Founded in 2011 in Nairobi, the Slum Film Festival is a community-based annual film event featuring stories from, by, and about people living in urban slums. It is both a celebration of the creativity of filmmakers living and working in slums, as well as an opportunity to promote – through a week of outdoor screenings – a diverse range of films within communities with limited or no access to cinema. Our vision is to develop a network of partnerships with slum-based media production groups, organising screenings and events across Africa’s informal settlements, promoting and sharing slum stories, and becoming a key network for the distribution of films made by and about slum communities.
The Festival kicks-off every August/September, running at locations in both Kibera and Mathare, Kenya.
Our Objectives and Aims
The Slum Film Festival does not aim to legitimise the existence of informal human settlements, but to raise more public attention to them while promoting and celebrating the latent creativity of the people who live in such communities.
The aims of the Slum Film Festival are:
• To offer a platform for films from slum communities to reach broader audiences, and facilitate disenfranchised filmmakers in joining the international film circuit.
• To promote dialogue about life in slums that goes beyond stereotyping, using stories from slum communities to promote a more varied discussion on what living in a slum means. The Slum Film Festival demonstrates that slums are also a home for very talented, creative and culturally active artists.
• For the festival event to become a magnet for media attention, while changing media discourses about slum realities. This media presence can also allow mainstream media to acknowledge the presence of smaller slum-based media content producers, and promote new partnerships.
• To support the expansion of the festival into new slum locations, eventually coming a networked festival for celebrating the diversity and creativity of Pan-African, and one day Global, slums.
Local film screenings that we organise:
• Empower people of the slums to talk, discuss and explore their issues through film.
• Promote new ways of imagining human potential, and fights against the emerging habit of ‘waiting for somebody to help you’, promoting empowerment from within.
• “Unlock” the potential of people of the slums and allow them to use their ideas, talents, initiatives. • Encourage young creative people living in slums to consider filmmaking as an avenue for self- expression, demonstrating that film is not an elitist practice, but a powerful form for telling stories about life in slums.
• Contribute to a film-viewing culture in the slums, increasing the visibility of the arts as a way to address the sometimes crippling complexities of life.
The Slum Film Festival is a joint project hosted by Slum-TV and The Hot Sun Foundation, and supported by World Friends, the Royal African Society, and the Embassy of Spain (Kenya), and the Alliance Française.