The Kenyan film industry has produced some superbly well-written and directed movies that regrettably have not been recognized by Kenyan audiences nearly as much as they deserve. Sadly, it often takes an international award to shed light on Kenyan-made films and of late, they’ve been winning! Supa Modo and Subira are great examples of films racking up acclaim home and away.
The Nairobi Film Festival has been a key player in the push towards reigniting the cinema-going culture among Kenyans. Through the festival, a lot of films have had their days at local movie theatres. Even so, there are some films that still have received very little acclaim. We encourage you to seek out these little-known but excellent Kenyan productions and help support the local film industry and Kenya’s budding film-makers.
From a Whisper – Wanuri Kahiu – 2008
From a Whisper is a Kenyan drama film written and directed by African Movie Academy Award winner Wanuri Kahiu. It received 12 nominations and won 5 awards at the African Movie Academy Awards in 2009, including Best Picture, Best Original Soundtrack, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and AMAA Achievement in Editing. It also won the Best Feature Narrative award at the 2010 Pan African Film & Arts Festival, and was honored with the 2010 BAFTA/LA Festival Choice Prize. Although the film commemorates the 10th anniversary of the August 7th terrorist bombing in Kenya in 1998, it is not about the terrorist bombing. The movie portrays a realistic story of the aftermath of the bombing, by capturing the lives of the victims and their families who had to pick up the pieces of their lives shreddedby the blast. -Wikipedia
The Roadside – Willie Owusu – 2015
This is a light-hearted romantic-comedy that provides an alternative view of modern day romance. The movie dialogue is beautifully written by Angelo Kinyua. The serene backdrops give an impeccable view of Kenya’s stunning scenery. Bearing in mind that this short film was made way before high definition filming was introduced this side of the Sahara, the final product is great. If you want to see pre- superstardom Lupita Nyong’o then this is the perfect film for you.
Run Kenya – Kush Asher – 2014
As a country known for its marathon champions it’s almost absurd to know that there is only one sports movie ever made. Run Kenya is an underrated film about chasing dreams against all odds. This movie has good acting and a clear follow-through. It shows the struggles of becoming a champion and achieving the greatest event with enormous difficulties. If you are looking for some motivation, Pascal Tokodi completely delivers in this flick.
Perfect Imperfection – Kush Asher – 2014
This is a funny romantic drama that is by far one among the best rom-coms I have seen. The story is about four friends caught in a web of love, deceit and tragedy. Two of them are sleeping with each other’s partners, while the other two are planning to elope when tragedy occurs. While watching this drama, you will laugh, cry and most probably want to fall in love. Kush Asher depicts the complexities of love quite lightheartedly with this film.
Veve – Simon Mukali – 2014
Veve follows the lives of multiple characters trying to find themselves in a world of political intrigue, revenge, love and the quest for success, against the backdrop of the gritty, thriving and unregulated veve (khat) business. The movie appeals to local audiences because of its realistic depiction of life in rural Kenya and of the complexities of the veve trade. The soundtrack features tracks from Just A Band and Sauti Sol making it even more enjoyable and genuine. The cinematography and other technical aspects are of extremely high quality. The best part about all these films is that you can stream them on YouTube and Showmax. You can also find other local films on Maisha Magic, StarTimes, ViuSasa.
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