Kenyan Director Hawa Essuman Talks 'Soul Boy,' & Upcoming Supernatural Drama 'Djin'

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by Tambay A. Obenson
May 17, 2013 1:01 PM
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Hawa Essuman

We've been following the progress of Kenyan filmmaker Hawa Essuman's supernatural feature Djin, for about 2 years now, as it's picked up financing in bits and pieces, via various film markets, co-production initiatives, grants received and more, including, most recently, the Director’s Eye prize at the 9th African Film Festival of Cordoba (Spain), which comes with 25,000 euro (or about $32,600) to be used for development.

The acclaimed director of Soul Boy, her 2010 feature film debut (which was produced by Tom Tykwer - director of Run Lola, RunCloud Atlas), saw her Djin awarded the Director's Eye prize from a selection of 6 feature film scripts, which participated in the 4th Forum for African Co-production at Cordoba.

Here's a synopsis for Djin:

Every 30 years, in a village on the coast of Kenya where mythology and tradition prevail despite modernity's attempts to penetrate, a wind blows, carrying with it a spirit: the Djin. This spirit selects people, urging them to fulfil their aspirations, at the same time eliminating doubts and ambivalences.

As she moves closer to principal photography on the film, director Essuman speaks to the folks at Smart Monkey TV, on a number of things, including how her last film, Soul Boy, came to be made, as well as its meaning; the impact social media had on extending the film's theatrical run in Nairobi; and of course she talks about Djin, her next film project.

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