The Kenyan children’s film Safari, directed by Kenyan Bill Afwani will have its world-premiere at The Cinekid Festival in the Netherlands.
The touching and poignant story that centers around Safari and his quest to experience Kenya. Safari, a wheelchair-bound boy is taken on an adventure by the cheeky girl next door Kiki. Together, they try to see as many wild animals in real life as possible – and above all elephant Jumbo. But they come across evil poachers who make money hunting animals. The tale of Safari and his friend Kiki’s adventure touches on many elements of life in rural Kenya today, from living with disabilities to poaching yet still manages to convey the playfulness of traditional children’s adventure stories.
Director Bill Afwani explains the inspiration for the film, “In my childhood, heart-warming movies of adventurous kids having fun at the same time escaping perilous grounds always transported me to a visceral fantasy world that I wished I could physically experience. Movies like Home Alone, Free Willy, and Africa United that showed fun-loving children in dangerous situations exhibiting heroic characteristics kept kids glued. Safari is the movie I wish to have watched when young.”
Safari, distributed by Rushlake Media, holds itself up as an example of exemplary Kenyan filmmaking from an exciting team of filmmakers headed by director Bill Afwani, who started his career directing the award-winning short film Sticking Ribbons for which he won Best East African Talent at the 2014 Zanzibar International film festival. Safari is his feature length film directorial debut.
Ruguru Phoebe, the film’s Producer, has twice been nominated as Young Achiever of the Year by African Women in Europe, and recognized winner of the same title by Women for Africa, 2016. Her first short film Saidia (2014), won Best Young Filmmaker at the Modern-Day Slavery Competition in London. Ruguru is the only Kenyan filmmaker to win best Film in Africa, at the AMVCA. Currently Ruguru works for Africa’s biggest broadcaster DSTV as a content executive.
The film’s writer and director, Njue Kevin has directed several award-winning short films, before making his feature film debut, 18 Hours which was nominated at the Africa Movie Academy Awards for Best First Feature Film by a Director. Njue was also featured on the Top 40 under 40 list by Business Daily Africa and most notably the FORBES 30 under 30 (Creatives in Africa) 2019.