Saturday 2nd October 11:30am to 1:30pm – Two acclaimed film directors explore the role of story in film making, and the representation of ‘Africa’ in film
Tom Tykwer, (born 1965) is a German film director, screenwriter, composer and producer.
A native of Wuppertal, Germany, he moved to Berlin in the 1980s and worked as a projectionist and booker in various independent art house cinemas.
After Tom began taking piano lessons at the age of eight, he came to realise that understanding cadences was a fast route to developing his own musical ideas, which made the music he learnt a basis for striking out on his own musical path.
Later, once he had developed his great passion for film, he came to admire filmmakers, who through long and close co-operation with composers were able to develop a mutual and credible language on a musical level. He reserved the same admiration for those filmmakers who composed the music themselves. Tom has written music for all his films.
He is co-founder and partner of the Berlin based film production company. His films as a director include “Deadly Maria” (1993), “Winter Sleepers” (1997), “Run Lola Run” (1998), “The Princess and the Warrior” (2000), “Heaven” (2002), “Perfume – the story of a murderer” (2006) and “The International” (2009).
In 2008 he co-founded the non-profit organization One Fine Day, which promotes and supports artistic education in Nairobi (Kenya). The foundation’s pilot project “Soul Boy”(2010) premiered at Gothenburg International Film festival in January 2010.
Tom Tykwer´s work as a producer include Gigantic (1999, director Sebastian Schipper), Soundless (2004, director Mennan Yapo), A Friend of Mine (2006, director Sebastian Schipper) and The Heart is a Dark Forest (2007, director Nicolette Krebitz).
Wanuri Kahiu is a Kenyan film director. In 2008, she completed her first feature film From A Whisper based on the real life events surrounding the August 7, twin bombings of US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998. The film recently received a total of twelve nominations and earned five awards at the 5th Africa Movie Academy Awards including Best Director and Best Picture, the Golden Dhow award for Best East African Picture at Zanzibar International Film Festival and Best Film at Kalasha, Kenya Film and TV awards.
Shortly after, she completed a documentary about the life of Nobel peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai entitled For Our Land (2009) for M-Net ‘Great Africans’ Series.
She has recently completed a short Science Fiction Film Pumzi (2009) that was partially funded by Focus Features (part of NBC universal), Goethe Institut and Changa Moto Fund in Kenya. Pumzi is Kenya’s first science fiction film. Her films have been screened in high profile festivals, such as Sundance and the Berlinale.
Wanuri was born in Nairobi. After graduating from the University of Warwick in 2001 with a BSc degree in Management Science, she enrolled for a Master’s Degree at the ‘Masters of Fine Arts’ programme in directing at the School of Film and Television at the University of California, Los Angeles. After working on movies like “The Italian Job” and “Catch A Fire,” Kahiu decided to return to Kenya to chase her filmmaking dream.
“It’s ridiculously difficult to be a filmmaker in Kenya, it’s just not an appreciated art,” she said in a CNN interview. “I am a filmmaker when I’m outside the country — in Kenya, I’m a hustler, someone who’s just trying to make ends meet. Every month it’s like, ‘Oh it’s a miracle, I made rent!” But Kahiu has remained defiant in the face of financial constraints.
At the age of 29, she’s already hailed as one of Africa’s most aspirant directors, being part of a new, vibrant crop of talents representing contemporary African culture.