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Wednesday, July 6, 2011
AFRICA: KENYA: FILM ON MISSIONARY PRIEST WINS AWARD
IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT: At the recent 14th Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), held in the Stone Town, a Kenyan film: 'The Rugged Priest' by Bob Nyanja took the prestigious Golden Dhow Award for the best feature film.
The life and death of Fr John Kaiser, a Mill Hill missionary, inspired the script of the film, based for a large part on real events of his life. As stated by the Jury, 'The Rugged Priest' is the story of a courageous priest who, in Kenya, challenges corrupt and violent political power in the name of human justice, even though his life is in danger.
Unknown assailants on August 23 2000 murdered him in Morendat, Kenya. The Jury added, “the film is made with very good cinematographic technique and intelligent use of filmic language.”
The film had already a successful showing in Kenya. The film director, Bob Nyanja, said that 'The Rugged Priest' will be sent to some of the top film festivals like Berlin, Verona, Amsterdam, Toronto and several festival in United States.
The Verona (Italy) Film Festival, represented at the festival by Fr Fabrizio Colombo and Mr. Giancarlo Beltrame, also presented an award to 'The Rugged Priest'. Fr Colombo told the press that Bob Nyanja has produced an original well-edited story.
More than 70 feature, documentary and short films were offered to the public, made up of thousand of Zanzibari people, tourists and cinema fans. The films were shown at the Old Fort in the evening and three other venues during the day. Films were also presented in the town of Zanzibar.
The Silver Dhow award was won by another Kenyan film 'Togetherness Supreme' produced by Nathan Collett. The Jury described it as “a remarkable, vibrant feature film of high technical skill and creativity’. It is also based on true events; it depicts an episode of the recent troubled period of the history of Kenya: the December 2007 elections and the violence that followed it. The story takes place in the Kibera slums and it contains a strong message for inter-ethnic peace and understanding.
Many other awards were presented. Among them:
The Golden Dhow for Documentary Film to 'Hidden Truth' by Penelope Machipi, from Zambia.
The Silver Dhow for Documentary Film to 'The last Voyage' by Riann Hendricks, from South Africa.
The Best East African Film to 'Lezare' by Zelalem Woldemariam, from Ethiopia.
The Best Short Film to 'A Beautiful Snowy Day', by Mahaya Petrossian and Amir Toodehroosa, from Iran.
The award for Best Swahili Feature Film went to 'Ray of Hope’ by Sajni Srivastava, from Tanzania.