Soul Boy

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Soul Boy
Soul Boy.jpg
Directed by Hawa Essuman
Produced byMarie Steinmann
Tom Tykwer
Siobhain "Ginger" Wilson
Guy Wilson
Verena Rahmig
Sarika Hemi Lakhani
Written by Billy Kahora
StarringSamson Odhiambo
Leila Dayan Opou
Krysteen Savane
Frank Kimani
Joab Ogolla
Lucy Gachanja
Katherine Damaris
Kevin Onyango Omondi
Calvin Shikuku Odhiambo
Nordeen Abdulghani
Music byXaver von Treyer
CinematographyChristian Almesberger
Edited byNg´ethe Gitungo
Release date
  • January 2010 (2010-01)(Göteborg)
  • March 4, 2010 (2010-03-04)(Kenya)
  • December 2, 2010 (2010-12-02)(Germany)
Running time
61 minutes
Country Kenya

Soul Boy [1] is a 2010 Kenyan drama film, written by Billy Kahora and directed by Hawa Essuman. It developed under the mentorship of German director and producer Tom Tykwer in Kibera, one of the largest slums in the African continent, in the middle of Nairobi, Kenya. The film has received five nominations at the 2011 African Movie Academy Awards. [2]


The film originated in a workshop for young film enthusiasts from Nairobi, guided by German director Tom Tykwer.


Nairobi, Kenya. 14-year-old Abila lives with his parents in Kibera, one of the largest slums in East Africa. One morning the teenager discovers his father ill and delirious. Someone has stolen his soul, mumbles the father. Abila is shocked and confused but wants to help his father and goes in search of the right remedy. Supported by his girlfriend Shiku, he embarks on an adventurous journey that leads him right to the heart of the microcosm that is his hometown.





2010: Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) [12]


2010: Gothenburg Film Festival [13]
2010: International Film Festival Rotterdam [14]
2010: Afrika-Filmfestival [15]
2010 Edinburgh International Film Festival [16]
2010 Durban International Film Festival [17]
2010 Sydney Film Festival [18]
2010 Cinemafrica Stockholm [19]
2010 Nairobi, Kenya Premiere
2010 African Film Festival Tarifa [20]
2010 Sydney Film Festival [21]
2010 Festival du Cinéma Africain de Khouribga [22]
2010 Seoul Intl Youth Film Festival [23]
2010 Montreal World Film Festival [24]
2010 Cinemas D'Afrique [25]
2010 Cambridge Film Festival [26]
2010 Montreal Intl Black Film Festival [27]
2010 Films From the South OSLO [28]
2010 Hamptons Intl Film Festival [29]
2010 Warsaw Film Festival [30]
2010 Carlow African Film Festival [31]
2010 Discovery Film Festival [32]
2010 Chicago Intl Children's Film Festival [33]
2010 Carthage Film Festival [34]
2010 African Diaspora Film Festival NY [35]
2010 Palm Springs Film Festival [36]
2010 San Diego Black Film Festival [37]
2010 Adelaide Film Festival [38]
2010 FESPACO, Burkina Faso [39]
2010 Birds Eye View FF [40]
2010 FEBIOFEST [41]
2010 Toronto IFF for children [42]
2010 ReelWorld Film Festival [43]
2010 Ecrans Noirs - Cameroun [44]
2010 Rwanda Film Festival [45]
2010 Zanzibar Film Festival, Tanzania [46]
2010 Zimbabwe International Film Festival
2010 Kenya International Film Festival [47]
2010 Amakula Kampala International FilmFestival, Uganda [48]
2010 Ethiopia Film Festival [49]
2010 Festival du film de Dakar, Senegal
2010 Quintessence, Benin [50]


Critical response

Andrew Onyango reviewing for KenyaBuzz was mesmerized by how much "surreal" the world of the movie is, adding that the scripts use of Swahili strengthened the film's impact: "The Swahili speaking audience (particularly those exposed to the dialect being used) feel a powerful sense of identification. There is nothing like hearing it firsthand because the translation loses some of the impact of the words." [58]

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  1. "Soul Boy | Movies | KenyaBuzz". Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  2. "AMAA Nominations 2011". African Movie Academy Award . Retrieved 12 March 2011.
  3. Dioraphte Audience Award, International Film Festival Rotterdam
  4. Signis Award, Zanzibar International Film Festival
  5. Best Short Film, Kalasha Awards
  6. Best Lead Actor, Kalasha Awards
  7. Best Scriptwriter, Kalasha Awards
  8. Kenya International Film Festival: Best Actor
  9. Kenya International Film Festival: Best East African Film
  10. Best Children's Film, Film Festival Recklinghausen
  11. Best Editor, African Movie Academy Awards
  12. Berlinale Generation 2010: Soul Boy
  13. Gothenburg Film Festival: Soul Boy
  14. International Film Festival Rotterdam: Soul Boy
  15. Afrika Filmfestival 2010 in Leuven, Belgium: Soul Boy
  16. Edinburgh International Film Festival: Soul Boy
  17. Durban International Film Festival: Soul Boy
  18. Sydney Film Festival: Soul Boy
  19. Cinemafrica Stockholm: Soul Boy
  20. African FF Tarifa
  21. Sydney Film Festival: Soul Boy
  22. Khouribga Maroc: Soul Boy
  23. Seoul Intl Youth FF
  24. Montreal World FF
  25. Cinemas D'Afrique: Soul Boy
  26. Cambridge Film Festival: Soul Boy
  27. Montreal Intl Black Film Festival
  28. Films From the South Oslo: Soul Boy
  29. Hamptons Intl Film Festival
  30. Warsaw Film Festival
  31. Carlow African Film Festival: Soul Boy
  32. Discovery Film Festival
  33. Chicago Intl Children's Film Festival
  34. Carthage Film Festival
  35. African Diaspora Film Festival
  36. Palm Springs IFF: Soul Boy
  37. San Diego Black Film Festival
  38. Adelaide Film Festival: Soul Boy
  40. Birds Eye View Film Festival: Soul Boy
  42. Toronto IFF for children: Soul Boy
  43. ReelWorld Film Festival
  44. Ecrans Noirs
  45. Rwanda Film Festival
  46. Zanzibar Film Festival: Soul Boy
  47. Kenya International Film Festival
  48. Amakula Kampala International FilmFestival
  49. Ethiopia Film Festival
  50. Quintessence
  51. Cinema Le Bretagne
  52. Plein La Bobine
  53. Addis Film Festival
  54. Chennai Women In Films Festival
  55. Fiuggi Family Festival
  56. Salaam Festival
  57. Cine Sparks Festival
  58. "'Soul Boy' Review". Retrieved 2016-06-20.