Kenyan has a lot of talented film directors, producers, actors and actresses. This is evident by our growing film industry. Here are eight Kenyan short films on that are worth checking out.
What I liked most about this short film was the unexpected ending. The film was directed by Robert Munuku and stars Maina Olwenya (he played Oti in Nairobi half life) and Esther Masaa Ruth. Esther plays the part of a girlfriend to a wealthy and much older man Mr. X. Esther gets kidnapped by Maina under the instructions of Mr. X who suspects that she is a thief.
Watch the film here to see the ending for yourself.
2. Dead Wrong
What would you do when you have only an hour left to live? Would you finally confess that secret that you’ve kept hidden from your loved one for so long? Or would you carry it to your grave?
This is the dilemma the character Mark Wambua (played by Silas Miami) is faced with in Dead Wrong. In this film, the Grim Reaper pays Mark a visit to warn him of him imminent death. Before he dies, however, he has to reveal his big secret to his wife as instructed by the Grim Reaper.
This short film was screened at Nairobi 48 hour film competition and bagged a number of awards. It was written and produced by Mwende Ngao.
Produced by Phoenix Films and 3D Africa, this short is the story of a young man who leaves his rural home and goes into the city in search of a better life. Before he leaves, his mother gives him a potted flower and tells him to water it everyday without fail.
Once he gets to the city, he forgets the duty his mother gave him and spirals into a life of reckless indulgence, a decision which brings with it consequences.
What I loved about this movie was the score. It created a sense of foreboding throughout the film and it’s no wonder that it won the best original score at the Riverwood Academy Awards in 2016.
4. The Arguement
This film is reminiscent of the debates we’d have on campus about the moral authority of scientists and how ethical some of the experiments carried out were. There was always the question of how far ‘too far’ was, who ultimately had control over these experiments between the people providing the funding and scientists in charge of the projects and whether the means justified the ends if the findings improved humanity.
This film is about that. An arguement between two scientists about whether or not to keep their project and the consequences of their decision now that the experiment is over. There was a line, before the film ends, ‘The men in suits have decided’ which stuck with me. It had me wishing they make a feature film along those lines in the future.
5. Flight Path
This is easily one of the best short films I have watched so far. Directed by Willie Owusu, the film is a monologue narrated by Telly Savalas Otieno, an artist who leaves Kenya for a better life abroad. Flight path is a very minimalist short film and it helps that Telly’s acting is excellent. He draws you in with his story and you hardly notice time flying by. Through the film, there are cuts to audio clips from a radio show which help to build the story Telly is telling.
The movie explores the illusion of the grass being greener abroad and the often heartbreaking ordeals immigrants have to go through to scrape for a living as they pursue their dreams.
Is Rosa as devasted as she appears to be by the death of her husband? And was her husband the man they all believed him to be when he was alive?
These are the questions brought out in Deathless by Jennifer Gatero. That everything is not as it seems. The film felt a bit slow. I think they spent too much time on the burial scene which might make the viewer lose interest before the fun even begins.
That being said though, it’s a nice film.
When Daisy, Mr. Sage’s daughter is shot, he knows he has to do whatever he can to save her life. The catch, however, is that the doctors are on strike and cannot attend to Daisy who urgently needs surgery. So he devises a clever plan to get Dr. Dahlia, the head of the doctors association to call off the strike in order to save his daughter.
8. The Old Order of Things
When I watched this film, I couldn’t help but laugh during the dialogue between Maina Olwenya and Wanjiku Karanja. Wanjiku has a package that is sought after by paid assassins. When she is found, she warns the asasasins of the contents of the briefcase, alluding it to be a Pandora’s box.
The themes in this film seem to be quite heavy but they are delivered humourously by the actors. I wish they’d have provided English subtitles for the parts in vernacular. It would’ve been great to know what Wanjiku is saying at the end of the film.