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Posted 21st September 2009

Wanuri Kahiu, Kenya

Wanuri_Kahiu“My first concern is making films for and about Africans; films that celebrate the people, the traditions and the land that are the life-source of art and culture.”

Wanuri Kahiu’s passion for film started at 16, where she worked with Ace Communications on a documentary about FGM (Female Genital Mutilation). Since then, Wanuri has worked as a Production intern at Pinewood Studios, London; a Production Assistant in Alexandria Productions, Virginia; and as a Director’s Intern at Paramount Studios, Hollywood, during the production of Italian Job directed by F. Gary Gray. After attending UCLA’s Master program in Film Directing, Wanuri’s professional debut was directing a behind-the-scenes documentary The Spark that Unites (2006) for the film Catch-A-Fire (Universal Films/ Working Title) directed by Phillip Noyce. Wanuri honed her filmmaking skills with her first Kenyan film Ras Star in 2007. In 2008, Wanuri completed her first feature film From A Whisper based on the real life events surrounding the August 7 twin bombings of US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998. The film recently won awards at the Africa Movie Academy Awards including Best Director and Best Picture. It also won the Golden Dhow award for Best East African Picture at Zanzibar International Film Festival and is still doing the festival route internationally. As part of their flagship series ‘The Great Africans’, M-Net have again commissioned Wanuri to direct a documentary about the life of Nobel peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai entitled For Our Land (2009). Currently in post production on Pumzi, Wanuri works on a futuristic sci-fi short film that sees her explore new frontiers on the subject of environmental degradation.

Wanuri will take part in a discussion after the screening of her film From a Whisper on Sunday 1 Nov, and will also present a masterclass on Fri afternoon 30 Oct at the Edinburgh College of Art.

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