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Softie (2020)

Opens on January 29
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Director: Sam Soko Run Time: 96 min. Rating: NR

Starring: Boniface Mwangi

Country: Kenya
Language: English, Kiswahili/Kikuyu with English subtitles

Presented in the Virtual Screening Room in partnership with Icarus Films.

“A powerful documentary that offers an insight into a reluctant change-maker facing insurmountable odds in a corrupt country where the status quo is made up of a hardworking, oppressed lower class.”

– John Fink, The Film Stage

About the film:

Winner of a Special Jury Award at Sundance Film Festival 2020, Best Documentary at the Durban International Film Festival 2020 and Best Film at the 22nd Encounters South African International Documentary Festival

After years of fighting injustice in Kenya, daring and audacious political activist Boniface “Softie” Mwangi decides to run for political office. But running a clean campaign against corrupt opponents with idealism as his only weapon proves challenging.

About the filmmakers:

Debut feature-length documentary for Kenyan director Sam Soko. Since graduating university in 2009, he has connected with artists and social activists on projects including several short music videos and films. His films have received Kalasha Awards presented by the Kenya Film Commission, with Virgin Goat (2014) receiving one, and Is This Your Daughter? (2015), written and edited by Soko, receiving three including Best Short Film.

He co-founded Nairobi-based production company LBx Africa bringing uniquely African perspectives to global audiences. The company produced the fiction film Watu Wote (2017), nominated for Best Live Action Short Film at the Academy Awards.

Soko met Boniface Mwangi in 2012 through the arts organization POWA-254. Their project for a five minute video guide on social activism evolved into Softie, which became the first African film selected to open Toronto’s HotDocs Festival and the first Kenyan film to ever premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. 

Read more about the film’s incredible subject and journey at POV Magazine or watch the International Documentary Association’s conversation with the filmmakers moderated by Lupita Nyong’o.

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