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“Soul Boy” (A Lost Father. A Dedicated Son. A Magical Journey)

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The story goes…

In September 2008, the German production company One Fine Day Films teamed up with Kenyan producing partners Ginger Ink to develop a film workshop in Nairobi for aspiring local movie makers. The concept of the project was to take a minimal budget, a small professional crew and a large group of young trainees to create a feature film inside Kibera, Nairobi’s biggest slum.

The main aim was to integrate upcoming talents of all filmmaking categories from Nairobi in the practical work on an artistically ambitious film project, providing them with professional knowledge, career perspectives and the inspiration to continue. This film is the first.

Co-written by Kenyan Billy Kahora with Ghanaian-Kenyan filmmaker Hawa Essuman directing, the film is titled Soul Boy.

12_soulboySynopsis: 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 who is the same age as him, 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 which leads him right through the microcosm of his home town.

The finished product had its official world premiere at the Göteborg International Film Festival in Sweden, in February. It later screened at the Rotterdam Film Festival and at the Berlin Film Festival, both also in February. As of today, no other screening dates are listed. But I’m sure it’ll travel, so stay tuned…

Here’s its luscious-looking trailer. It looks good, and I hope it plays in New York eventually. No doubt my review will follow…

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