Mathare Youth Film Festival ( MYFF) is a project organized by MYSA Shootback
MYSA shootback is a photography and filmmaking project started in 1997, it was first in its kind where unfortuned kids can get an opportunity to to tap their talents and choice of future career by learning how to make photos with 35mm point and shoot cameras, 32 young youths were selected : 16 boys and 16 girls aged between 12 – 17 years old from different slum communities they documented there day to day life and also MYSA activities and shared the photos both locally and internationally by doing exhibitions
The interest grew and Video production was introduced in 2005 were kids can make films, drama, short stories in their environs and screen them in a Shootback slum community television Shootback has been one of the most successful artistic and educational projects in Nairobi. As a part of world known organization (MYSA), it has established new standards of film education within the slums – one of the poorest slums in Africa. The biggest success of Shootback is however is that more than 60% from first generation kids trained in film & photography (32 participants) moved out of slums, have stable jobs and some work as professional film-makers and photographers in media industry
Stating that fighting poverty is the biggest challenge in Mathare is more than trivial. What we consider as our challenge is to motivate the youth, give young people skills and most of all planting an idea in their minds that change is possible for them. The biggest need is to provide youth with knowledge of ways to direct their lives and professional skills; they can use in the future to get decent paid jobs. Shootback already proofed that with the 60% of the first generation that trained photographers and film-makers and moved out of slums communities, more than 25% focus their professional life around film and photography.
Mathare Youth Film Festival, by offering workshops and lectures of well established film-makers, that will end with creating and screening short films is offering more than just skills training. By showing the films to a huge public in the slums creating awareness and creating a film competition in the festival, we want to motivate youth for further self-established activities. They will have tools in their hands and a proof that from a scratch you can actually shoot, edit and screen/present your work to the public, with this know how knowledge we will eradicate poverty and same time connect or create a filmmaking network amongst the youth around the world. The funding will cater for transportation, food and minor expenses to ensure they are participating in a one week festival workshop.