Challenging and Disrupting the Conventional Paradigms of Filmmaking; the case of short films of the Smartphone Film Competition in Kenya.
Shikuku Emmanuel Tsikhungu (Kenyatta University)
Paper short abstract:
This paper proposes to select three winners of three editions of the annual smartphone film competition run by the Alliance Francaise de Nairobi and subject them to an interrogation of their disruptive techniques of storytelling. It will dwell on the techniques of cinematography, plot and editing.
Paper long abstract:
The French cultural centre in Nairobi popularly known as Alliance Française de Nairobi with the support of the Embassy of France in Kenya usually runs an annual smartphone challenge. This is a competition of short films of upto 3 minutes made using smartphones that are submitted for adjudication. The competition organizers target the youth particularly those taking media related courses in tertiary institution. As they rightly advertise on their website, 'the idea behind the competition is to push the boundaries of experimentation and imagination using minimal technical and financial input, and to recognize and award talented youth.' One, the storyline has to be compressed to fit into the terseness of the message. Secondly, the cinematography has to possess a level of urgency and clarity since the story has to be told in quick succession. Thirdly, editing is ruthless to fit into this urgency of communication. Still, the film has to communicate and remain crisp. This therefore calls for a disruption of the canonized techniques of filmmaking to fit this new way of story-telling. Dwelling on the techniques of cinematography, plot as well as editing, this paper proposes to select three winners of the 2016, 2017 and 2018 editions of the smartphone film competition and subject them to an interrogation of their disruptive techniques of storytelling. The paper is premised on the assumption that the short film provides a deserved challenge to the meta-narrative of the feature length film. It will therefore use a counter-narrative perspective in its arguments.
- Arts and Culture