Justus Macharia

Kenya - Animation

Justus Macharia

Justus Macharia

  • AGE : 26 years
  • COUNTRY of residence : KENYA
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The artist

A few words about your artistic journey

I started writing at the age of sixteen. At age eighteen my focus turned towards writing for film and television. I am inspired by African stories and right now I am specializing in telling stories through the medium of animation.

How long have you been an artist ?

I have been writing for the past ten years ; and I have been an animator for the last three years.

Why did you apply for this grant ? How will the grant support you ?

I applied for this grant because I love storytelling, and I am always excited for opportunities to tell African stories. My desire is to use filmmaking to offer a hopeful vision of Africa’s tomorrow. The grant will allow me to invest in producing an ambitious and aesthetically innovative short-film.

What are your concrete artistic objectives after this residency ?

By the end of the residency, I hope to produce a stop-motion short-film which offers solutions and fixes for the broken healthcare systems of many African countries.

His residence

What did you achieve during this creative residency ? What is the result (created work) ? Who was involved in the creation process ?

During this creative residency I produced a paper stop motion short-film titled “Tiba”. The film was produced with my colleague Shadrack Munene. At least eleven people were involved in the production of the film, this being the cast and post-production crew.

How do you think these activities contribute to a reflection on today’s world, in relation to the COVID-19 crisis, and/or on the shaping of the future ?

I think the creative residency was a good reflection of what the current and possibly future working environment is like. I got to work from home as many people in Kenya and around the world are doing. It is difficult, but it is a sacrifice that many of us have to make to manage the COVID-19 crisis. Our project was about improving HealthCare Training and Education in Africa, and so at the very least I hope that it creates a conversation within Kenya about the necessity of remodeling our Healthcare systems.

How did you feel during the residency ? And at the end of it ?

The residency was extremely exciting and it was an opportunity for me to really challenge as a filmmaker. The process of making the short-film did prove to be more difficult than I expected. The pre-production stage was labour intensive and time consuming due to the amount of papers we had to cut for the animation. The solution to this problem was to recruit my family members and with their help we were able to reduce the number of the days in pre-production. The post-production process was also challenging but it really taught me the value and necessity of creating a good post-production workflows. Despite these challenges I am grateful for the residency because it taught me a lot as a creative.