‘Film is what I feel, see and hear’
'‘Film is what I feel, see and hear"
This is the voice of 29yr old, Amos Lolibo from Lodwar, Turkana, a student of FilmAid’s filmmaker training program in Kakuma refugee camp. This year, Amos’ film, Never Again, was selected for the 7th edition of the Kenya International Film Festival and was screened alongside other FilmAid student films as part of the week's events.
Never Again, is a powerful documentary reflecting on those affected by the 2007/08 post-election violence. Using chilling archival footage and firsthand interviews from Kakuma refugee camp, Never Again leaves a lasting impression of Kenya's past election, where over 1,300 people lost their lives and an estimated 650,000 were displaced.
‘This is a real story,’ says Amos, ‘that needed to be made into a film so people could watch it.’ However, you don’t just watch this film. You are drawn into it, experience it and feel it too.
Screened for the first time at this year’s World Refugee Day and FilmAid Film Festival in Kakuma, Never Again stirred emotions among audience members, some even requesting repeat screenings in their villages.
When asked about the making of the film, Amos speaks about crew tension and lighting challenges. Normal production life of course, but add in incessant heat and dusty wind, and you can start to get a sense of what a huge accomplishment this film was for the crew.
In 2010, Amos met FilmAid and applied one year later for the student filmmaker training program which also runs in Dadaab. The program works both with refugees and youth from the host community. Amos is one of many students who are trained in creative and technical film skills such as scriptwriting, camera operations and post production. The training program empowers young people to tell their own stories in their own voice.
At the end of each program, these powerful student films, focusing on issues such as health, security, identity and peace, are screened back to the refugee community and posted to FilmAid’s YouTube channel for global dissemination. Some of these films are even selected for festivals. This year, Never Again was screened at the Slum Film Festival in Nairobi, winning second prize in documentary shorts.
Although Never Again was a big achievement for Amos, he is already assisting as the boom swinger, fixer and translator in a new FilmAid production about peace. The production focuses on the peaceful coexistence between the Kakuma refugees and the host community.
‘Film is what I feel, it is my force to fight poverty in my community’, he says.