Culture Spotlight Featuring Grace Adhiambo (Kenya Edition)
Grace began her film making journey in 2017 when she joined film school at Africa Digital Media Institute on Nairobi, Kenya. She mainly focused her efforts on editing, Scriptwriting, and producing before moving to camera operation and sound. In early 2019 Grace was a media trainer in charge of capacity building at various media houses including one in Jubbaland, Somalia. Mid 2019 Grace decided to give directing a go and directed her first short film 'Just One Bite'. She entered the CinemaDemare Africa Chapter film festival as Volunteer staff and managed to participate in a couple of projects one of them being the Film 'Seasons' that won the best film in Kisumu County.
Tell us about your experience at the Hip Hop Film Festival Kenya?
This was a great demonstration of adapting to change with the current pandemic upsetting the natural order of things. I felt like I was part of the festival from the safety and comfort of my home. I also enjoyed having my film screened alongside other talented filmmakers and learning from their experiences.
Why are stories from the culture important?
Imortolizing culture through media is a good way to preserve it for generations to come. Seeing as this technology is fully at our disposal, it's our responsibility as artists to keep the cultural fire burning bright through our creative talents. This is why support from The Hip Hop film festival family, The Stories From the Culture platform, and like-minded organizations is crucial for such creatives to thrive.
What projects are you working on now?
I am currently in the development phase of a short film and a documentary that I hope to start producing once it's safe; all the while working on getting funds to gap finance my short film. From time to time I write shoot and edit short films for my YouTube channel Wanahadithi (Swahili for Storytellers). I have to be a one-woman production house in this age of social distancing while sticking to delivering quality content for Kenyans and the world at large.
Why do you think the Harlem Film House and Hip Hop Film Festival is important? It's a platform that gives a voice to creatives. It surely thrust me into new circles and enabled me to network with other filmmakers from Kenya and beyond; such as Tevin Kimathi whose film was also selected to screen this year. Therefore, Harlem film house and Hip Hop Film Festival Europe should expand, so that more artists can be a part of the creative family.