The Genesis of the first ever Africa chapter of the biggest gathering of young filmmakers in the world dubbed Cinemadamare Africa Chapter began 5 years back when Samuel Oluoko,the projects Coordinator-G-PAY landed an opportunity to participate in a film making program in Italy in 2014 organized by Associazione Culturale Cinemadamare that is run by the director Francesco Rina a renowned journalist in Italy.This was the very first time that a Participant from Africa joined this amazing program 12 years since the program started.
Samuel Oluoko was so amazed at the impact the program made in his filmmaking career and the kind of exposure and networks this whole experience made .He then managed to secure a meeting with the director Mr. Francesco Rina to discuss a possible MoU that among other things was to grant GPAY an opportunity to have 10 young passionate filmmakers participate in this program every year .The proposed MoU also outlined the desire to see this program run in Africa-Kenya with GPAY taking the lead in rallying the relevant stakeholders in Kenya to see the successful implementation of this program in 2019.
The Cinemadamare Africa chapter 2019 edition theme was on gains of devolution.
It was implemented as a Pilot Program targeting only five counties:
1) Nairobi county – 9th Nov-17th Nov. 2019
2) Kisumu County – 17th Nov.-24th Nov. 2019
3) Nyandarua County – 24th Nov. – 1st Dec 2019
4) Makueni County – 1st Dec. – 8th Dec. 2019
5) Mombasa County 8th Dec. – 16th Dec 2019
International participants started arriving on 8thNov.2019.
Accommodation facility for Nairobi was at the Railways Training Institute-RTI where all participants stayed.
The VIPs were accommodated at the concord Hotel.
On 12th November 2019,Cinemadamare Africa Chapter 2019 was officially launched in Nairobi, Kenya at the University of Nairobi main campus. This pilot edition offered young film makers opportunities to make films together as they traverse the five selected counties every week
Cinemadamare Africa Chapter 2019 had a memorable entry in Kisumu.
The county government prepared a grand ceremony that ushered us in to Kisumu City with Luo cultural traditional performances.
Participants were treated to the rare chance of luo dance which they enjoyed until they had to be requested to settle down for the officails to begin the program.
The Saturday that followed,the Governor H.E. Prof. Peter Anyang Nyongo who is also the father to the Hollywood Oscars winner –Lupita Nyongo and his Minister for youth,sports and culture Hon. Achie Alai created time to meet the participants and assure them of his administration’s support to GPAY’s efforts in bringing this great program to Kenya.He promised to work closely with GPAY and other stakeholders who made this program a success for purposes of seeing it happen again in Kisumu in the subsequent editions.
The 3rd county of our travelling campus was Nyandarua County.
Here we arrived at around 5pm aboard 4 buses courtesy of our transport partners Easycoach Limited.
Before reaching Nyandarua, Participants made brief stop overs in Kericho county-Kenya’s leading tea zone,Nakuru County where participants had a chance of touring Kariandusi Pre historic site that is preserved as one of the cradle of mankind .
The team arrived at to a rousing welcome by the county officials led by the director-youth sports and culture Nyandarua county who we were in constant communication with.
Accommodation venue was set at Kalou Girls Secondary School that is barely half a kilometer to Ol Kalou town.
The long travel from Nyandarua to Makueni was tiring.The team left Nyandarua at around 9.00am .It was raining so the luggage on top of the bus carrier had to be covered from rain.
The county officials who were following the 2 buses from behind in a county double cabin car did not want to take chances.They could occasionally call Samuel oluoko updating him on the progress regarding time and distance.Mercy Ngotho,the PR nd Communications manager for GPAY kept the communication alive with the officials of Makueni county who were waiting for the team.
After nine hours of a winding trip, the team finally landed in Wote Town,the administrative capital town of Makueni County.Here the county arranged for accommodation at Makueni Girl’s secondary school.Again the team arrived with the rain at some minutes past 9.00am
The trip to Mombasa County was widely anticipated by participants.This is because of the fact that this is the only county in the program that has coastal beaches on the Indian Ocean .They already knew that soon they will have fun filming at the beach and swimming as the enjoy the breeze that the ocean had to offer.
The long journey commenced at around 8.45 am after everyone boarded the 2 school buses that the county government of Makueni provided .
After 8 hours of travel, the team finally arrived at the coastal city of Mombasa.The venue of accommodation was at Mombasa Secondary School for the Physically Handicapped in Bamburi.The weather here was too hot,something which quickly prompted the team to switch to their summer wears.