Two Kenyan short films, Baba and Free Money have premiered at the prestigious 47th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada.
The film revolves around a six-year-old boy living in the outskirts of Nairobi using an unusual ability to escape harsh reality, in the wildly imaginative and emotional affecting his tale of childhood.
The film is a tale about abuse and survival with Baba’s teleportation proving not of the body but the mind.
Critiquing the film Jared Mobarak wrote, “BABA is a compelling look at a complex scenario dealing with familial abuse and how defense mechanisms embraced to survive it can sometimes continue its vicious cycle.”
This Kenyan documentary examines how lives change when the universal basic income (UBI) comes to the Kenyan village of Kogutu. GiveDirectly, one of the fastest-growing nonprofits of the 21st century, has been sending free money for twelve years as part of the world’s largest UBI experiment.
Using this, filmmakers Lauren DeFilippo and Sam Soko juxtapose the story of these young economists, bankrolled by Silicon Valley and convinced that they have found an infallible algorithm to end world poverty, with portraits of local Kenyans whose lives are being dramatically impacted for better and for worse.
In its review of the feature, Film Magazine Deadline called it timely and necessary.
“Free Money probes fascinating and often troubling implications of GiveDirectly’s experiment. The basic income does give recipients a measure of control over their own destinies. However, from one point of view participants can be seen as guinea pigs in a scenario concocted from afar.” – Deadline.
Celebrating the win, the director of Free Money, Sam Soko, took to Twitter to give praise to God and thank his partner co-director Lauren DeFilipo and his sponsors IBX Africa and Insignia Films.
CNN news anchor and Kenyan celebrity Larry Madowo attended TIFF to offer support to both Kenyan films.
“Some personal news: The world premiere of our documentary Free Money was magical! A sold-out theatre, raving reviews and excellent reception at Toronto International Film Festival. It was filmed over 5 years and follows what happens when an American NGO gives everyone in a poor* Kenyan village Free Money every month” said Madowo