The much anticipated 4thKalasha Awards took place on Saturday at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre. It was of course a red carpet affair, full of glamour and the Kenyan ladies, as usual, dressed to kill for the occasion. Kenyan men, who have also come to master the art of dressing as well, were looking sharp.
The Kalasha Awards were established in 2008 by the Kenya Film Commission with the aim of celebrating the most outstanding achievements in film and television production as a way of promoting the local film industry.
ACTORS INCLUDED BUT NOT HAPPY DARLINGS
Unlike in the previous ‘kalashas’ where actors complained of being shortchanged as far as representation in the event’s organization was concerned, this time they were represented in the nomination academy under the newly reformed Actors Guild and people giving rise to the expectation of a much more engaging and open awards evening. However, the events of the night left actors who graced the event disappointed, as the 2012 Kalasha awards, judging from the reactions of most actors present, did not meet their expectations.
“We were expecting a much more open and short of controversy awards but judging from the winners of the day, the credibility of the awards is questionable”, a popular actress was quoted saying, a sentiment with which an award winning Kenyan actor seated next to her concurred.
STARTED LATE, GOT WORSE…
The event scheduled to commence at 6:00 pm kicked off two hours later. This correspondent was not surprised though, because that’s the Kenyan style.
Musician Collo, popularly known for his song “You Guy”, and news anchor Ahmed Darwesh, were introduced as the MC’s of the night but somehow another MC who could barely connect with the audience took over and the audience took to chatting only looking up to the stage when winners were being announced.
“Couldn’t they find actors to MC the event?” most people present were caught wondering amongst themselves.
Conspicuous by their absence was Citizen TV who did not submit any of their productions and this apparently was attributed to the ‘raw deal’ the station got during last years’ Kalasha.
‘NAIROBI HALF LIFE’ AND KBC SCOOP AWARDS
The winners of the night were Nairobi Half Life, a film by Ginger Ink and One Day Films which bagged five awards among them Best Cinematography and Best Scriptwriter for an Original Screenplay, Simiyu Samurai a film by film production house X-Media. Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) can also boast of banging five awards as the station managed to scoop the Kituo Halisi Award among four others in various categories.
Spiel Works Media, makers of Saints, Higher Learning and Lies that Bind also bagged three awards as Lies That Bind, which airs on KTN, won the best TV drama category, with its lead actress Florence Nduta scooping the Best Lead Actress and Justin Mirichii Best Supporting Actor in a TV drama.
Other Kalasha winners were;
Eunice Wambui popularly known as Nyasuguta (Vitimbi) – Best Supporting Actress in a TV Drama
Hiram Mugai (Vioja Mahakamani) -Beast Lead Actor in a TV Drama
Best Documentary- Tumanka Goes To School
Best TV Comedy- The Pasua Show
Best Performance in Comedy –Peter Sankale (Vioja Mahakamani)
Best Watershed Compliant Station- K24
ANDRONICO OTIENO – “RUSHED PREPARATIONS”
So was Kalasha 2012 a flop compared to last year’s? Below are some of the opinions given by actors who graced the event;
Andronico Otieno was of the opinion that; “Food was good, sound, lights the beautiful and smart stewardess! And that was all about it! Real artists representation was a goof and disrespectful to film makers and actors in general. First they bring MCs who are not relevant to the event, read wrong lists of nominees more than three times, and a whole bunch of signs to show rushed preparations, or can we say impunity?” he said.
GERALD LANGIRI – “WHY LIE!”
“Why have an organizing committee if the decisions will be made in house without involving the organizers! Why lie! I don’t have nice things to say about Kalasha 2012”, said Gerald Langiri, actor and administrator of actors.co.ke, who had been ‘part’ of the organizing committee.
KENNETH AMBANI – “COOKED DECISIONS”
According to veteran and award winning actor Kenneth Ambani; “We have raised suggestions which will always end up in some dustbin at KFC. This time round, like Gerald Langiri put it, he went in as a representative of participants in the industry but again his input was never taken into consideration. In a nut shell, it has always become some boardroom/’bedroom’ decision making which in my view is absurd and an insult to the industry. The essence of having a panel of judges was to ‘fairly’ and critically analyze all pieces entered in form of production and acting (for drama) and come up with ‘sane’ decisions but this was not to be. We were left asking more questions with regard to some OBVIOUSLY ‘cooked’ decisions… With all due respect to all stakeholders, INTEGRITY and fairness was wanting!”
CAROLINE KIPSUTO – “TOTAL WASTE”
As popular actress Caroline Kipsuto remarked as we tried to catch up with activities of the night, “This is a total waste of three thousand Kenyan shillings”, referring to the three thousand shillings that was being charged as an entrance fee.
To the Kenya film commission, this is where we get to say ‘haki yetu’!