Kenyan Movie ‘18 Hours’ Crowned Best Movie in Africa
He’s just like other hardworking men, and today he’s longing to get home from work. As he crosses a highway, disaster strikes. He falls victim to a feral hit-and-run accident and drops hard on the tarmac, in a puddle of his own blood. As the hitter-vehicle spurts smoke and screeches away, a witness puts a call through and calls in the blood-clotting accident.
And the first responder is Zach, a paramedic with Raven Paramedics Services. Once again, his driver is tightly gripping the wheel, letting the ambulance spear through the roads towards a hospital as Zach’s gloved hands are busied to save a life. But then, no hospital wants to admit the critical victim. And the reason is, he has no medical insurance…
18 Hours is a Kenyan movie which takes us down the emotional lane, turns stomachs and makes teeth grit. The high adrenaline action-packed movie directed by Kevin Njue and produced by Phoebe Ruguru flew Kenya’s flag high on Saturday the 2nd at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards 2018, Nigeria. It managed to outshine other nominated movies in the Overall Best Movie Category, among them Shirley Frimpong-Manso’s “Potato Potahto,” Hassan Mageye’s “Devils’s Chest,” and Moses Inwang’s “Alter Ego.” This big win left a confident smile stretching the lips of Dr. Ezekiel Mutua who was in attendance at Eco Convention Center, Lagos. Mutua is the C.E.O, Kenya Film Classification Board.
Stepping up to give her acceptance speech, 18 Hours producer Phoebe Ruguru expressed sheer joy for the triumph, thanking AMVCA and everyone who supported the film. She echoed it wasn’t an easy journey, but together, it was possible. In a separate interview with KenyaBuzz, a radiant Phoebe said the win wasn’t expected; “We were in different territories so we were humble with our expectations, even though we knew we had a chance.”
The Kenyan film inspired by the true events of October 2015 which caught the entire nation’s attention bagged three awards in total at the continental awards. Apart from the overall best film, it claimed the Best East African movie award, and Mark Maina, the film’s editor, got to wrap palms around the prestigious Best picture editor award.
The question on what to expect next from their studios came, to which the producer said, “We are working on a project, though much information can’t be released at the moment. We are very excited; it’s going to be very exciting.” And to the future of the Kenyan film-making industry, Phoebe confidently said that it’s vibrant and bigger. “The future of film in Kenya is vibrant and rewarding. Gradually, we have come to have a better understanding of our market, our audience, and our place in the sector. With great leadership, sustainable infrastructure and investment, we will fulfill and exceed our potential.”