Over 300 entries received for Kenya’s inaugural sports film festival

Aasif Karim, Florence Nduta, Hassan Noor Hassan and Nazneen Karim pose with various sports equipment during the launch in July.

More than 300 entries have been received for Kenya’s inaugural sports film festival to be held in November, officials have disclosed.

The Kenya International Sports Film Festival (KISFF), which was launched recently, will run between Nov.22 and Nov.25 and will feature films from across the globe.

The fete is an initiative of former national cricket team captain, Aasif Karim under his Safinaz Foundation that promotes sports in the country and aims to use the movies to unify and inspire society.

Florence Nduta, the festival director who is also the national secretary of Kenya Actors Guild, said Kenyans have already submitted nine films whereas the rest are from other parts of the world.

“Top countries are Iran, India, USA, Turkey, Russia and members of the European Union but we expect to receive more entries.

During the launch, Karim, who is also KISFF chairman, said the festival will provide an ideal platform for movies that combine the very best in both sports and film and will be a window into a new niche market that if properly harnessed can take the already multi-billion dollar industry into a new direction for all the players involved.

“As much as there is a financial angle to promotion of sports in Kenya, there is an even greater far-reaching perspective in that we firmly belief that a healthy nation is a more productive and progressive nation,” the former international cricketer said.

He said that the festival will create a global awareness that is inherent in its core belief that while sports unifies society, film inspires the social order.

According to organizers, the films must have been produced from 2010 to date, with short films running between 5-20 minutes and feature films between 20 and 120 minutes.

Kenyan laws demand that all films for public screening must be classified by the Kenya Film Classification Board, therefore all films in the final line-up will have to be classified for public screening.

There will be eight category awards and 12 individual awards film with non-English dialogue or text must be submitted with subtitles in English.

The presence of sports enthusiasts, government officials and members of the diplomatic corps during the launch was testimony that the idea enjoyed widespread goodwill from across the board.

Hassan Noor Hassan, the Cabinet Administrative Secretary for Sports, Culture and Heritage who was the chief guest during the event, promised full government support and called upon sportsmen and women who have rich history to document their exploits for the sake of prosperity where the future generation will learn from them.

“Whereas sports is not just about rivalry in the field, people only tend to remember it during competition. Time has come for sportspeople to tell their story for posterity,” Hassan said.

Officials from the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) and the Kenya Film Commission (KFC) and foreign embassies also attended the event.

Dragan Zupandevac, the Ambassador of Serbia to Kenya said his country has entered two films; one about the nations great success in basketball called ‘We Will Be Champions’, and  the other about a Serbian footballer who became a superstar in Brazilian after he was ignored by the Serbian national team.

“After the World War II, nobody played basketball in the former Yugoslavia. But by 1970, we were world champions,” he disclosed.

The three-day festival will be held at the Louise Leakey  Auditorium at the National Museum of Kenya and will also be rolled it down to the counties.

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