The Kalasha International Film and TV Awards got over 237 films to shortlist. The film festival is slated to take place from December 4thto 8th, after which the red carpet awards gala will happen on December 9th. Detox Movie from Moi University got the nomination nod. Spreadzone Blog caught up with Joan Rispa who is part of the team behind the movie.
Tell us about the team behind the movie:
JR: Detox was a collaboration between LightBox Africa and Moi University. The LightBox Africa crew offered their mentorship to us but using a hands-on approach in which they allowed us to make our own mistakes but guided us in the best way possible. From Moi University we auditioned as many students as possible and incorporated new members of the crew with the people we had worked with in previous years.
What is the movie about?
JR: Detox is the story of a young man who struggles with alcoholism as well as fatherhood while trying to strike a balance between his studies and his talent in visual art. The story was inspired by the experience of one of my greatest friends who was struggling with alcoholism which affected his classwork. This was despite him being very good in class. I felt the need to share it since it is something most people struggle with. It always seems all fun and games until it is your close friend suffering and you cannot really help.
What sets it apart from other nominated ones?
JR: I feel that Detox is relatable not only in terms of the story but also the language used. It uses sheng’ which makes it true to the campus setting but more to that it does not really feed people with the decisions they need to make but rather enlightens them with that they will make informed decisions. So in the end, the movie has a unique ending that keeps people thinking.
Why the name Detox?
JR: Detox is simply the story. Many young people who consume alcohol take a break from it and call it Detox. Similarly, the main character takes a ‘detox’ only for him to realize he is addicted to alcohol.
How challenging was it producing it?
JR: The main challenge was funding especially since we had to dig into our pockets to make the movie. Our lecturers; Cosmas Bii, Dr Fred Mbogo, Emma Ngare and Evans Mugarizi were amazing and helped us with the extra funds we needed for the Light Box Africa team. LightBox as well tried as much as they could by not only offering their professionalism but also equipment. Lucky for us, the entire team was well disciplined and observed time both during the rehearsals and the shoot itself making it smooth sailing.
Were you expecting a Kalasha nomination?
JR: It may sound snobbish to say yes but I can’t say I was extremely shocked. Earlier this year we had been nominated for the Zanzibar International Film Festival under the student’s category so I was almost sure it would compete well enough to be considered for the Kalasha’s.
Was this your first project?
JR: This was my first project to write and direct. I had previously worked on various sets in different capacities.
What do you hope this movie will achieve in the market?
JR: At the time we made Detox we just wanted to make something good that could be used as a standard tool to teach my fellow students how to make films in simple ways yet achieve quality. As for the story, I just wanted to get it out there but make it unique such that the target audience, the young campus adults, would not think, “Another movie on drugs and addiction”. The feedback has been amazing, seeing that Detox until today serves as a benchmark for most of our films in Moi. The story has also changed lives among the audiences which really is inspiring.
How long did it take to film it?
JR: The scripting took about four months since I had to be corrected a lot. At times I honestly thought that Brian Munene and Sam Soko were being too tough but eventually, the product was amazing and I loved it. The shoot itself took two days since we had rehearsed the lines earlier with the cast and had meetings with the crew explaining to them my vision. Post-production took roughly two weeks.
How can one connect with you and vote?
JR: We have a Facebook page ‘Detox the Movie’ as well as IG account ‘Detox’ which I think have become dormant over time but we will work towards reviving them. One can vote on the link (http://bit.ly/2zMfe6d) and find it in the category Best Feature by a student. One can also vote by texting y3 to 22414 which costs roughly 3 shillings. Every vote counts and we really hope to bring the Kalasha home. For more movies that we are producing, people should feel free to follow me on Facebook, Joan Rispa Kiragu, especially since we have a great comedy to grace this festive season.