From Maua in Meru County to Nairobi and now to Bangkok, the movie Veve continues trotting the globe, getting more and more fans addicted.
The film was aired at the Thailand Knowledge Park, a huge shopping complex in Bangkok, Thailand. More than 100 people attended screening of the film, which was organised by Kenya’s embassy and featured as part of Bangkok’s Contemporary World Film Series.
Mr Patrick Wamoto, Kenya’s ambassador to Thailand, introduced the film to the enthusiastic audience that comprised diplomats, Thai artists and movie experts, Kenyans living in that country among them students as well as former visitors to Kenya. “There was an amazing audience and an evening of social, educational, cinematic insights into a much talked about country, on the basis of a thought provoking film,’’ said Ms Lekha Shankar the organiser, adding that the visitors were also welcomed with Kenyan tea and snacks served at the event by the embassy.
Ms Shanker added: “The ambassador’s introductory remarks about the film provided interesting information about the film, and interesting info about the unique “veve’’ industry in his country.’’
Veve, shot partly in Maua and also in Nairobi, was released in 2014, winning at least two awards in the year that followed. It is about a politician who is vying for another term as the Maua MP against Wadu, a politician who seeks to expand his veve (miraa) empire.
“Sammy, Amos’ right hand man, has to choose between being loyal to his work and being a caring father to his 12-year-old son Kago. Maua’s Veve Farmers want to form a union to force Amos to pay decent prices for their veve,” says a summary of the movie on film site IMDB. Some of the actors in the production are Lizz Njagah (Ester), Lowry Odhiambo (Amos) and Emo Rugene (Kenzo).
The screening in Bangkok on Sunday was open only to those aged 18 and above.
“The film is set in the village of Maua where the veve plant is richly grown, and shifts to Nairobi where it is sold and makes many people rich,” said a message on the Thailand Knowledge Park website.
It added: “And so, the film covers multi-issues- politics, drugs, marriage, family, business, the rural-urban divide- with power and insight. An important line in the film, which in a way, is the theme-line of the story, is ‘Truths reveal themselves too late.’”
Veve was produced out of a collaboration between German Director Tom Tykwer, his wife Marie Steinmann, their company One Fine Day Films and Kenyan production stable Ginger Ink.
In March 2015, it won the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards as the best Swahili film in the Best Indigenous Language Category.
In November the same year, it scooped four awards during the Kalasha International Awards in Nairobi — Best Feature, Best Director, Best Lighting Technician and Best Designer.
The film’s director Simon Mukali is a household name in the movies scene.
“He has made many TV films and docu-dramas and uses this experience to present a tough subject and a multitude of characters with honesty and intensity,” said the information on the website of Thailand Knowledge Park.