the scene. From that point on, I was confident that this guy's enthusiasm and willingness to try new things would carry the scene. I think that's a good tip to remember - the simpler your make your character in terms of their primary and secondary behavioural traits or makeup, the more straightforward it is to play them and there's less risk of getting bogged-down in over-thinking. Just go in and play your main notes, and play them to win!

(Check out how Robert played to win as the president of the official Canadian fan club of The Shenganiguns! Watch here)

For a more complex role, like "Dunc" in the feature film "A Legacy of Whining" my preparation was more involved. The story takes place over a single evening between two former high school friends who haven't seen each other in 30 years. I was given the direction that Dunc's main function was to burst every hopeful balloon that the other main character, Mitch, floated out there. So basically I was to be the permanently mean-spirited downer and pessimist in the face of Mitch's persistent (if unrealistic) hopefulness. But this was a feature-length film and I was one of the lead actors, so how do you sustain that kind of negativity without some kind of internal justification? So the work there became one of creating a believable set of past circumstances, personal history and worldview that would allow me to play this one kind of attitude through the whole film. The secret there was in the back story I created for my character, as to why he was there in the first place and why he is so irritable. I gave him an occupation, a justification for being in town, a triggering incident, and some reasons to be irritable and negative. Having made those private choices for myself, it became a lot more straightforward to play the character in a more textured way without forcing it. I had the luxury of time with that film because we had plenty of time to rehearse and think about things. For many projects you have to move a lot faster, and there isn't enough lead time to do a lot of work, so I focus on that one primary character trait, the one secondary trait and as much backstory as I can quickly put together. It's important, I think, to make those choices quickly and then just start stepping into being the character right away and getting the lines down.

Robert as As the darkly sarcastic Dunc in "A Legacy of Whining"

ROFFEKE: You gave back in this project. Who are some of the people that gave back in your projects and in what ways did they do this?

ROBERT: Wow, so many people have given their time, talent, advice and other support to me over the years I could never thank them all sufficiently. This includes people who catch one of our films at a festival and say good things or people who watch on YouTube or other channels, festival programmers like you, Mildred, and others like my Patreon members, even people who were willing to walk around our little movie sets with a smile. If you check out the cast and crew for "It's About Love" and my other films, you'll see a lot of familiar faces! My successes are the product of a ton of goodwill, and I hope I can give back also through my books, festival, support, time, advice, teaching and other ways. I think it's cool if you look at my IMDb and trace the interrelationships among people and see the many times I have worked with other people, you can definitely get the sense of there being a real film family or families there. As an example, Ross Munro wrote the part of "Dunc" in "A Legacy of Whining" with me in mind, and I then wrote Ross a lead role as "Rick" in "It's About Love" because I enjoyed working with him and knew his work ethic. I met cinematographer Ron Heaps on "A Legacy of Whining" and we have all worked together several times since, and so it goes, spinning this cool web of connectivity, and each person also brings their own network of goodwill with them and it grows. Now I've worked with you, Mildred, and it would be cool to do that again some day!

Robert with co-star Teresa Laverty in the forthcoming movie sequel "Still About Love"

ROFFEKE: Advice for aspiring actors?

ROBERT: Make your own stuff! It's the single best piece of advice I can give to an actor. Turn your smartphone on yourself and speak for a minute on all the frustrations and joys of your day as an actor. Stage a simple scene with a friend that has a funny twist or a cool life lesson. Have fun! If you don't know how to edit video, ask someone who knows editing to help you edit that piece into a one-minute film with beginning and ending titles. Load it up on FilmFreeway or other similar sites and submit it to a festival, or better yet, five festivals. Maybe you'll get into a festival! Eventually, you can put it up on YouTube or Vimeo or similar sites and reach even more people who can see and appreciate your talents. From that point on, you are a creator, instead of being someone who waits to be chosen for a part by someone else. You are now a writer-director-producer who also acts, and that is a much more powerful place to be in your career. As you learn and grow your skills you will get better at all aspects of your craft and your projects will get more complex and interesting. Plus, filmmakers love working with actors who know how to make films, because they bring a lot of knowledge that improves their acting, things like understanding continuity between takes and other insights into the process of filmmaking.The years will pass anyway, and are gone for good, so do you want to spend that time auditioning endlessly for others or making your own stuff? If you keep making stuff and you will stay in the driver's seat of your own career. You can still audition all you want, but you are operating from a position of power, and it is your choice.

Robert on the set of "Spinoza Hotel". Learn more about this fascinating experimental short film here


Links:

IMDb page: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5399017
Patreon site: https://www.patreon.com/robertdavidduncan
Udemy course "Acting Skills for a Better Life" https://www.udemy.com/acting-skills-for-a-better-life/
Udemy course: "How to Make a Feature Film with No Money and No Car" https://www.udemy.com/how-to-make-a-feature-film-with-no-money-and-no-car/
YouTube link to "It's About Love" full movie https://youtu.be/VSSO1VjdHA8
IMDb for "A Legacy of Whining" with trailer https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3766040

Monday, July 8, 2019

Review: Songs of Injustice

Reviewer: Mutendei Writes

Songs of Injustice is a film that can be summed up through an anecdote of my own creation; “a seed planted in soil produces a plant that blooms in accordance with the properties and characteristics of the soil it germinates in.”

Songs of Injustice is a film that captures the emergence of Rock music or Metal within South America, focusing on the organic adaption of a foreign musical genre, and its transformation into an independent art form with a unique purpose and significance to the people of Latin America.

Every art form and artist seeks to establish an independent identity and Metal in Latin America is no exception. However as Songs of Injustice narrates it’s about the journey and not the destination.


Metal in Latin America is undoubtedly a tool of resistance against decades of past and ongoing political oppression, marginalization and dictatorship, the very soil in which Metal, planted as a seed grew into something organic and independent of its point of origin.
This by itself is a success in its own right when evaluated on the basis of the opening credits quote from Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the 1982 Nobel Prize winner for literature.

“The interpretation of our reality through patterns not our own, serves only to make us ever more unknown ever less free, ever more solitary.”
Metal is not constrained by the original valueless form of rock, inapplicable to the environment of Latin America. A fact that the documentary film alludes to, highlighting the reality that music cannot be removed from the life it exists in.

The style and tempo of the documentary focuses more on the reasons and motivation behind the music and adopts a mostly historical focus when discussing the featured musicians throughout the featured Latin countries, Peru, Mexico, Argentina and Chile.

This focus, while positive is also a bit of a downside as it doesn’t showcase the artistic development of the groups, their background and personal bios and with them the organic music within Latin America, outside of the messages around which their music is constructed.
How they came together and how they began to associate are vital segments that the film misses and either excludes intentional or unintentionally.

Because of this the film beyond the halfway mark of its one hour and thirty minutes run time starts to feel very repetitive. In addition, Songs of Injustice as a documentary film would have been better segmented, by clearer demarcation between the switch of focus from country to country, perhaps by use of the different names of counties or their flags as a transition.

It’s clear that Metal is to Latin America what Reggae is to Jamaicans, however it also misses the opportunity to get the reaction of the fans to the music and provide a perspective on the inspirational aspect to everyday persons, who are not musicians; everyday persons living in the environment that the music and its messages stems from and seeks to create awareness and historical education.

Given that the term “Aguante” which characterizes the musicians’ motivation to create metal, stands for “strength, resistance, support”, and a “yes we can” attitude, songs of resistance fails to provide a voice to the fans who the music is made for and sung to.

Despite missing this segment, the documentary film Songs of Injustice is a body of work that cannot be overlooked when seeing to understand the purpose an value of Metal within Latin America and the heavy history it is tied to.

The film closes smartly with a call to attention encouraging people to be aware or by modern lingo, “woke” to the reality that there is a vital need to pay attention to and embrace Metal as a form of resistance and means to be in tune with the reality of the day.

(Written in March 2019).

Mutendei Bio

Mutendei Writes (Elias Nabutete) a Kenyan writer, with Kenyan & Canadian life experiences, writes & performs under the penname Mutendei Writes. As an artistic writer, using original, creative & structured writing, covering unique, genre inspired material, moving beyond the limiting modern day mainstream spectrum of content has been Mutendei Writes. Interweaving modern & cultural inclinations, with vivid storylines, Mutendei Writes artistically creates written & Spoken Word Poetry, along with short stories. With four unique books; The Poetry Express, The IdeaBankisms, Shadow Walkers & Everything Mutendei. Mutendei Writes has also maintained monthly website releases on mutendeiwrites.wordpress.com, adding to his works, while enabling others to pursue their literary goals.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Reviews: The Riveters by Kate Felix

On 13th and 14th May and 20th and 21st May, I was privileged to conduct a Basics of Screenwriting Masterclass at Talanta Institute. On the 13th, we covered Differences between screenwriting and other types of creative writing, types of protagonists, types of antagonists, the logline and S.M.A.R.T goals. We went through the students’ loglines and critiqued them.


On the 14th, we begun by watching #ROFFEKEOFFICIALSELECTION2018 “The Riveters”, which was written and directed by Kate Felix.

"Fed up with her 'lame duck' status, The Upstart decides to face The Patriarch in a 1940's feminist throw-down"



DIRECTOR STATEMENT

"We have created this film to explore the barriers, historic and contemporary, to women making films. It was written, produced, and edited by an all-woman crew. All women, only women, start to finish (with the exception of the two male actors!). With it' s short run time and powerful, unapologetic message, this film would be an ideal piece to introduce or conclude a shorts program.

This is the Director/Screenwriter's first film. She is a mother of 3 with another full time job who still somehow manages to get awesome ideas on to the screen. All of the women in this production collaborated both in and outside of their traditional professional roles to make this program a success. This film is a testament to what women can do when they give themselves permission to go out and kick ass."

We used "The Riveters" to recap what we had learned on Day 1. I later asked the students five questions related to the short film. Below are some of their answers:

1.What did you like about the short film?

It was short and precise, straight to the point.
- Edminah Kanana M.

It was Clear and precise ,the protagonist, antagonist and goal was clearly brought out.
- Fredrick Kimani.

It was brief and to the point.
- Moses a.ka. Pinto.

I liked the short film on how they managed to tell the story in less than two minutes.
- Denzon Mau.

There is the protagonist, antagonist and one is able to know the goal because it's clear.
- Carol Kanyora.


2.What didn't you like about the short film?

They did not show us what next, what she planned to do when her proposal was rejected.
- Edminah Kanana M.

The suspense it left me with.
- Moses a.k.a Pinto.

I didn't like how the film ended. If one is not keen enough he/she may not know the protagonist’s final decision.
- Denzon Mau.

I didn't get know if she became a filmmaker.
-Fredrick Kimani.

Nothing. To me it's perfect.
- Carol Kanyora.


3.What does this short film remind you of?

The film reminds me some of the challenges that some film makers go through because not everyone especially the parents appreciate film as a career.
- Denzon Mau.

The day I told my parents that I wanted to engage myself in acting, out of the love I had for it. I wanted to be the next Natalie Portman (world famous actress) but they wanted me to be an engineer. It was a hectic time to convince them.
- Carol Kanyora.

My friend whose parents chose an engineering course for her, and that was not her passion. She did the course and took the certificate to them. She started hustling to help herself study for art and design.
- Edminah Kanana M.

There must be a protagonist,antagonist and a goal.
- Fredrick Kimani.

The lecturer on Act 1
- Moses a.k.a Pinto.

4. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being very poor and 10 being excellent, how would you rate this film?

8/10...very good.
- Edminah.

On a scale of 1 to 10 I give it 5 because it was fair
- Denzon.

A 9
- Fredrick Kimani.

5
- Carol.

8
- Moses a.k.a Pinto

5. Any other thoughts you would like to add about the short film?

They should at least have shown us what they were going to do next now that the man had refused.
- Denzon Mau

Even though we can predict through her smile what will happen next,they should have shown us what happened maybe.
- Carol Kanyora

Act in 21st century style, to make it more attractive, capture attention.
- Edminah Kanana M.

It was interesting.
- Fredrick Kimani.

I enjoyed it.
- Moses a.k.a Pinto

'The Riveters' touches on SDG 5



Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Review: Solo Una Vita

Reviewer: Mutendei Writes

Solo Una Vita is a captivating film from start to end, its small production mishaps notwithstanding the film’s overall quality.

With a smooth introduction of a captivating mystery into its opening, the film immediately establishes who its main characters are within the first opening scenes.

With the mystery established, the mystery morphs into an artistic dissection of what community is all about, and exemplifies that community is not necessarily about the size of a group but the connections between them.

Connections that grow between the three main characters, Gea, a struggling but ambitious songstress or singstress as the movie captions her; Elvira, the aptly wise grandmother and landlady of the story and lastly; Nicola, the movie’s mystery and most damaged genius.
As an odd community, the three characters heal themselves by assisting each other with their uniquely specific problems, with the aim of overcoming their challenges, fears and losses.

The result is a rock (soft rock) movie dedicated to the positivity of art, without the assumptively assumed negatives associated with Rock music like, drugs, transactional sex, violence or mania.

If the movie was to be redone in the constructs of the English language, its title may have well been “The Fault among our stars.” However that title is already taken. Not that there is any need to worry or consider an English remake as the Italian (with dashes of Sicilian) music movie clearly establishes its own unblemished and standalone identity.

Identity becomes the back bone of the film and the central theme discussed through the interactions of the cast. In respect to the identity of the film, as mentioned by some of the audience members that watched it at a ROFFEKE event on February 13th at the August 7th Memorial Park in Nairobi, it seems to have been copied by another big budget Hollywood release that also focuses around struggling musicians; an opinion which should encourage you to be the judge of this for yourself.

While it starts out as a music film, it grows beyond that to be a film that covers the discourse and dynamics of art as a whole; the film is so well developed that any other genre of art could be swapped in for music and still have the same effect.

This allows different artists to step into the shoes of the musicians portrayed on screen and embrace the similarities, if any, of human artistic challenges they face.

Using music as a medium, the film explores art in its entirety as an exposition of human nature and not an escape. It presents art as an instrument of healing and coping mechanism for the failures of society and challenges of human existence.

Art is a tool for the exploration of the human condition and art is a home that the artists can be proud of building and developing their souls and talent within.

The film explores many metaphors relevant to human life and focuses on facets that everyone should consider.

Everyone plays different notes and everyone sings and writes differently, a reality that the film uses to highlight the fact that your problems are not bigger than the next person's, and should be considered in the same weight one assigns to one’s own burdens.

Elvira the wise grandmother and landlady, embodies this as a practice, through her own art of Kitsugi, a Japanese practice developed with the belief that “we are better when we fix our broken parts with better things!”

Without Art, we lose ourselves and our humanity.

Solo Una Vita clearly establishing art as a worthy undertaking. The film also explores what we give up for our art and the price we pay. What is the price of pursuing one’s dreams and can the price ever be too high?

Art is about hope. Art begins in Chaos and ends in harmony.

While the film fantastically succeeds in its exploration of art and the human condition, it is not without shortcomings which were alluded to at the beginning of this review.

The film’s transition from credits to first scene is a quick cut in and counterproductive in respect to establishing the film’s mood.

The film does have several errors in its subtitles either due to translation or truncation errors.

In addition to this while the film runs its course, some of the camera angles result in blurred focus and poor character tracking.

With quality of photography being a key consideration in any film, the film also seems to go overboard in cut aways and scenic landscape fillers that do not necessarily further the film and story’s agenda.

The film would have also benefitted from including flashbacks of the loss suffered by Nicola, to give more weight to the character’s burden and better connect the audience to his condition.

These downsides however, are a far cry from outweighing the good of the film, and by its strengths the film is a great investment for one and a half hours of your time.

Mutendei Bio

Mutendei Writes (Elias Nabutete) a Kenyan writer, with Kenyan & Canadian life experiences, writes & performs under the penname Mutendei Writes. As an artistic writer, using original, creative & structured writing, covering unique, genre inspired material, moving beyond the limiting modern day mainstream spectrum of content has been Mutendei Writes. Interweaving modern & cultural inclinations, with vivid storylines, Mutendei Writes artistically creates written & Spoken Word Poetry, along with short stories. With four unique books; The Poetry Express, The IdeaBankisms, Shadow Walkers & Everything Mutendei. Mutendei Writes has also maintained monthly website releases on mutendeiwrites.wordpress.com, adding to his works, while enabling others to pursue their literary goals.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Interview: Javier Lozano Sánchez - "Better Whole" director, writer, producer

ROFFEKE: When you were 6 years old, you started drawing comics based on your favourite movies from the eighties. What were some of these eighties movies that inspired you?

JAVIER: My first comics were based on the movie King Kong (1933) I drew several sequels. King Kong never dies in my comics. By the time I was 13 I had already drawn comics based on Ghostbusters, Robocop, Aliens, Terminator, Batman, Darkman, Star Wars, Mad Max, and many more. My first stories were almost copies from those. I think they taught me how to tell a story. It's something I learned very young, so I really feel comfortable writing stories. After those amazing comics I started to develop my own ideas.

ROFFEKE: You made your first short film with a hi-8 camera when you were 13. What was the short film about? How long did it take you to make the film? What did you learn from the experience?

JAVIER: It was about a mouse from outer space. A boy (my little brother) finds it and then the mouse turns into a kind of gremlin. It was like a home invasión movie, but with a gremlin. The gremlin was a puppet of Ernie (Sesame street) we really customized for the occasion; it even danced in a scene!

We made the short in a week. I had to edit on camera, so I recorded and watched and then we repeated again and again. The short lasted almost 15 minutes.

I learned that it's more difficult to make films than to imagine them. It was an incredible experience, I had no idea about making a short film. There wasn't youtube to look for a tutorial!

ROFFEKE: What lessons did you learn from doing the Better Whole music video?

JAVIER: I learned a lot about visual effects, especially about 3D compositing. It was the first time I used a green screen with actors (musicians in this case). But everything turned out ok. Better Whole is a first step for more ambitious projects.

And I realized again, like in all the projects I'm involved (especially in short films), that it's very difficult to get that incredible image you have in mind. I think images and emotions are mixed in your mind, so they are almost impossible to reproduce. You need to deal with that and try the hardest to get something similar to what you imagine and feel.

ROFFEKE: If you had a budget of 1 million dollars, what would you do different for the Better Whole music video?

JAVIER: I think it would be better technically, and... well... honestly, if I had a million dollars I would not spend it on a music video or a short film... I would probably finance my humble film production company. .. Maybe I'll end up doing the same, but it will take me a lot more time without 1 million to start.

ROFFEKE: If you had a chance to go back in time to meet your 13 year old self just before you made your first short film, what advice would you give him?

JAVIER: Make the short film, make more, and do not doubt about what you really want. I'll tell him: As soon as you finish high school, go do what you really want and forget about everything fucking else.

And after that, I'll visit Doc Brown.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

"Alone" joins the ranks of films with rock-fueled end credits

The Matrix had it. Dogma had it. Fight Club had it. And now Alone has it.

The Matrix
“Wake Up” by Rage Against the Machine

Very fitting because: “By the end of the film, Neo literally wakes up from the technology induced slavery…”



Dogma
“Still” by Alanis Morissette

Very fitting because: “The story revolves around two fallen angels who plan to employ an alleged loophole in Catholic dogma to return to Heaven after being cast out by God;”

I am your joy and your regret
I am your fury and your elation
I am your yearning and your sweat
I am your faithless and your religion

I see you altering history
I see you abusing the land
I see you and your selective amnesia
And I love you still
And I love you still



Fight Club
“Where is my mind?” by The Pixies

Very fitting because: “No song has better captured the tone, mood and message of a film quite like this classic…”

With your feet in the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
But there's nothing in it
And you'll ask yourself

Where is my mind
Where is my mind
Where is my mind





Alone
“Mental Power” by Simply Tomas

Like Fight Club, “Alone” deals with matters of the mind. “Mental Power” by Kenyan rock artist Simply Tomas is simply, a perfect fit.

I cannot understand
The need to live like this
I want to take control
Before I lose my mind

Bridge:
Siwezi kuu-kataa
Kuna shida kubwa
Siwezi ku-kataa
Shida ni lazima

Chorus: X 2
(But) I’ve got mental powers
Working with spiritual powers
Even in the crazy hours
To keep me from self-destruction



“ALONE” SYNOPSIS.
ALONE is a psychological drama set in modern day Kenya.

EUGENE NJOGU 28 (Mwaura Bilalal) a hardworking, timid desk police officer with mild bipolar and OCD wants to earn his father’s approval and admiration by getting a promotion to a police spokesperson but his father PAUL SENIOR 61 (Ian Mbugua), for reasons not immediately revealed, gives him an ultimatum to either quit his job or risk being cut off from the inheritance will.

With the assistance from his happy go lucky artistic leaning brother MARTIN (Brain Shikhuyu) he has to navigate a series of extreme challenges from his boss Chief Inspector Malonzi (Clara Alitsi) and his father; leading to a grand revelation of their shared love and bond.

This is a story that touches on the sensitive issue of mental health and the family, hope, redemption and self-discovery.

#AloneFilmKE

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Reviews: The Neighbor (#ROFFEKEOFFICIALSELECTION2018)

Writer - Zain Ashar
Director - Reinaldo Garcia
Producer - Ricky Cruz
"Luke" - Zain Ashar
"Joe" - Willem van der Vegtkey
"Landlord" - Lucia O'Brienkey

Review by Mutendei

Right off the bat "The Neighbor" shows that a neighbor sometimes is the exact opposite of the word's meaning. Neighbour highlights that we sometimes can get more than we bargained for in the selection of habitation and that people just as much as space and amenities impact the quality of our living space.

"The Neighbor" opens admirably with a good pan acting as a neat transition into the first scene. The cut-aways in between the dialogue of the first two characters we see, hints at unwelcomed company and the cringe worthiness that the lady landlord runs away from. Just because someone hooks you up, doesn't mean they are doing you a bigger favor than the one they are doing themselves.

Having been hinted at being cringe worthy, Luke, the unwanted attention giver, in this case doesn't disappoint in playing his role, opposite the new guy, Joe who as yet unfamiliar with the irritancy of his neighbor, accurately and believably portrays a human response to his indoctrination to the neighbor menace.

From a technical production standpoint, "The Neighbor" moves at a very good pace giving a balanced view to the developments as the film progresses, one scene not losing its relevance to others, either before or after. The film however does not resonate extra emotion in the well-acted and scripted scenes due to the lack of a soundtrack, which is completely absent and a downside to the film, whether intentional or as the result of an omission.

In summary the film aptly explores the boundaries of human interaction linked to habitation and related social dynamics. In exploring this, "The Neighbor" cinematically expounds two truisms of human nature, the first being that familiarity breeds contempt and the second being that "birds of a feather, flock together" indeed.

I believe the overall point of "The Neighbor" is a question, which it internally debates rather well, a question which we all face day to day in some way: do we own our own space?

Audio Review by Wanjiku Francis



Audio Review by Chacha Rich



Audio Review by Kimathi Geoffrey



Mutendei Bio

Mutendei Writes (Elias Nabutete) a Kenyan writer, with Kenyan & Canadian life experiences, writes & performs under the penname Mutendei Writes. As an artistic writer, using original, creative & structured writing, covering unique, genre inspired material, moving beyond the limiting modern day mainstream spectrum of content has been Mutendei Writes. Interweaving modern & cultural inclinations, with vivid storylines, Mutendei Writes artistically creates written & Spoken Word Poetry, along with short stories. With four unique books; The Poetry Express, The IdeaBankisms, Shadow Walkers & Everything Mutendei. Mutendei Writes has also maintained monthly website releases on mutendeiwrites.wordpress.com, adding to his works, while enabling others to pursue their literary goals.