Watershed's UK tour of Kenyan films opens tonight

Posted on Thu 9 Jan 2014
Nairobi Half Life

Following sold out screenings at Afrika Eye Festival last November, we are delighted to confirm that two new Kenyan films - Nairobi Half Life and Something Necessary - are now playing at cinemas and festivals across the UK as part of New Visions from Kenya: Celebrating 50 years of Independence. Audience reaction here at Watershed has been outstanding for both films.

The UK tour kicks off this week with the opening screening of Nairobi Half Life tonight at Glasgow's GFT. Other venues, cinemas and festivals so far backing this significant initiative include ShowroomWorkstation in Sheffield (16-23 Jan), Cornerhouse in Manchester (26-30 March), the National Media Museum in Bradford (11-16 Jan) , Stoke Film Theatre (14 Jan), Borderlines Film Festival / The Courtyard in Hereford (8 March), African Film Festival Wales, (22- 30 March) and WOW Wales One World Film Festival (25 March - 8 April).

Tosh Gitonga’s internationally-acclaimed Nairobi Half Life (Kenya's entry for the Best Foreign Film Oscar®) and Judy Kibinge’s Something Necessary, are the result of workshops run by Marie Steinmann and Tom Tykwer’s One Fine Day Films, in partnership with Nairobi based Ginger Ink. These workshops aim to give African filmmakers a platform to tell their own stories and make films on an international scale.

Watch an interview with the director of Something Necessary Judy Kibinge, recorded here during November's Afrika Eye Festival, discussing why it was so important for Kibinge to get this story onto the screen.

The two films are being brought into wider circulation as a result of new partnerships between some of the UK’s leading African film festivals including Afrika Eye, Africa in Motion (AiM) in Edinburgh/Glasgow, the Cambridge African Film Festival and Film Africa in London, working with television network The Africa Channel.

Mark Cosgrove, Watershed’s Cinema Curator says:

'Currently only 0.01% of films shown in cinemas in the UK are from Africa. This touring initiative is about developing the availability and range of African films for increasingly diverse UK audiences. It builds on the excellent collaborative work of the UK African film festivals and partnership with broadcasters such as The Africa Channel.'

New Visions from Kenya: Celebrating 50 years of independence is an Afrika Eye Film Festival / Watershed touring programme in partnership with The Africa Channel. For film bookings, please email: or call 0117 927 5120.