15 January 2013

Kenya: NHL Writer Not Fazed By Oscar Slump

A young, aspiring actor from upcountry Kenya dreams of becoming a success in the big city. In pursuit of this and to the chagrin of his brother and ... ( Resource: Nairobi Half Life Trailer )

Kenya's longest running film in the cinemas, Nairobi Half Life, fell a nomination short of representing the country at the upcoming Academy Awards.

It was the second ever Kenyan film to be presented by the local Oscar Committee for a chance to compete in the Foreign Language Film category of the annual awards.

Its local and international success in several film festivals had raised hopes high, but though gutted, the light has not been snuffed out.

"We didn't get a nomination this time. We keep at it. Next time, we win," said co-writer Serah Mwihaki.

Expectations were dashed when the list released a few days ago revealed five films, mainly from Europe, but none from Africa, meaning none from Kenya.

On a scale of 1-20, Serah was completely confident of Nairobi Half Life's chances.

"20. I thought highly of our chances and was too sure we'd get it. I had started playing with speeches in my head," she told Capital Lifestyle.

"A win would have been good for us and the industry since it would have proven to the world that we're good movie makers with more to offer than locations to film in," she added.

Filmmakers have been encouraged by the massive attention directed to NHL, with award winning writer/director Wanuri Kahiu calling it an inspiration for its talent and achievements.

"Just the run in the cinemas, is very very impressive."

Production company Ginger Ink meanwhile are hoping to ride on the local movie high by premiering one of their own gems - Something Necessary.

The film, has the topical theme of post election violence, barely weeks ahead of the vote. Ginger Ink will host two days of private screenings to start popularizing the film.

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