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

ROFFEKE is a member of the Universal Film and Festival Organization

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.”
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

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

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”

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

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:


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.


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".


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.


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'

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 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


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 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 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 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 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.”

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Rock 'n' Roll and Disability

ROFFEKE is currently receiving submissions of rock 'n' roll related short films and music videos on its page. So far, 2 awesome films and 2 music videos have been submitted. The very first film to be submitted was "Goran" by Robert Santaguida (director), with the script written by Goran Gostojić. According to the director's synopsis, Goran is a film about "Joy and frustration as constructed by Goran Gostojić of Novi Sad." The film is beautifully shot and narrated but after watching it, I was wondering whether it would fit in a rock 'n roll film festival such as ROFFEKE. According to the director, the film's genre is "portrait" and the theme is "disability". Disability?! Is that even a rock 'n'roll theme? Could it be? Should it be? So I did a quick Google search (search terms: "rock 'n' roll and disability" and was amazed to find so many interesting sites that deal with these two seemingly worlds-apart themes. Below are some of those sites: 1. What Do Neil Young, Kurt Cobain And Other Disabled Rockers Teach Us About Working With Disability And Chronic Illness 2. Disability: Australian Rock 'n' Roll Party (Rock 'n' Roll party?! We need one of those here in Kenya! Sign me up!) 3. Recording Artists with Disabilities DISABILITY DOES NOT RESPECT ANYONE, NOT EVEN ROCK 'N' ROLLERS. So yes, disability is a rock 'n' roll theme.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Garissa Attack: This year's tragedy foreseen by Last Year's Tragedy?

Kenyan rock band "Last Year's Tragedy" must have sensed the future. Their lyrics for "March from the Underground" are very appropriate during this sad and dark time in Kenya, when we have lost almost 150 young lives. We will not forget them. #147notjustanumber

We're not looking back
We're moving forward now
We're not here by luck, no!
An assembly of the ones that with visions
The seers of the future

Marching forward, screaming peace
Don't give up yet

Hold on, don't let go, we'll all see this through
With Jah by our side

A parade of heroes
Warriors of the land
A generation filled with hope
Honour is our code
We give thanks to the Lord of Lords
Peace is here
Peace is us
Let's make it clear

Hold on, don't let go, we'll all see this through
With Jah by our side
Marching on, peace be with us all

Mistakes and regrets overwhelm
Just let go

Don't let go, March on, march on

Friday, March 27, 2015

Last Year's Tragedy: Finally! A music video worthy of their song!

It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Last Year's Tragedy. I love their songs but I cannot say that about all the music videos they have made thus far. Not that the videos are bad. No, just that, I feel they do not exactly measure up to the awesomeness of the corresponding songs. But finally, there is a music video that captures the awesomeness of this LYT song! Check it out!

Thursday, September 25, 2014


I first stumbled upon the AFRIMAs at their stand, during AITEC’s 2nd BFMA (Broadcast Film Music Africa) festival which took place in May of this year. After a minute or two of perusing through their pamphlets and brochures, it was quite evident that there was no rock ‘n’ roll category. I mentioned this omission to the lady at the stand and we then had a short discussion about rock music in Africa: how there were hundreds of rock bands all across Africa, of course with many of them in Southern Africa, but also more than a handful in East Africa (especially in Kenya) and a number in West Africa and even in Northern Africa. She promised to look into the prospect of adding a rock genre. 

Yesterday, I received an email from AFRIMA, listing the nominees of the various awards. I looked through the first pages, my heart sinking, thinking to myself, “Just the usual culprits. No rock ‘n’ roll category. No big surprise there…” But then I was suddenly, very pleasantly surprised when I saw the Parlotones mentioned and then Lo and Behold! An “African Rock” category! Yay! 

It was bitter-sweet though. Yes, there was a rock category but alas, no Kenyan bands were represented. Why is this when in the other categories such as hip hop, inspirational, etc, Kenyans feature prominently? Is it that the people in charge are not aware that there are Kenyan rock bands making quality rock music? Or is that, as usual, they ignored Kenyan rock bands? Or perhaps the fault is with the Kenyan rock bands; did they not submit their songs/videos? I will definitely begin an investigation to find out the answers to the above questions.

The following are the bands nominated in the “Best African Rock” category 

AFRIMA 2014: NOMINEES LIST                            
Dear Zim
Shadow Club
South Africa
Shaun Jacobs
South Africa
End of the Road
The Parlotones, featuring KhuliChana
South Africa

Van Coke Kartel
South Africa

I am yet to listen to any of these songs but once I do, I will do an in depth analysis, including how Kenyan rock songs measure up against them. I know for a fact that the Parlotones are a pretty good band.
I first heard of the Parlotones when I was in South Africa (late 2004 to late 2006), thanks to their cynical yet beautiful song called “Colourful”:

I get so nervous I stutter stutter
I am so clumsy I fumble stumble
I’m not some handsome knight in shining armour
I’m colourful, I’m colourful

Apart from being nominated in the “Best African Rock” category, the Parlotones have also been nominated for three other awards namely: Album of the Year” with their album “Stand Like Giants”. They will be competing with their countrymates Mafikizolo (album: “Reunited”). The Parlotones have also been nominated for “Songwriter of the Year” for the song “Sleepwalker”, which was co-written with Khuli Chana, Jon Savage and J. Nubrega. They will be competing with “Personally” and Nigeria’s “Pull Over”. Personally, I think more effort went into writing “Pull over” than “Personally” but that’s just my personal opinion. :-) 

 “Sleepwalker” has also been nominated for “Song of the Year”

All the best to the Parlotones!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Westgate: We are one

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

Inoath: Kenyan Metal Band and Upcoming Album

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

BFMA 2013: Broadcast Film and Music Africa 2013

"The Broadcast, Film and Music Africa (BFMA) conference is a popular creative content and electronic broadcasting event that promotes knowledge sharing and networking among high-level electronic media professionals. BFMA 2013 is scheduled to take place in Nairobi at the Kenyatta International Conference Center over 26-27 June. This year’s theme is Building a world class electronic media industry in Africa"

I am really looking forward to attending Session 2 on day 1 of this awesome conference! And if time permits, I may also attend Session 17 titled "Music Distribution"

Audiovisual content creation in Africa: Challenges and opportunities
As an industry we are still pushing the image of ‘the thin black starving child’, yet Africa has made great strides in recent decades. How then can African media step up and take its place in shaping or creating a new perception by also showing positive stories of Africa? how do we cover positive stories without necessarily hiding the dark truth? Is there a need for more African content on the global platform? is
there an African voice that tells African stories or is the international media in control of who and how Africa's perception is shaped? what role can social media play and is it a working reality? Next steps.
Terryanne Chebet, Business News Anchor, K24TV, Kenya
Rachael Diang'a, Department of Theatre Arts & Film Technology, Kenyatta University
Pascaline Wangui, Director, Intrinsic Concepts, Kenya
Olivier Zegna Rata, President,,, France
Toni Mumbi Kamau, On Screen Productions, Kenya
Q’damah Walter Lagat, Director/Producer, Qdamah Kip Films, Kenya
Ogova Ondego, Managing Trustee & Creative Director, Lola Kenya Screen

Gustav Erickson, CEO, Mdundo, Kenya