The Star (Nairobi)

29 June 2011

Kenya: Controversial Priest Movie Scoops Two ZIFF Awards

Filmmaker Bob Njanja's controversial film inspired by the late Father Kaiser scooped top prize at the just ended fourteenth edition of the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF).

Bob spoke to Word Is about the award. He said, "This is the first festival we have entered the movie in after the March 2011, release. We wanted it to premiere in ZIFF because it's a home festival. We are very excited that it won and the reaction from the audience was touching." Though he was not present to collect his prize the Director of the Kenyan International Film Festival (KIFF), Charles Asiba, received it on his behalf.

The movie also won the Verona Jury award for the Best African Feature Film, which means it will be screened in Italy at the Verona Film Festival in November and other international ones around the globe.

Another Kenyan film, Togetherness Supreme by Nathan Collett bagged the Silver Dhow for feature film. The Jury described this 94-minute work as being a "remarkable, vibrant feature film of high technical skill and creativity, which depicts a difficult and troubled period in the history of Kenya."

The Rugged Priest follows Father Kaiser going out of his way to shelter and cater for the displaced knowing very well that the clashes are politically instigated. This puts him on a collision path with the powers that be and for being a thorn in the flesh he is transferred to a faraway diocese in Maasai Land.

The cast includes Collins Simpson who plays Father Kaiser, Oliver Litondo as the Bishop under whose diocese Fr. Kaiser was, Ainea Ojiambo, acting as a government minister, and Lwanda Jawar as Father Kaiser's assistant priest Ian.

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