Hawa Essuman is a passionate filmmaker with over a decade’s experience who questions the core assumptions of mainstream narratives. Film, to her, is the perfect medium to stimulate as well as entertain. She has created work in collaboration with filmmakers and artists in various formats – short films, video art installations and music videos among them. Her award-winning fiction and documentary films, Soul Boy (2010) and SILAS (2017), have screened at festivals all over the world and won awards as a result. She regularly sits on international juries, festival selection committees, gives talks and contributes to panel discussions on filmmaking, the importance of films being made with African agency, and the issue of reaching local on the continent.
Fibby Kioria is dedicated consumer and appreciator of films from the African Continent; She has co founded and programmes for various film screening spaces and film festivals in the region bringing the best of African cinema to local audiences, high schools and out of school youth while working closely with local coordinators in the various spaces to build capacity among emerging filmmakers. She is also an Associate Producer for the ‘Sembene Across Africa’ screenings, which annually brings Ousmane Sembene’s work to over 35 countries in Sub Saharan Africa through parallel community screenings. She regularly sits on international juries and film selection committees. She is an Associate Producer at Afro Films International and is part of the CiniDB team that is putting together a database of African film professionals. She also sits on the boards of Goethe Zentrum Uganda and Ladima Foundation Nigeria.
Manyatta Screenings is an alternative screening experience celebrating short films made by filmmakers from greater Eastern Africa. Biannually, we host events in two scenic locations in Kenya: on the shores of Lake Elementaita, located in the Great Rift Valley; and on the foothills of Mount Kenya, located in Laikipia County. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2020, Manyatta Screenings is currently holding all screening events online.
East Africa is currently experiencing a renaissance in filmmaking. The region has witnessed a sharp increase in industry-standard films and the powerful stories they convey. Films by East African talent have been quietly causing a stir at international festivals around the world. While our research shows that local audiences in East Africa are interested in watching African films, few opportunities exist to see them.
At Manyatta Screenings, we screen films from Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Somaliland, Tanzania and Uganda.
We believe that short films are powerful artistic entities in their own right. They are forms of narrative and intellectual independence, and timely captions of how filmmakers see and comment on the world around them.
As we enter our fourth year (2021) of screenings, our mission at Manyatta Screenings remains: to cultivate the East African film ecosystem, grow local audiences, and to create a platform where filmmakers and their short films are more visible.