Rafiki was supported by Sørfond in 2017, and is a co-production between Kenya, France, Lebanon, Norway, Netherlands and Germany, with the main producer Afrobubblegum from Kenya
The Norwegian co-producers Ruben Thorkildsen and Verona Meier from Ape&Bjørn are very happy to see the film selected for Un Certain Regard in Cannes:
“It is first and foremost a great recognition for the film and the director, Wanuri Kahiu. This is also the first Kenyan film invited to Cannes Film Festival, which makes it extra grand. We are proud to be part of a project about the love between two women, which is still prohibited in Kenya. It’s important to give this issue international recognition. Rafiki is the type of film that is dependent on the support from funds like Sørfond, and we are extremely grateful for the support and so happy to be co-producing the film”
“Good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives,” but Kena and Ziki long for something more. Despite the political rivalry between their families, the girls resist and remain close friends, supporting each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, the two girls will be forced to choose between happiness and safety.
Wanuru Kahiu’s film is inspired by Monica Arac de Nyeko’s short story Jambula Tree, the 2007 winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing, which chronicled a story of two girls in love in Uganda. Wanuru Kahiu has stated that “making a film about two women in love set in Kenya, means challenging deep rooted cynicism about same sex relationships among actors, crew, friends, and family.”
Rafiki is Kahiu’s second feature film. She previously directed the drama From a Whisper in 2009, and a sci-fi short Pumzi in 2010.
Cannes film festival
Festival de Cannes is a great cultural event and one of the most important gatherings for the international film industry. The 71th Cannes Film Festival is held from May 8th to 19th 2018.
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