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Kenya: "Soul Boy" Director's 2nd Feature Project ("Djin") Selected For Rotterdam's Co-Production Market, CineMart

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by Tambay A. Obenson
December 19, 2011 12:20 PM
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Amongst the 36 projects selected for Rotterdam’s 29th co-production market CineMart, which was announced today, is the second feature by Kenyan filmmaker Hawa Essuman, whose first film, Soul Boy, was produced by Tom Tykwer, and toured the film festival circuit in 2010 and 2011.

The project, selected from 465 entries, will be presented to 850 potential co-financiers during the event, which takes place from January 29 to February 1, 2012.

...In the end we have selected the projects that best tie in, on geographical, artistic and financial levels, with the need of the current market for independent filmmaking,” said CineMart manager Jacobine van der Vloed

Hawa Essuman's project is titled Djin, and is said to be...

... set in a sleepy seaside town that is about to be roused by Djin, the wind that stirs people’s deepest emotions and blows every forty years.

That's the only description we have at the moment. Though if you've never heard the word Djin before, and you looked it up, you'll find a number of defintions/descriptions, all centering on legends of spirits with the power to assume human or animal form, as well as exercise supernatural influence over others.

So, I'll take a wild guess and say Hawa's Djin won't be all that different in theme. I'll be tracking it from here on.

I still haven't seen her first feature film, Soul Boy, although it's screened twice here in NYC in the last 12 months. I don't even recall why I missed those festival screenings (the African Diaspora Film Festival last fall, and the African Film Festival this year), but too was supported by Rotterdam's CineMart, and eventually made its world premiere at the festival (IFFR) last year (where it won an award), as part of the theme section Where is Africa.

And as noted, German director Tom Tykwer supported Essuman in making Soul Boy based on the script that Tykwer wrote together with Nairobi-based writer Billy Kahora

It's on home video, but not available in the USA. Those in Europe can pick it up on DVD. 

And if you need a reminder, here's its good-looking trailer:

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