Kenyan feature film makes the cut to Durban party

Monday July 03 2023

Joash Omondi – “Jua Kali” film director and screenwriter. PHOTO | POOL


Joash Omondi’s feature film Jua Kali is among shows that have made it to the 2023 Talents Durban project. Jua Kali is a story of resilience and interconnection between members of the Kenyan working class, told through the eyes of a housekeeper, Diana.

Elsewhere in America, we see the journey of an item of clothing, a jacket to be specific, from the home of a grieving mother who deposits it into a clothing donation bin.

Through many hands and containers, the jacket makes it to the large second-hand clothing markets of Nairobi.

The jacket is purchased, and we see the process through which women hired to do laundry in the city’s various homes clean such clothes.

Jua Kali is among 19 projects and four film critics from 15 countries across Africa that made the final selection by the Durban FilmMart Institute (DFMI), including four fiction features, three episodic works, three animations, five documentaries and four fiction short films.

Read: Kenyan, Ugandan writers shortlisted for Sahel project


This year, the event introduces Francophone projects from the African diaspora as it continues to inspire a sense of community on the continent by representing many languages and cultures. The diversity of talent in the programme showcases the potential of African filmmaking and film criticism on a global scale, DFMI says.

“Working with partners to develop platforms that can significantly grow the film industry is at the heart of DFMI,” says Magdalene Reddy, director of the Durban FilmMart Institute.

“Now entering its 16th year, the 2023 edition of Talents Durban promises to unite participants from across the continent, whose work not only stands out for its level of excellence but also reflects the new voices rising out of Africa.”

The selected projects will receive online mentorship before the DFM event dates (July 21-24). The Talents will also participate in several project-oriented, hands-on skills development programmes. Practical sessions include Story Junction, in which they present their projects to producers and financiers.