Kenyan director and 2019 Rory Peck Award winner, Pete Murimi’s documentary I am Samuel will have its U.S. premiere at 2020 Human Rights Watch Film Festival New York Digital Edition in June. The documentary had its World Premiere at the 2020 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.
Filmed in a vérité style over five years, I am Samuel is an intimate portrait of a Kenyan man torn between balancing duty to his family with his dreams for his future.
Samuel grew up in the Kenyan countryside, where tradition is valued above all else. He is close to his mother but his father, a local pastor, doesn’t understand why he isn’t married yet. After moving to Kenya’s capital in search of work and a new life, Samuel falls in love with Alex and finds community and belonging. Despite the threat of violence in the city and of rejection by Samuel’s family in their rural home, the couple move between their co-existing worlds, hoping to win acceptance in both.
Pete Murimi is a multiple award-winning Kenyan TV documentary director focusing on hard-hitting social issues, from extra-judicial killings to prostitution. He recently won the 2019 Rory Peck award for news feature camerawork. His first win was the CNN Africa Journalist of the year award for his intimate documentary about Female Genital Mutilation among his Kuria community, “Walk to Womanhood” (2004). Another ground-breaking project was the film “Slum Survivors” (2007) which won an award at the Czech Tur Ostrava film festival. Peter was a producer/ director for Al Jazeera’s Africa Investigates strand exposing crime and corruption, including “Spell of the Albino” (2011) and “Zimbabwe’s Child Exodus” (2011). “Kenya’s Enemy Within” (2015), also for Al Jazeera, revealed the terror threat posed by homegrown al Shabaab Somali militants to Kenya. “I am Samuel” is his feature directorial debut, filmed verite style for five years in his home country of Kenya.