Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kenya's Wanuri Kahui wins Best Short Film at Cannes Film Festival with Pumzi

A while back I heard about From A Whisper, a Kenyan movie by Wanuri Kahui which commemorated the 10th anniversary of August 7th terrorist bombing in Kenya in 1998. The trailer was super and I've wanted to watch the movie so badly. I tell everyone I know who's visiting Kenya to get me the movie but no one has found it for me yet. Well, Wanuri Kahui is in the news again. Her short film, Pumzi, has just won the Best Short Film award at the Cannes Festival, one of the most revered film festivals in the world. The time is arriving, when African movies are challenging others around the world in terms of world-class quality. To Wanuri and her crew, I say Hongera!

Pumzi website: www.pumzimovie.com.

Film synopsis from Pumzi website:
Sc-Fi film about futuristic Africa, 35 years after World War III --The Water War. Nature is extinct. The outside is dead. Asha lives and works as a museum curator in one of the indoor communities set up by the Maitu Council. When she receives a box in the mail containing soil, she plants an old seed in it and the seed starts to germinate instantly. Asha appeals to the Council to grant her permission to investigate the possibility of life on the outside but the Council denies her exit visa. Asha breaks out of the inside community to go into the dead and derelict outside to plant the growing seedling and possibly find life on the outside.

PUMZI is a Short film Produced By Inspired Minority and Writer/Director: Wanuri Kahui and Producers: Simon Hansen, Hannah Slezacek and Amira Quinlan. VFX by Atomic VFX. Vfx Supervisor Simon Hansen. Executive Producer Steven Markowitz. Produced with the support of Focus Features Africa First, Goethe Institute and Changamato Fund


A little about From A Whisper - It was directed by Wanuri Kahiu. Trailer here. I am hoping to see this movie soon. It features Godffrey Odhiambo as well as Corrine Onyango. The movie won a bunch of awards at the last African Movie Awards. Wanuri's Dada Productions also came out with Ras Star, a short film about a teenage rapper, Amani, who's from a staunch Muslim family. The film is loosely based on Necessary Noize's Nazizi. Watch it here. Another Kenyan movie/documentary of note is "Coming of Age" by Judy Kibinge talking about three political ages - Kenyatta to Arap Moi to Kibaki. Learn about it here.
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