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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pumzi: A 20 Minute Sci-Fi Film About Futuristic Africa, Written And Directed By Wanuri Kahiu

Written By: Nani HapaI live for stories about amazing, accomplished, and all around inspiring African women, and here I can bring you two in one. First, the real life hero: Kenyan writer director Wanuri Kahiu. At the age of 29, she's already hailed as one of Africa's most promising directors, being part of a new, vibrant crop of talents representing contemporary African culture.

Born in Nairobi, the young filmmaker moved to the UK to study management science before relocating to Los Angeles to enroll on a filmmaking course. After working on movies like The Italian Job and Catch A Fire, Wanuri returned to Kenya to pursue her filmmaking dream. In an interview with CNN, she shared about her path "It's ridiculously difficult to be a filmmaker in Kenya, it's just not an appreciated art ... I am a filmmaker when I'm outside the country—in Kenya, I'm a hustler, someone who's just trying to make ends meet. Every month it's like, 'Oh it's a miracle, I made rent!" Undeterred, Wanuri continued to pursue her dream and in 2009, her film From A Whisper (which explores the 1998 bombing of the American Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya), won five top prizes at the 5th African Movie Academy Awards, including Best African Director.

Now she's back with a new film, Pumzi, with fictional badass African fictional hero, Asha. Here's a synopsis:
Nature is extinct. The outside is dead. Asha lives and works as a museum curator in one of the indoor communities set up by the Maitu Council. When she receives a box in the mail containing soil, she plants an old seed in it and the seed starts to germinate instantly. Asha appeals to the Council to grant her permission to investigate the possibility of life on the outside but the Council denies her exit visa. Asha breaks out of the inside community to go into the dead and derelict outside to plant the growing seedling and possibly find life on the outside.
A visionary who we expect to see more from, Wanuri is ensuring that many doors (and eyes) are opening to African film. Watch the trailer for Pumzi at

(Photo Credits: Pumzi The Film)