Following its world premiere at IDFA and its North American premiere at AFI Docs, the Kenyan family docu-drama The Letter by Maia Lekow and Christopher King heads to DOC NYC 2020 for its East Coast premiere as part of International Perspectives, in addition to five other US festivals.
Described as a Kenyan family drama of Shakespearean proportions, The Letter is a tribute to the fearless spirit of 94-year old Margaret Kamango. Her prized ancestral land becomes a target for close family members, who mount a witch hunt under the thinly-veiled guise of Pentecostal Christianity, as others, including her grandson Karisa rally around her.
Filmed with a gentle pace and incredible closeness, The Letter is an intimate family portrait that reveals an indestructible female power. The universal theme of how land is divided when an elder dies, devolves into a chaotic mixture of past traditions with the more recent imposition of Western values and religion. The resilience of family and community shines above all else, despite the growing threat of greed and inter-generational alienation.
Santa Fe Independent Film Festival (Oct 14-18)
Tallgrass Film Festival (Oct 16-25)
Denver Film Festival (Oct 22-Nov 8)
New Orleans Film Festival (Nov 6-22) – Documentary Feature Competition
DOC NYC (Nov 11- 19) – International Perspectives / Q&A Oct 14, 10am EST
African Diaspora International Film Festival (Nov 27-Dec 13)
Director Maia Lekow is a Kenyan musician and filmmaker, known prominently as the front-woman of the explosive band Maia & The Big Sky. She founded Circle & Square Productions with husband Christopher King in Nairobi, 2009.
Maia was named a goodwill ambassador for UNHCR in 2013 and received an African Movie Academy Award for her song “Uko Wapi” in 2009. Maia has also composed the original score for THE LETTER, working with Emmy-award winning, Toronto-based composer Ken Myhr.
Director Christopher King is an award-winning filmmaker based in Nairobi, Kenya since 2007. Born in Australia, Chris studied at The School of Creative Arts at the University of Melbourne, with honors in Visual Media.
With a background in the fine arts, Christopher has lived and worked in Kenya as a video artist, cinematographer and editor- winning an African Movie Academy Award in 2009 for editing FROM A WHISPER.