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

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

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Interview with Teddy Gitau, Kirimi Kiage and Blake Simpson - Scriptwriters of "Tethered"

Teddy Gitau: You lecture scriptwriting at African Digital Media Institute. In what ways does teaching scriptwriting help you with your own scriptwriting?

Kirimi Kiage: You are the co-founder of Nyota Art Gallery. Tell us a bit about it and how being involved with it influences your storytelling?

Blake Simpson: You were born and raised in Seattle, Washington, spent 7 years in East Africa and are currently in Switzerland. What similarities in filmmaking or storytelling do you see in these three different regions?

What about your screenplay “Tethered” highlights the theme/concept of friendship, fun and/or freedom?

What lessons did 2020 teach you?

Any advice for upcoming screenwriters?

Watch the full interview here

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Interview: Egor Gavrilin - Director of The Bluestocking Music Video for "Never Ready"

ROFFEKE: I loved your interview on so for this ROFFEKE interview, I would like to ask some follow-up questions:

In the interview, you mentioned that you directed a “part theatrical performance part radio play based on Ray Bradbury’s short story ‘Kaleidoscope’”. Please share some of your favourite memories/lessons you learned from that early directorial experience.

EGOR: Since it was my first case of consciously directing something there was a lot of mini observations and conclusions. But there was one main thing I realised:

The process and the product are two different universes.

A bit of context: in school we had this yearly event where every class would prepare a 15-20 minute theatrical piece. Officially it wasn’t a competition but in reality for a month the whole school turned into a Game of Thrones kind of ball of intrigues, treasons, plotting. Everybody spying on others and trying to figure out what they were preparing and do something for their piece to look better. And while everybody was so in this process of gossiping and doing small-time politics I was in my room at the computer trying to realise what the hell needs to be done to make this piece work. You know, directing stuff. And that contrast between the two “layers” of the process can be seen in all sorts of projects, no matter how big. People can get too excited by everything that happens “around” the production process (who wouldn’t be? it’s always such an exciting emotional rollercoaster) that quite often they forget that having an exciting time on set (or near it) does not equal making a great film (or anything, really). And you have to always be able to turn off all the side-effects of the process and look at the product with fresh eyes and see whether it’s working or not.

ROFFEKE: The first script of “The Bluestocking - Never Ready” was ditched. What were some elements/scenes that you loved about it?

EGOR: I loved the whole thing.

Short story long.

I am that kind of a director who can’t work on a music video without knowing and feeling the musician(s) first. I usually torture them with several-hour talks and then ask them hundreds of stupid questions in messengers (I start to draft ideas before all this but you can really see how they become better as I learn new things about the band and the song). And this first version of the script appeared from all those meetings and talks.

The story was a very dark tale set in a fantasy version of early XX century (think Tim Burton type setting but without any hint of humour). It was about a girl who went through hell in her childhood, then later became a showgirl superstar. When she fell in love with a man she couldn’t trust him and she started to have paranoid suspicions that he was going to hurt and betray her. The ending is as dark as you can imagine it. Visually it was a number of “static” scenes. The camera would fly through them, revealing details and telling the story through that. If you know the Spike Jonze’s 2-minute short “The New Normal” for MedMen – it’s pretty much how we wanted to do it.

That answers the question but I wanted to add a small P.S. to that.

After it became clear that the budget for realising that idea the way we wanted would be gigantic I had to start from scratch. Around that time the guys said “Hey, this is our debut video. Maybe let’s introduce ourselves to people, let’s make it about us”. That’s when all the torturous talks and my stupid questions came in handy: if I hadn’t gotten to know the guys enough I just wouldn’t be able to come up with the stories that you see in the video.

ROFFEKE: "Zero" hand-crafted all the Steampunk objects. What was your process of collaboration in bringing to life these objects? Were the objects part of the script or were they conceptualized independently? How long did it take to craft the objects? Which Steampunk influences did you refer to, if any?

EGOR: Some of the devices were in the script from the very beginning because they were essential for the stories (like, the saxophonist’s “charger”, the “head jukebox” and the camera with the built-in printing machine). Some objects appeared in the video just because “Zero” said “I also have this, do you want it?” and I went “Are you kidding?! This is even better than what I could ever think about!” That’s how the costumes for the two “guitar engineers” appeared, for example. 

Some of the “essential” objects were combinations of stuff that he already had but some had to be made from scratch (the “head jukebox”). Working with “Zero” was pretty easy. He is one of those guys who have a pretty solid style but at the same time great imagination and so it’s not a problem for him to think of something outlandish and you always know it will look awesome.

However, there was a moment when it backfired a little bit. When I briefed “Zero” I described the saxophonist’s charger as a rusty “infinite engine” (that’s what these wiggly things are called in Russia’s toy stores) and it seemed clear to him and it was probably the easiest thing to make from the whole list. But on the day of the shoot he brought the device he made – and it was a totally different thing altogether. It looked great but it was not doing what it’s supposed to do (which is move on its own and “create” energy this way). Turned out “Zero” didn’t know what “infinite engine” was and just came up with one (it’s not his fault, of course; it was my problem that I didn’t make it clear enough during the briefing). So we ended up not having a vital prop on the day of the shoot. So some people from the producers’ team went and bought a couple of those wiggly “infinite engines” and made them look rusty on the set.

I think all in all “Zero” spent several days crafting the things for us. He works pretty fast. As for references I think mine were “The city of lost children” and a little bit of “Brazil” but like I said, “Zero” had a pretty solid style he works in. So mostly he was his own stylistic reference.

ROFFEKE: You mentioned that your social anxiety could be a reason that you are a “terrible festival person”. What advice would you offer a new filmmaker who struggles with social anxiety?

EGOR: I have two opposite options for advice here.

Option #1: I don’t remember who said it but here goes: “Make your work so good that they can’t ignore you” and so you won’t have to approach anyone. The downside of this advice is that even if your work is bloody amazing you would still achieve a lot more with it if you socialized and networked. So I guess you will still need to consider option #2.

Option #2 is very tactical: Try starting the conversation by admitting that you are anxious but you want to talk to the person so much that you overcame it. Usually that opens people up. Also, if there are specific people you want to talk to, research is your friend. Find out as much as you can about them and you will not run out of things to talk about.

ROFFEKE: 2020 was a tumultuous year for most of us. What lessons did 2020 teach you?

EGOR: 2020 was indeed a year of lessons. Most of them were tragic because of all the lives that were lost. But there was one observation of a less tragic kind that I couldn’t help but make:

Humans are a lot less in control of themselves than they think they are.

During the pandemic there was quite a number of small human “side effects”. Like, for example, there was a couple of months in the beginning of the year when everybody (not sure about other countries but in Russia it was pretty common) became really mean to people who looked Asian (up to not allowing them to enter places) because everybody heard something about a disease spreading in China. I won’t comment on stupidity of such behaviour but what’s really sad is how people are prone to using very little information and not questioning the conclusions they’re making from it. Or the paradoxical situation where Russia was producing the vaccine, it was free for everybody to have but nobody was signing up for vaccination. And when you ask people why, they give you some vague answers like “I’m not sure about it” which make no sense at all.

It’s clear that these “mind glitches” happen because people just don’t know how to deal with a situation like that and their autopilots don’t have a suitable program for it. Which is fascinating and at the same time extremely scary to observe.

Check out the fascinating and extremely entertaining music video for "Never Ready" a song by The Bluestocking.

Director's Statement:

Since the music video was the band's debut, we set ourselves the task of introducing people to the band from the very beginning. But this acquaintance had to be not simple, but, first of all, very personal, and secondly, made in a style that would correspond to the unique sound of the band as much as possible. Each story turned out not only about the band members, but also about the universal, big problems that people face in life or bring upon themselves: addiction, burnout, dependence on other people's opinions. So the music video turned out to be fabulous, but also a very dark warning about how easy it is to lose yourself by submitting to your inner urges, even if they are very sincere.

Director Bio:

Egor Gavrilin was born on 15.12.1987 in Chelyabinsk, Russia. In 2010 graduated from Moscow State University of Culture and Arts as a director.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The Outcast Kid, Tom Morello and Politics

 “When I first moved to Hollywood, I thought I was going to rule the Sunset Strip with my heavy metal guitar licks…that didn’t work out. Nobody really wanted me. My hair wasn’t right, my skin wasn’t right…” - Tom Morello in “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell”

“If a Greek can be an outcast in this day and age, what are the chances for those from Syria? We are shown what it is like to be an outsider; being picked on, having to constantly prove yourself, the constant reminder that you are not like everyone. The theme resonates with every kid who was always picked on for being different from the rest, resonates with that third world country never taken serious by the 'super  power' country. Shout out to those parents and relatives who listen and offer advise for such situations.” - Review by Love Kassim.

“I was finally accepted by the East Side rocking community which is bands like Fishbone, Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Imagine my surprise…I grew up in a really stultifying, conservative suburb of Chicago and I went to an Ivy League school [Harvard] and all of a sudden my best friends were all drug addicts and prostitutes, who, many of them had a heart of gold. They accepted me when others did not.”

“The film talks about a half nationality [dual nationality] boy who has to deal with two sides of a coin, being half Greek and half Romanian. I liked that it addresses social issues as we see them, tribalism, ethnicity, religion, racism, and the fact that the young boy feels torn in between. It has addressed a multitude of issues that are overlooked and the issue of bullying is heavily seen here.  What l didn't like was the inclusion of politics that is hard to understand for the young boy.” - Review by Inez.

W. Kamau Bell: Why do you think it’s important for artists to be connected to social movements?”

Tom Morello: An artist’s only responsibility is to be true to themselves. If you do have convictions in the political arena then you shouldn’t divorce them from your vocation.”

Tom Morello's segment is from minute 13:40.

The Outcast Kid trailer.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Mike Messier: Lessons from 2020, New novel, Screenwriting versus Novel writing

ROFFEKE Alumnus Mike Messier shares what he's been up to and the lessons he learned from 2020.

 1. What is your novel about and what makes it stand out?

"A Distance from Avalon: when the dying and the dead reunite" is about a school teacher named Joe and his co-worker named Shadow who find themselves at a mysterious, gothic castle on Halloween night hosted by the enigmatic Jean La Croix Distance and his lover Heartbreak. As the night unfolds, the hosts are able to pry emotional secrets from their guests in what seems like genuine bonding and friendship but is ultimately revealed as a more nefarious tactic to gain their trust. I'd like to think that the dialogue of the piece and unique paragraph structure stand out as well as the cover art by my collaborator Nazar Germanov. 

2. What did you like about the process of writing the novel and what did you find challenging?

Writing in the novel format definitely has more freedom in terms of length of paragraphs, structure, page count etc. Also, there were no deadlines on me for this project, since I wrote and self-published it on Amazon on my own terms.  The book can be purchased on kindle or paperback here:

3. What's the difference between writing a novel and writing a screenplay?

A big difference is that feature film screenplays have certain understood "expectations"  that become part of the mix for a writer. "By page twelve, there should be an inciting incident", "no scene should be longer than two pages" etc are some of the lessons learned in screenwriting classes and through books that become part of the "mental fabric" of a screenwriter's mind. When writing a screenplay, there is also a running dialogue of "can this idea be actually filmed?"  and "Am I writing a script that can be filmed on a budget?" type questions.  When writing a screenplay, there is usually not a guarantee that the script itself will ever be filmed, so there is a sense of uncertainty if the writing efforts are in vain or not.  Freeing myself from those constraints and concerns in writing this novel was a welcomed change of pace. 

4. Any other new projects?

I have been working a lot on my YouTube Channel during the pandemic, doing road trip videos, Mike's Instant Movie Reviews, Pro Wrestling rants,   interviews including "This Podcast Cures Racism", and more. People can subscribe from this link:

As far as writing, I'm working on the second of  A Distance from Avalon  trilogy right now! The cover art is already ready, now it's up to me to do the writing! 

I also worked with my friend Aaron Woodson on an "urban romance" feature film script titled Aaliyah and Troy, more info can be found here:

 I recently did some acting in a couple of films, both of which directed by my friend Tom DeNucci. One of them titled "The Mick and the Trick" is a fun action film shot in Pennsylvania in October, 2020. Info here:

Federico Castelluccio and Mike Messier on The Mick and The Trick set

I chronicled my road trip up there for "Subscribe to Mike Messier YouTube Channel" . I have also been tweaking and improving a lot of my feature film scripts including American Luchador: The Dream of Lobo Fuego and Also Ran, my prison drama.

5. What lessons did 2020 teach you?

The lesson from 2020 is that time is short for all of us and if any of us want to "make a dent in the universe", then it's best to get going soon because we are not guaranteed another fifty, thirty, ten or even five years on this earth. We must do what we can to make our goals into realities before we are dead, because if we end up in that shallow grave with things still on our "things to do list" , well, then it will be too late! 

Sunday, March 7, 2021

International Women's Day: Spotlight on ROFFEKE Interns, Reviewers and "Clara"

Tomorrow, 8th March, is International Women's Day. ROFFEKE salutes all women, including ROFFEKE former interns Josephine Koima and Lesley Gakuo and current ROFFEKE reviewers Love Kassim and Inez Inās.

Below is Inez's review of  the rockumentary"Clara":

Hi I'm Inez writing a review on "Clara" a short film by Benjamin Montel.

What impressed me was the content; the narrator is very insightful and the other characters are quite interesting. 

What l liked about the video is the rawness with which she talks about about her feelings, her deepest desires, her fears, and how she wants to impact others; it's how she said that she wants to create what her father didn't create, it's the love and support of her family especially with the gold album. It's the loneliness and sadness that you could see in her eyes, her strength and how she feels her handiwork finally paid off. The fact that she wants to talk about women and the sensuality involved without being erotic and without putting sexuality in it, that was beautiful. 

(Watch the CLARA Trailer.)

What l did not like about the video is the translation; it was left out in some places. The lighting of the video felt gloomy and sad and lost, also the people surrounding her, they felt aloof and did not care about her, the feeling that she feels lonely even in a sea of people, the people around did not celebrate her achievement, but her family loved her achievements. 

It reminded me of my favourite boyband BTS because in a way the boys also feel lost and lonely after concerts and also the emotions and fears that are faced by many artists without then knowing if the audience will love the performance and the music. It puts into perspective that each artist has to top the next song higher than the other hit. The army audience when they decide to sing along that feeling that the boys feel is the one l believe she felt herself when she came off the stage the first time. 

(Watch BTS' version of Coldplay's "Fix You")

ROFFEKE wishes all women a happy International Women's Day!

Monday, January 11, 2021

Reviews: Tired Eyes (Written and Directed by Ryan Martin Brown)

As someone who is "schlepping" a small rock 'n' roll film festival in a less than conducive environment, I could totally relate to Tired Eyes (directed by Ryan Martin Brown). I can see the utter ridiculousness of it all...and also the utter importance of it. 


"Rose, Mitch, and Trevor make up the lo-fi rock band Tired Eyes. The trio have a small gig tonight, which means schlepping gear from a cramped practice space in Brooklyn to the middle of Manhattan. Unfortunately, the city has a way of making even the simplest of tasks absurdly difficult."

'A snapshot of people you know... [it] questions the purpose of art in a way that I found very moving.'

- Antonio Mendez-Esparza, Cassavetes Award Winner

'Perfectly captures the chaos and madness of New York, and the hustle of trying to get something off the ground.'

- Kentucker Audley,

Reviewer: Love Kassim

This video shows what most, if not all, bands go through right before a gig and I think such hustles stem much of their writing.

Of course they are late and have to beg for a chance to play.

I can only imagine how long it took to set up.

Makes you wonder what kind of situation musicians go through right before and even after a show.

They are surprisingly good.

Set is done and they have to find a way back home.

Their band name is fitting after the day they just had: Tired Eyes.

Reviewer: Inez Inās

My first impression was that it is relatable and peaceful. l liked that it was funny and showed what happens everyday in life when you are not organized. The music was calm yet it showed confusion. l did not like how the scenes were short and how the characters were quite insensitive to their neighbors; they simply were in their own cocoon plus they were rude. The film reminded me of some of the fun, laid back comedy movies l have watched; the characters usually are petty but fun, eg Love Rosie, it showed her love life and the effects of not telling your love before, but it ended well.

Love Kassim: Side bar, can I find this band on YouTube, check out their music or they were just actors?

ROFFEKE: They were actors 😊

"Mitch" - Steven Carter

"Rose" - Emily DeForest

"Trevor" - Cecil Jennings

Writer/Director - Ryan Martin Brown

Producer - Paula Andrea Gonzalez-Nasser

Reviews: Vices (A poem by Matt Wohlfarth, performed by John Vento)

 Reviewer: Love Kassim

My first instinct after hearing that poem was switching off my phone and going off grid😂

Vices is a poem that enumerates how the powers in play use mass deception, rather mass psychology, to control, influence, manipulate and persuade the masses.

This machinery uses vices, for example, devices that get you hooked and before you know it you can't live without them.

Misinformation is peddled and Propaganda is peddled to whoever will take an interest.

Internet memes for example are one of the latest revolutions on spreading propaganda and are an effective tool in the arsenal of digital persuasion.

Whatever we are fed by the powers at play influence how we think and conduct ourselves and it's time we woke up and saw reality for what it is.

Reviewer: Inez Inās

My first impression was that the poem is deep and rugged. l liked the catchy visuals, the sound being both commanding and soothing; the use of black invoked the feelings of a dark world and the poet's voice is seductive as if he has a secret. l did not like that some visuals seem to take us back in time instead of the current era, the vagueness of the poem and the feeling of guilt evoked. Reminds me of how we have come to see and believe everything that we see without question and how the big fish are manipulating the small fish figuratively.

Directed by Jim Pitulski. Watch "Vices" here 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

This Day on Kenya Rocks: January 7th, 2008

Jan 7, 2008 

hey happy new year to u too the start of the year hasnt been too good but im sure we can improve that maybe we can do a rock blood drain drive to give blood to the red cross guys or have a rock 4 peace concert i mean aint rock all about the love?

- Kenya Rocks yahoo group member.

My reply:

Jan 7, 2008 

Great ideas! We can do both. Right now we are organizing a ‘Kenya Live Aid’ show to collect food,clothes etc. To be held on the 20th of January. Maybe we can do the rock blood drain and rock 4 peace concert in February? Organizing is the real headache. Could you or anyone else in Kenya Rocks volunteer to be in charge of these two projects?  And yes, rock is all about the love. Yesterday I was doubting this but after reading all the ‘proposal’ emails posted here, I believe! I believe!:-)  Oh and we should definitely have a New Year’s show. To make up for the awful way we started the new year. Maybe in March?:-)

Shiku and I are in the process of organizing... Entry fee will be food, clothes, bottled water, medicine…anything to help the victims of the post-election violence. Who else is with us?

Thursday, December 24, 2020


A Youtube playlist featuring some of the short films, music videos and rockumentaries submitted to ROFFEKE in 2020. Watch it here.

 'Tis the holiday season, so the first music video is "Just Like Xmas" by Tom Tikka.

The year 2020 has been a bit...much, and the theme and inspiration behind the second music video speaks to this:

"In a divided time, when only the most sensational acts are acknowledged by the public, a shy man longs to be seen and heard. In particular, he seeks the attention of a girl who mesmerizes him and awakens his creative passion, but when he falls prey to the seductions of easy fame, will he pay the price for losing his true self? The 5th chapter, "Woke," from Kenny Cash's iLLustrated Opera (dubbed the iLL Opera) features Jaqx finding the courage to use his voice,  but when he finally protests against the dividing forces that rule his world he is forced to confront his hyped up alter ego.  Musically, "Woke" Blend of punk, funk and jazz fusion w/ aggressive vocals which reflect the battle that ensues."

Director's Statement: " After nearly forty years on the planet without paying much attention to politics, I never imagined a time would come when I had to express my opinion on the political landscape of the world that we live in. But following the 2016 presidential election, not having a political voice seems to have become an impossible task. The world has started to look a bit like a cartoon to me, where interaction doesn’t happen so much face to face, but rather with hyper-caricatures of one another on social media. I had always loved comic books, science fiction, stories of illuminati, and tales of redemption, so voicing myself through an even more caricaturized graphic approach just seemed right. Being a part of social media left me with my own internal struggle, as it is easy to fall prey to its seduction and the pull of media in general. What we see and hear repeatedly tends to shape our thoughts and close our minds to other's perspectives. If, at the core, the majority of humans tend to desire similar things, then why are we so divided in our approach to obtain them? So this is my voice for the new generation: my kids’ generation. Find your voice, use your voice, but always challenge your voice by listening to another’s."

The last music video in this playlist is a rollercoaster romp through an other-worldly reality - sort of like what 2020 felt like. The difference is that this music video is fun to watch, the song is sure to get you moving and the story is captivating:

"The hero breathes a cloud of strange smoke. He bangs a spray paint that turns into a living and dancing cartoon robot in the wall. All over the city, we see graffiti come to life to join our protagonist, who is going to get caught, to end up like a black and white 2D poster on the wall (like JR). Guided by the robot / bomb in the wall, he will meet 3 characters, the freaks of Caravan Palace, scary and crazy, who will first haunt him, pursue him, then finally amuse him to the point of dancing with them in a crazy way." (Director: Béchir "Jiwee" Jouini)

The year 2020 has been a cloud of strange smoke. It has haunted us and pursued us but hopefully, with a bit of friendship, fun and freedom, we can get to the point of dancing with it in a crazy way and ending the year on a high note. Happy holidays everyone!

Review: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Reviewer: Love Kassim

The opening shot seems so familiar; two black boys in period costumes on the run in the forest and it clicks: they must be running away from slavery but then we see that they are running towards something - the music of Ma Rainey (Viola Davis).

She sings the blues, an entirely African American-created art form that brings black people together, though as Ma Rainey later puts it, the music suffering even if it doesn't provide an escape from it.

Black artistry portrayed in this movie comes alive thanks to the powerhouse performance from Levee especially (played by the late Chadwick Boseman in his final role).

Both characters have large personalities but only one of them is actually aware of the White exploitation that is coming for black art. Boseman and Davis are electrifying even if there are times when the film strains against the confines of its stage originsThere is a struggle since the movie was written to be played on stage (August Wilson's play, MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM). The cinematography (George C Wolfe's adaptation) was okay, resulting in the other stuff melting away, like the source material was aimed at the stage rather than the screen

The movie is set in Chicago,1927.Ma knows that she has all the power in these recording sessions but the second her voice is on vinyl, it will be exploited. Tensions rise with the white manager struggling to facilitate a recording session with the dismissive producer. Here we see a portrait of how Black art is valued by its artists and the tragic economic realities that seek to steal art for white audiences.

Fun fact: Denzel Washington serves as a producer in this film.

What's so brilliant about this film defies easy description. Ma is strong but she is clearly exhausted, other times she is bitter but has affection for her family. Boseman consistently elicits our sympathy with every gesture and line. Levee is an astonishing role because you have a character who thinks he knows the score but we are all waiting for the fallout from the harsh lessons he is about to endureThis is acting at its finest and while the supporting cast deserves acclaim for their work, these two performances are what kept me glued to the screen

I felt like this film demands for us to explore how Black art is created then exploited and how we really haven't broken free.

This is a movie about the power of black art and why it must be cherished.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Wine Game: A Metaphor for 2020?

Wine Game is a laugh-out-loud, 4-minute short film that I think could be a metaphor for the year 2020:

00:16 - Pandemic, lockdowns.

00:25 - Quarantined. Forced to look within. What are we carrying?

00:50 - New normal, new opportunities.

1:26 - In the new normal, it is not advisable to put new wine in old wine skins.

Wine "is a powerful literary metaphor used for centuries to refer to everything from love to blood to wonder the Greeks gave birth to the complex myth of Dionysius, a source of joy as well as thoughtless rage."

Some reviewers have likened the Wine Game story to that of the Sisyphus myth. According to Wikipedia:

"In Greek mythology Sisyphus or Sisyphos was the king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth). He was punished for his self-aggrandizing craftiness and deceitfulness by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill only for it to roll down every time it neared the top, repeating this action for eternity. Through the classical influence on modern culture, tasks that are both laborious and futile are therefore described as Sisyphean."

Of course, metaphors are subject to breaking down. Still, the beauty of "Wine Game" is that it is open to interpretation. To borrow from Robert Louis Stevenson's quip, "Wine Game is bottled poetry."

Friday, December 11, 2020

“That girl hitting the piñata was an act of resistance” - Review of Rockumentary directed by Nelson Varas-Diaz

 Can I just say that girl hitting the piñata was an act of resistance?”

So begun Love Kassim’s comments regarding “Acts of Resistance: Heavy Metal Music in Latin America” At first I laughed but after reflecting for a few seconds, I replied:

“Actually your comment is very profound now that I think about it. A few people at the top are holding all the resources. We little people (We are the 99 percent) need to hit that piñata till we can access what is rightfully ours!”

My comment may have been influenced by my week-long, virtual attendance of the Democracy and Rights Festival. For more information about this and to check out my tweets and those of other “keyboard warriors” check out the hashtag #DemocracyAndRightsFestival

Love Kassim agreed with me about the piñata being a metaphor for resources: “It really is. You have to struggle and shake it out from the people on top to get basic needs.”

She went on to comment:

I love this rockumentary. It shows how metal music in Latin America has affected the way people view their history as a countryThese bands have challenged me .I now see the world broadly.

Books as entry f(r)ee? Now tell me if that isn't genius. That right there is an act of change and resistance. Metalheads doing concerts to get their friend freed and also educating others? Man oh man. Mind blown.

I always hear Medellin and think of drugs, cartels, death...the concerts and tats...and government actually recognising the fact that these concerts have an impact on not only tourism but that they also bring people of all walks of life together.

And people demanding for their rights in metal music? Phenomenal.

The theme is awareness brought by metal music on resistance and I see how it correlates with our situation [in Kenya]. This country needs an awakening and I'm happy bands here are addressing such situationsOr rather starting to.

Kenyan rock bands such as Rash and Parking Lot Grass have sung against corruption. I replied:

I am so proud of our bands. I think this is the power of rock. You can't ignore the problems in society. Yes, we have fun, but many rockers are always conscious of inequalities and injustice. It's in the DNA of rock ‘n’ roll, it being descended from songs sung by African slaves in America.

Watch "Acts of Resistance: Heavy Metal Music in Latin America" here:

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Acts of Resistance: Heavy Metal Music in Latin America (#HumanRightsDay online screening)

 Youtube premiere of "Acts of Resistance: Heavy Metal Music in Latin America" on #HumanRightsDay 10th December 2020, 8am (Kenyan time).

"Metal music in Latin America is simply unique. It has tackled head-on the ongoing aftermath of coloniality (poverty, dictatorships, neoliberalism) like very few other musical genres. Few people have documented it as consistently as Dr. Nelson Varas-Díaz, a Professor at Florida International University’s Department of Global and Socio-cultural Studies. This documentary film follows him as he continues his trek through Latin America, documenting the varied manifestations of metal music in the region. In this, his fourth film on the subject, he documents how metal fans and musicians use the power of music to change their societies. Whether inspiring support for rural schools in Guatemala, engagement in environmental activism in Ecuador, or work for memory and peace in Colombia, metal music has become a form of decolonial activism in Latin America. This is what happens when the music’s extreme sounds and lyrics are combined with local concerns with un buen vivir (a life well-lived). Metal has taken to the streets, and is a force to be reckoned with beyond the stage."

Youtube link


Monday, October 26, 2020

ROFFEKE World Day for Audio Visual Heritage

 Australia - KING OF MAJESTY

This animated music video for The Marphoi Project's 'King of Majesty' tells the story of a king of a forgotten, alien world as he embarks on a quest for power and knowledge. But the lesson of his journey is not what he expects.

Director Statement

Similar to my earlier 'Ozymandias' animation, this piece examines ideas of pride, hubris and the search for meaning. The stark, alien, desert landscape provides the perfect canvas for illustrating these universal themes. I have also tried to create a dreamscape that marries well with The Marphoi Project's evocative, surreal sounds.

Director Biography

Stephen Hamacek is an Australian filmmaker, animator, actor and musician. He first came to animation at age seven, drawing onto clear 8mm film with OHP pens. He has since directed, animated and composed for numerous short films, including the award-winners, 'The Curse of the Hangman’s Stool', 'Café Noir', and 'Nuggety Bucket'. His 2007 film 'The Messenger' was selected for Tropfest’s “Best of the Rest” Australian screening tour, and more recently, his animated directorial debut 'Quandamooka Dreaming' was selected for the Lines in the Sand Film Festival on Stradbroke Island. This year he completed his Bachelor of Creative Industries (3D Design) and is in preproduction for another major animated short film and writing his first feature film.

Belgium - UFO

Boy meets girl. He turns out to be an alien.

Writer/Director - Kevin MeulDirector

Producer - The Subs (

Director Biography

Kevin Meul (1979) graduated at the Sint-Lukas Film School in Brussels in 2003. His debut short film The Extraordinary Life of Rocky was selected for over 80 festivals worldwide and has won many awards (including the top prizes at the British Independent Film Festival, the Chicago International Film Festival and the Seattle International Film Festival) and was on the long list for the Academy Awards. -


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.

Writer/Director/Producer/Actor - Regis Terencio


Don't just eat the soup of life, be the Wonton Raptor!

Director Statement

I had been quite fascinated with children's chalk drawings for a while and was in the habit of filming them, using the motion of the smartphone to create a sense of movement and animation. I was looking at some of the footage, and suddenly had this image of the shark that gobbles up his soup with such a zest for life that he becomes the "Wonton Raptor." I wrote and recorded a fun voice-over track and bundled it all together into this micro short film.

Director Biography - Robert David Duncan

My core training in acting is from the Stella Adler Studio in New York. I love acting and filmmaking and Vancouver where I now live is a beautiful place to make films. I am interested in the dramas, delights, passions and heartbreaks that take place in everyday interactions (or lack thereof) between ordinary people. Most of my films have dealt with human-scale issues such as tough choices, love, dreams, hope and finding meaning and fun in life. I love an underdog story! My motto is don't let anything get in the way of telling a story that might uplift someone - film it with your smartphone if that's what you have, but get it done and share it with the world.


Writer/Director/Editor: Elina Suominen

"Listening to Spotify one day, I heard the word 'rodeo' used in another song by the same name in exactly the opposite sense. The phrase in the tune was, 'You ain't my first rodeo.' I liked the song and the lyrics a lot but yet, found my mind drifting off to thinking how terrible it feels to go through one's very first relationship rodeo. We've all been there. It's hell and something we'll remember for the rest of our lives.'

"It was in this state of mind that I wrote most of the melody and the words to the chorus. Antti provided the remainder of the lyrics and voila, another Impersonators song was born. Well, not quite...I still had to finish the tune off with my wife Elina Suominen, who wrote the melody to the middle eight and that haunting guitar riff that begins the song. And then as always, I sent the multitrack over to Janne Saksa, who did an outstanding job with the production...just listen to the strings alone and you'll know what I mean.'

"The music video was scripted, directed, filmed and edited by my wife Elina and shooting it was great fun. There are a lot of humorous parts in it that I truly love but my favorite one is where Antti gives me a few flicks with a riding crop. You'll need to see it to believe it!"

France: SONG NO. 23

Marianne Queval, who was voted Deaf Miss France and runner up for Deaf Miss World in 2013, performs "Il me dit que je suis belle" (He Tells Me I'm Beautiful) by Patricia Kaas, a song about women's desire to believe in men's flattery. The deaf beauty pageant parallels the regular competition but does not benefit from the same media profile.

Director: Céline Trouillet

Director Statement

I’m deaf (partially) and my student videos were mostly about the problem of communication in general and some specifically featured deaf or other handicapped people. At the same time, I grew up in the 1980s when video clips for pop songs were a new thing in France, as was karaoke and the idea that anybody could be a « pop star » (at least for a few minutes in a nightclub). Nowadays this seems to have mutated into a trend for TV talent contests where eveybody can enjoy their Warholian 15 minutes in public.

As a child I wanted to be like Madonna (the singer, not the saint) but soon came to realise that it wasn’t really possible for a deaf person. So maybe making my own videos of other people singing was a way of channeling my frustration at a later date!

The idea of the SONG series is to present a sort of non-scientific cross-section of the society around me through portraits of people I happen to meet by chance in my everyday life (I met one lady in a post office queue, for example). Some of the singers are pro or semi-pro but mostly they are amateurs or not singers at all. The quality of voice is not important. I work with the performers to find the right song that most often relates to their personal history. Otherwise it might refer to a wider social issue. Although the individuals are all quite different from one another, the format of the films is always similar (ie a close-up of a face in a shallow space) and I try to make the background as relevant or meaningful as possible.


Music video for the song "Supergirl" by Berlin based singer Delphine Maillard.

Director: Alexander Lony

Starring: Delphine Maillard and Jerry Kwarteng.

ALM: The aim of this interview is to focus on Afro-German actors and their experiences. As far as I know, you were born in Hamburg, but your biological parents are from Ghana. Do you feel more German or African and why?

JK: This is not an easy question. First, I feel like I am from Hamburg. This is the city I was born in. As well the most important thing about Hamburg is, that the people accept you as you are.You are seen as a German no matter wherever your roots lie. In my case, I grew up in a German family and not with my Ghanaian parents. So, I feel more German than Ghananian. But, with the years I developed a strong interest in Ghana . It started with interests in Ghanaian food. When I was teenager, I started having contact with my siblings living in Ghana;that also increased my interest. Getting to know them better and getting to know what is important to them. Even though, I have not been to Ghana yet, it is on my wishlist. But Germany is my home and I work hard in the public eye to show that we Afro-Germans are part of Germany too. If you look in the media, people do not know much about Afro-Germans. They do not see us as Germans in the media. We are always foreigner . That is why I work very hard to establish a new definition of the word “German”. I want a definition which includes us and not a definition that only fixates on the colour of our skin. It is getting better in the media, but it is still a long way to go. I believe that the people in Germany, are much more understanding and have accepted that fact long ago. Of course, you have some people who cannot get their head around that fact, but well…. like I said. It is a long way.


Kenya: TAP

Director: Joseph Ochieng Obel

Music: “Aha” by Kenyan rock band Murfy’s Flaw

“Cheating in relationships has been heightened by the advancement of technology. TAP is a drama about how a young couple compromise on their relationship by failing to communicate, instead, each of them is an unfaithful. Official SELECTION by ROFFEKE Film Festival Kenya!”

You can watch all 50 of the featured short films and music videos via the ROFFEKE Audio Visual Heritage Day Youtube Playlist

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:


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.



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