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Lola Kenya Screen Wins Grand Prize at World Summit on Media & Children

FILMS BY CHILDREN FOR CHILDREN, a production of Lola Kenya Screen, eastern Africa's first and only international audiovisual event for children and youth, beat 50 other films from 12 African nations to the trophy at the Fifth World Summit on Media and Children.

This win has automatically entered the Kenyan production in the international Kids for Kids Festival to be held in Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Sept. 21-24, 2007. It will also see the films included on a compilation of the "Best Films Made by Children for Children" to be distributed globally by CIFEJ, the 52-year Canada-based International Centre of Film for Children and Youth of which Lola Kenya Screen is a member.

All the films on the FILMS BY CHILDREN FOR CHILDREN compilation were conceived, written, storyboarded, directed and animated by children under the guidance of Finnish filmmaker Antonia Ringbom.

FILMS BY CHILDREN FOR CHILDREN, dealing with the daily lives of the children involved, are TARGE CAN'T CRACK IT, MARY'S BAD LUCK, MARATHON, HOME RUN, CRIME DOESN'T PAY, MAKING CHOICES, MY DEAR ALIEN, HAPPY TIMES and SHOPPING SPREE.

The soundtrack to the films was specially created by Joel Sebunjo, a young Afro-fusion musician from Kampala, Uganda.

The seven-member jury drawing children from Tanzania, Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa and Surinam said: "...we chose FILMS BY CHILDREN FOR CHILDREN because of the amazing creativity and obvious effort put into this project which was done for the first time."

Receiving the prize at Sandton Convention Centre in South Africa, Lola Kenya Screen founding director Ogova Ondego dedicated it to "the voiceless and invisible children who, through media and political conspiracy playing to commercial interests, have driven people below 15 into oblivion" in Kenya and eastern Africa.

FILMS BY CHILDREN FOR CHILDREN has already been screened in audiovisual events in Cape Town (South Africa), Gdynia (Poland), Berlin (Germany), Goree Island (Senegal), and Nairobi (Kenya).

Organized by CIFEJ, 5WSMC and Children and Broadcasting Foundation of Africa, this was the first time Kids for Kids International Film Festival-running alongside 5WSMC-was held in Africa.

The jury consisted of Neo Matsepe (16, Lesotho), Precious Tshirangwana (13, South Africa), Rowell Fortune (15, Surinam), Boikaubso Mokobo (11, South Africa), Nancy Moshi (15, Tanzania), Chane du Toit (16, South Africa), and Lefa Addenes (14, Botswana).

The 5WSMC, that drew participation from 88 nations around the world to Johannesburg March 24-28, was held for the first time in Africa. The 6WSMC will be held in Karlstad, Sweden in 2010.

Nairobi-based Lola Kenya Screen is an annual international film festival, film production workshop and audiovisual market focusing on children and youth in eastern Africa. During the festival, children selected from among applicants to the official Lola Kenya Screen program work for the Children's Press, Children's Film Selection Committee, Children's Jury, Children's Programs Presentation and Children's Film Production Workshop. However the bulk of the children who attend Lola Kenya Screen events do so to just watch films and enjoy themselves during the August school holidays. The second edition of Lola Kenya Screen will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, Aug. 6-11, 2007, at Goethe-Institut in the Central Business District and in selected venues in Nairobi's informal settlements of Mathare and Kibera.

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Rick DeMott
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