Entertainment: Kenya Will Be Hosting An International Sports Film Festival In November


The power of sports in bringing people together cannot be overstated, especially in the aftermath of the recent World Cup tournament. During this time, billions of people all over the world were united in celebration of their countries and others. Smiles were shared, tears were shed and unlikely friendships were formed with the common goal of honouring a sport loved by many.

While some were lucky enough to be able to attend the matches in person, many were the ones who saw same from the comfort of their homes and social gatherings through their TVs and the internet. This was made possible by all the men and women who dedicated their time and expertise to document what was happening on the field through film for the whole world to enjoy.

This is the power that film has in the world of sports, and it is these two worlds that Safinaz Foundation aims to merge through the Kenya International Sports Film Festival. This will be the first film festival of its kind in Kenya. It will be held from the 22nd to 25th November 2018 at the Louis Leakey Auditorium at the National Museum of Kenya, Nairobi. It will be a chance to celebrate all sports disciplines in the world through carefully curated and documented films.

Speaking at the launch of the Kenya International Sports Film Festival at Toranj Restaurant today, Mr. Aarif Karim, who is the Chairman of Safinaz Foundation, made it clear that it was very important to document and preserve our sports culture through film for future generations. As a third generation sportsman and a former Kenya International Sportsman of both cricket and tennis, Mr. Karim is a firm believer in the positive mindset that is derived from sporting activities and is keen on creating, building and sustaining a sporting culture in Kenya. He is no stranger to having his story documented, as part of the inspirational and talented family, The Karims, whose story has been told through a documentary feature and a coffee table book.


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The launch of the Kenya International Sports Film Festival. Image from https://www.ceoafrica.co.ke

The launch event brought together former members of his cricket team, dubbed ‘The Four Musketeers’ back in the day, athletes, members of the diplomatic corps, members of the press and sports enthusiasts. Hassan Noor Hassan, the Chief Administration Secretary in The Ministry of Sports and Heritage, was also in attendance where he pledged to have the ministry fully support this initiative that was on a mission to make sure that our sports stories were documented and told. He emphasized the fact that Kenya had a lot to offer the sporting world, not just athletics, and he was eager to see those stories out there.

The Kenya International Sports Film Festival aims to combine the very best in sports and film while opening up a whole new niche market in the growing sports tourism industry. During the festival, Nairobi will also benefit from the economic activities associated with the festival as well as an opportunity to showcase the very best of our ‘Green City in the Sun’.

Since the submissions window opened earlier this month, the Kenya International Sports Film Festival has received more than 150 sports films from all over the world. The criteria for submission is: Films must be between 5 -20 minutes (shorts) between 20 – 120 minutes (features), must be produced from 2010 to date and must be submitted with either a Vimeo private link or Filmfreeway screening file. The file format should be MP4 only. Three physical copies to be delivered to KISFF Secretariat – 1st Floor – Aristocrats House, Along James Gichuru Road, Nairobi, Kenya). The films will be professionally judged according to the various categories and finalists will be awarded prizes. For more information, please check out https://filmfreeway.com/kisffke.

By finding a way to combine sports and film, the Safinaz Foundation, through Kenya International Sports Film Festival, is creating global awareness based on their core belief that while sports unifies society, film inspires society.

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I like to make sense of the world, and I do that best when I write. I enjoy writing about emotions, people, and both the spoken and unspoken. Apart from writing, I enjoy reading, puzzles, travelling, cooking and eating.