The premier of the Kenyan short film Sungura finally went down at the Prestige Plaza along Ngong Road. It drew attendance from cast members Florence Njeri, Auudi Rowa and Mwajuma Belle among others. Also in attendance were various Kenyan film stars and filmmakers such as Nice Githinji and Peter Kawa and the principal secretary of the state department for culture and heritage, Josephta O. Mukobe just to mention a few.
Rated PG 18, Sungura is about the story of a young woman living with a disability called Kemunto who decides to explore her sexuality despite the common fallacies on the sexuality of persons with disability. The film was written and directed by journalist and filmmaker Lydia Matata and produced in collaboration with filmmaker Ivy Kiiru.
Kemunto’s character was played by first time actress Florence Njeri who was heavily praised by her cast and crew members for her exceptional delivery. “What inspired me to audition was the fact that they needed a person with disability.” She said further adding that the theme of the film was akin to her pregnancy experience when she was expecting her daughter. The other cast members include Wangari, played by Auudi Rowa, Mama Asali played by Kauthar Kang’ethe and Pam played by Mwajuma Belle.
Seeking to preach the gospel of inclusivity in Kenyan film for both cast and crew members, both Lydia and Ivy noted that it was very important for them to cast a person with disability. Lydia also added that the reason the cast was largely female, and the storyline had no male gaze, was to bring out a more authentic discussion on female sexuality and make the main character attractive in her own right without any male validation. Click here to watch the trailer
Despite the challenges that COVID-19 posed while shooting as they were shooting at one location, the cast and crew outdid themselves in this production. Attendees couldn’t also help but notice the exemplary work done on the set design by the production designer Neha Manoj Shah.
The film has already bagged some accolades such as The African Film Festival 2020 and has been selected for The Malatesta Short Film Festival in Italy and The Interfilm Script Pitch in Berlin.