The Los Angeles Film Festival wrapped up this weekend. Director Kimi Takesue was involved in a special project to make movies about Africa and foster up and coming filmmakers there.
Takesue presented her documentary “Where Are You Taking Me.” She describes it as an observational documentary on the rhythms and nuances of everyday life in Uganda. The Rotterdam International Film Festival in the Netherlands invited 10 filmmakers from around the world, including Takesue, to go to different countries in Africa and make whatever film they would like.
Takesue says her film “is a piece that does not focus on war and conflict and AIDS and images of victimization.” She wanted to make a film on the day-to-day life in Uganda, “so it was really important to me to provide an alternative perspective to what I feel I typically see about Uganda.”
For example, Takesue says she includes a colorful scene "of a wedding party that I thought was going to be this really modest affair, but turned out to be this really extravagant affair and kind of, in a sense, challenged my own stereotypes of what a Ugandan wedding would be.”
Part of the initiative for the project was for the international filmmakers to find and foster filmmakers living in Africa. Takesue says the independent film scene in Uganda has really just started to emerge. So far, she says it seems to be influenced by many aspects of the Nigerian film industry, dubbed Nollywood. The term is a combination of Nigeria and Hollywood. “It’s a really very melodramatic form of storytelling, the Nollywood style,” she says.
Here is a list of winners of the L.A. Film Festival competitions:
Jury Narrative Award - "A Family" directed by Pernille Fischer Christensen
Jury Documentary Award - "Make Believe" directed by J. Clay Tweel
Best Narrated Short Film - "My Invisible Friend" directed by Pablo Larcuens
Best Narrative Feature - "Four Lions" directed by Christopher Morris
Best Documentary - "Thunder Soul" directed by Mark Landsman
Best International Feature - "Presumed Guilty" directed by Roberto Hernandez and Geoffrey Smith
Best Documentary Short - "The Lucky One" directed by Beomsik Shimbe Shim
Short Film Award - "Dock Ellis & The Incredible No-No" directed by James Blagden