"Rafiki" ("Friends")

a film by Wanuri Kahiu

"Good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives," but Kena and Ziki long for something more. Despite the political rivalry between their families, the girls resist and remain close friends, supporting each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, the two girls will be forced to choose between happiness and safety.

Director: Wanuri Kahiu

Wanuri Kahiu is a filmmaker, speaker, and science fiction writer. Her short award-winning science fiction film "Pumzi" (2009) about futuristic Africa premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2010 and received international acclaim. In 2018, Kahiu’s award-winning film "Rafiki", was the first Kenyan film to be invited to Cannes Film Festival and has since won multiple awards across the world. Kahiu is a cultural leader for the World Economic Forum, an advocate for Freedom of Expression and an AFROBUBBLEGUM activist – championing the need for the creation and curation of fun, fierce, and frivolous African art. Kahiu was named TIME’s 100 Next in 2019.

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Cinematographer: Christopher Wessels

Christopher Wessels lives between Finland and South Africa. His graduation project "Ongeriewe", of which he was co-writer and Director of Photography, was a finalist in the Court Métrage competition at the Cannes film festival. Christopher was awarded Best Newcomer at the Durban International Film Festival 2006 for his role in "Ongeriewe". He is a founding member of Third Space, a collective of artists and curators in Helsinki, and a founding member and co-director of the Museum of Impossible Forms (m). Christopher has worked as director of photography on seven feature films, various music videos, documentaries and art installations. He regularly collaborates with Mieke Bal (Dutch theorist and video artist) and Tracey Rose.


Production Notes

  • Produced by: Big World Cinema
  • In co-production with: Awali Entertainment Ltd., MPM Film, Schortcut Films, Ape&Bjørn, Rinkel Film and Razor Film
  • Shooting locations: Kenya
  • Camera: ALEXA Mini
  • Lenses: Cooke Pancho lens set & Rokinon long lens
  • Picture postproduction provided by: ARRI Media
  • World premiere: International Cannes Film Festival, Un Certain Regard, 2018 

Official Trailer "Rafiki"

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Learn More

Video Interview with DP Christoph Wessels 2018, Cannes Film Festival

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