Monday, June 25, 2012

Made in Uganda for the whales in Japan and polar bears in Alaska

There is that scene in Children of Men where the end of the world is upon man kind and a sculptor oblivious to the despair around him carries on adding finishing touches to a sculpture. For some artists the ability to work is enough its a privilege in itself  and yet for others that's not enough anybody can paint, sing, make a film so that's a given, the minimum. For the latter the former is more vain but at least  unlikely to  sacrifice aesthetics for functionality. Optimism over pragmatism, look ahead or stare at the ground. This is what every young artist, nay every one wrestles with.

For young filmmakers in Uganda, confronted daily by the ills of their communities,not to mention the hassles of getting a film made, each frame references this reality directly or indirectly. With the filmmaker as a development journalist though,the concern is these unwieldy job titles exert unnecessary pressure on creativity and the result is didactic work hardly captivating viewing. For most to be self serving, a self expressionist, read independent lasts until the hunger pains. Hence the need to stay relevant if only to attract funding from NGOs whose agenda is often more dubious than the source of their money.

Mutual exploitation, hand washing, log rolling as its called by negotiators at events like Rio +20 or the latest  round of trade talks is what film making is about and so too it appears is changing the world .
Name check the greatest film ever sold and you get the picture , having gone through all that trouble why not make a masterpiece as close as possible to your boldest vision. May be its as the savvy have  learnt,know your audience, 1% will pay to watch your film ,99% will just watch.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Legacy v Largesse

Things left behind, as a consequence of a life well lived , or not ,the best laid plans of predecessors, ancestors in a word, legacy, is foremost in the mind.
Events are moving a pace festival planning and all,  we are accepting film submissions, dead line is set for August1, for more info send an email to

 So to Brazil where event planners are are wrestling with the concept of legacy. After the event, Olympics or World Cup what next? Will it be an extinction level event, like say , Athens 2004 or South Africa 2010

Events planning is not what it used to be, especially for  those planning events funded by tax payers.To account for that largesse and appease the baying mob  events planners in Brazil have to solve long standing social problems like widespread poverty, shortage of housing, youth unemployment,girl child education and still throw the greatest party in living memory. And you thought you had a lot of work to do.

The late Rodney King had legacy on his mind in his final moments at poolside.He had just published his memoir even though events over took him so to speak, admittedly not for the first time.Its safe to say raging against mortality aside, justifying one's existence not withstanding, there is more to life than partying and frolicking and also more to a film festival than what  meets the eye.