Presented by the Goethe-Institut
Co-presented by the Toronto Black Film Festival
In 2008, Berlin director Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run; Cloud Atlas) started to invite African filmmakers to write and produce their own stories. A decade later, his project One Fine Day Films has mentored 1000 filmmakers from 21 African countries. GOETHE FILMS highlights 6 Kenyan-German features that have come out of these collaborations and have won awards from Los Angeles to Rotterdam.
A showcase of new directions.
Soul Boy (Kenya, Germany 2010, 61 min) by Hawa Essuman
Language: Swahili with English subtitles
Signis Award, Zansibar Film Fest Tanzania 2010
Audience Award, Rotterdam Film Fest 2010
Best Lead Actor, Kalasha Film Fest Nairobi 2010
Festivals 2010: Montreal World Film Festival, IFF Berlin, Gothenburg Film Festival, IFF Rotterdam
Nairobi, Kenya. 14-year-old Abila lives with his parents in Kibera, one of the largest slums in East Africa. One morning the teenager discovers his father ill and delirious. Someone has stolen his soul, mumbles the father as he sits huddled in a corner. Abila is shocked and confused but wants to help his father and goes in search of a suitable cure. Supported by his friend Shiku, he learns that his father has gambled his soul away in the company of a spiritual woman. The teenager doesn’t want to believe it and sets about looking for the witch. When he finally discovers her in the darkest corner of the ghetto, she gives him seven challenging tasks to save his father’s lost soul. Abila embarks on an adventurous journey that leads him right through the microcosm of his home town.
The film was shot in only 13 days in Kibera, with only one week of pre-production.
“Raising the narrative beyond mere moral didacticism, the screenplay by Kenyan writer Billy Kahora naturally incorporates a slew of current issues, ranging from the tensions between the country’s Luo and Kikuyu tribes to campaigns for teen celibacy and HIV education.” – Variety
Hawa Essuman was born in Hamburg, Germany, to Ghanaian parents who brought her up in Nairobi, Kenya. After several appearances in the theatre, she moved into production work, first on television commercials and documentaries, then on a local drama series. With the encouragement and assistance of Tom Tykwer, she directed SOUL BOY (2010), based on a story by Billy Kahora. The film has been presented at over 40 film festivals around the world and won a number of awards.
All GOETHE FILMS are open to audiences 18+
Part of the Goethe-Institut's focus on German film