Festival brings award-winning films to Nairobi in May

Ukraine's Gogol Doc film by Alisa Pavlovaskaya
Ukraine's Gogol Doc film by Alisa Pavlovaskaya. PHOTO | COURTESY 

This year’s 28th edition of the European Film Festival will be unprecedented for its diversity, variety and inclusion of Kenyan as well as international films.

Thanks to the curation of Nyambura Waruinga, the festival, which opens May 4 and runs daily through May 27, will be accessible to many more Kenyans than ever. That’s because films will be shown at 11 venues, far more than ever before. They will be screened all the way from Alliance Francaise and Goethe Institute to Maasai Mbili in Kibera, Safaricom in Westlands and the August 7 Memorial Park. Films will also be shown at two IMAX cinemas, Kenya National Theatre, National Museum and the Dagoz Bar to name a few.

All the screenings will be free, but this year, there will be far more participation by Kenyan filmmakers, including those coming from Machawood, Slum Film Festival, Lake International Film Festival and Kenya Scriptwriters Guild.

Local filmmakers will show films like The Cut, Kidnapped, Kati Kati and 18 Hours as well a wide range of film shorts and animations. There will also be panel discussions, workshops and master classes that will run throughout the festival.

The European films will also be wide-ranging in their variety. The genres will range from thriller, drama and history to comedy, documentary and virtual reality to animation and film shorts.


When the European Film Festival began back in the early 1990s, the films came primarily from European Union countries which were relatively few at the time. But 28 years later, the EU itself has grown by leaps and bounds. Not all 28 EU countries are represented this year, although most of them are. But several non-EU countries are taking part, such as Switzerland, Norway, Turkey, and Ukraine. This year, one should try to see as much of the Festival as possible. However, it won’t be easy since the screenings are spread out across the city. But one can at least try.