Ndio Ukubwa: A Sauti Mpya Short Film Anthology

Ndio Ukubwa: A Sauti Mpya Anthology

Ndio Ukubwa is an anthology of three short films — Mwajuma, Kete, and Dogo — all created by the Sauti Mpya film programme at Nafasi Art Space in Dar es Salaam. The films follow three different characters, each with unique circumstances but all facing societal pressures placed on youth in Tanzania. A woman sells dagaa, dances with a contemporary dance troupe, and challenges stereotypes about people of her size; a young man puts his own life on hold to take care of his sick mother while trying to stay connected to his friends; a man works as a gardener and struggles to see his own worth, failing to realize how much his young nephew looks up to him. These are intimate, observational glances into young people’s lives as they navigate challenges at the cusp of adulthood and test the social bonds that sustain them.

The grand premiere at ZIFF 2021 – Public screenings 

Stonetown Streets offer a labyrinth of paths — and during this year’s ZIFF a few of them will be turned into pop-up screening spaces (Nafasi). Some are the habitual Maskanis (hangouts) like the Jaws Corner Maskani, while others are simply spots where young people congregate to make some noise, enjoy local bites and then move on to other more interesting things in the Stonetown youth evening calendar.

Between 22 and 24 July, these hangouts will be transformed into street cinemas featuring new youth-driven filmic narratives under the tag “Ndio Ukubwa”, an anthology of three Tanzanian short films about what it means to grow up, or act grown up, when your heart is still young.

Each evening, as soon as the sunlight has faded, one maskani of Stone Town will see these films screened to the public to be followed (or not) by discussions, depending on the whims of the impromptu audiences of the amorphous Stonetown youth.

Look out for screenings at Jaws Corner, Lebanon Brothers and Malindi… and the Dar es Salaam premiere to come in August 2021.

A Note about the Production:

The Sauti Mpya Film Development Programme at Nafasi Art Space is an intensive, hands-on training for emerging Tanzanian filmmakers with an emphasis on story development and script writing, promotion of the short film as an art form, and the creation of nuanced films for Tanzanian audiences. The films were shot using collective modes of production— the scripts were written in teams, trainees had the opportunity to serve in a different role on each set, and responsibilities were shared between the group members.

Nafasi Art Space is a multidisciplinary contemporary art centre that seeks to enrich and further human potential through the arts. Nafasi’s Sauti Mpya programme was funded by WeWorld Tanzania via a grant from the European Union, in partnership with the Tanzania Film Board, Zanzibar International Film Festival, and Azam TV.

Filmmakers and Participants in the Sauti Mpya Project:

Walt Mzengi, Nicholas Mwakatobe Calvin, Ahmed Ally, Amina Ali Mwechaga, Irene Themistocles, Regina Kihwele, Beather Mwakyenda, Chifuniro Lungu, Miriam Phiri, Deodaty Nyalusi, Mohamed Mussa, Kelvin Kagambo, Mikidadi Mwinyiamani, Salim Mwandoro, Sudi Masomwa, Shafii Mangi, Rajab Lawaliya Habibu, Rebecca Yeong Ae Corey