The film, which played twice to sold-out theaters at Film Africa, was chosen by the London audience among 70 other films showing at the festival to receive the £1,000 cash prize.
Joined live by phone at his hotel in San Francisco, director Tosh Gitonga said, “I am greatly humbled! And most of all I am glad that people appreciate the film, because in real truth we do it for them. That they enjoy the experience gives me great satisfaction. Thank you for the great honor! I feel warm inside and a zest like never before to make many more films.”
The award was handed out by Buni TV CEO Marie Lora-Mungai. “Buni TV is thrilled to be handing out the Film Africa Audience Award to Tosh and Nairobi Half Life. It is a fantastic film, very Kenyan and yet loved by audiences around the world, like the London crowd just showed. As a Kenyan company, we are obviously very proud to be recognizing such a promising Kenyan director, and wish Tosh and his team a lot more success in the future,” said Lora-Mungai.
The Film Africa Audience Award was one of three prizes recently sponsored by pan-African video-streaming service Buni TV (www.buni.tv). At the Africa in Motion film festival in Scotland, Buni TV and The Africa Channel handed out the Best Short Film prize to Zambian filmmaker Rungano Nyoni’sMwanza The Great, and Robinson Njenga’s film Kenji was the winner of the Buni TV Best East African Film Award at the Kenya International Film Festival in Nairobi.
“Buni TV warmly congratulates all the winners, who really represent what’s exciting about the growing African cinema scene. We hope that the awards will help them with the production of their next film,” said Lora-Mungai.
Buni TV (www.buni.tv) is a service of Buni Media (www.bunimedia.com), a multi-media company based in Nairobi, Kenya and Los Angeles, California. Buni Media is the production outlet behind The XYZ Show, Africa’s first political satire program featuring life-size latex puppets. The XYZ Show (www.xyzshow.com) reaches an audience of more than 8 million people every month through its various platforms.