SKIFF (Salaam Kivu International Film Festival) is a 10 day festival that is organized in Goma, a city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was founded in the 2005 by internationally applauded filmmaker and campaigner Petna Ndaliko Katondolo. At that time, the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo had become the place of violence and desolation due to war that was continuously escalating in that region. Then, to combat with the disappointment among people of community and the falsification of the media, Katondolo launched this festival.
SKIFF is organized under the instructions of Yole!Africa (a youth organisation having its roots in Kampala and Goma) and Alkebu Film productions. Artists and activists from all over the world participate in this festival and share the positive nature of creative art that can be used to bring the social transformation. As its name depicts its status but its range is beyond that. Besides being a film festival, SKIFF also serves a platform for dance, art, music, audio-video production and editing. In this 10 day festival, film screening and debates are organised by bringing the local communities together. In addition, free workshops are offered in the various fields of art like film production, video or digital art production, dance and music.
The main aim of this festival is to strengthen the local community by diminishing the feeling of hatred towards the other local divisions and to aware the local communities towards harmony and reconciliation. This aim is efficiently achieved when the people belonging to different religious, economic, ethnic and linguistic division come together to participate in this festival. Thus, along with the promotion of art and cinema the social life of the people in The North-Kivu is brought to a new pace by entertaining the people and giving them the opportunity to show their talent. Special training classes and workshops are organized to improve the skills of artists and international exposure is provided by exhibiting their art to international audience. With such a large population to be served, it was critical that the infrastructure for the workshops was robust enough to handle the crowds, so the planning team actually needed to hire a door installation crew to install bigger door frames and replace the existing structure with double doors ensure better traffic flow in and out of the workshops.
The educational program is an important aspect of SKIFF. A house is reserved by the Yole!Africa where the Yole members i.e. the youth from age of 10 to 25 come to practice dance, watch films, participate in different workshops and competitions. Many great and fantastic videos; music productions; and other art productions are a result of these workshops and the “Saisirl’avenir” was the first video that was made accessible to the international audience.
There was the 10th edition of this 10 day festival was in 2015 from 3-12 July. In this edition, along with inspiring creativeness, the local initiatives for combating the regional problem were also inspired. SKIFF 2015’s guest list was full with the names of international artists and premiers. The theme of SKIFF in 2015 has drawn the attention towards the unusual and remarkable work of Congolese. They worked for the welfare of the nation but their sacrifices often gone unnoticed in the existing atmosphere of confrontation and corruption. And now, in 2015 they were honoured for their contribution towards the goodness of society. This attractive theme was named as Mudawamasujaa which means “unsung heroes”.