Kenyan film Act of Love has won the Nile Grand Prize for Best Short Film, at the 13th Luxor African Film Festival in Egypt.

It is the second Short Film from Kenya to win an Award there, after Tithes & Offerings in 2019. It was the sixth film overall from Kenya.

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This comes two weeks after the film won the Best Short Film and Best Scriptwriter awards at the inaugural Mombasa International Film Festival.

Act of Love’s director, Eric Mwangi, called the win incredibly affirming.

“Winning at Luxor has been incredibly affirming as a creative.  Even though the Film was screened with Arabic subtitles, its power was unchanged. 

“It’s a blessing to see people who don’t speak your language, resonate with the same measure as my people in Kenya.  I believe that’s a testament to the universality of our film,” he said.

Inspired by writer Shelly Gitonga’s personal story, Act of Love is a short film, set in Nairobi, that follows Juliana (Mwixx Mutinda) – a young Mother, as she tries to juggle motherhood and survival.

Act of Love is a Film that makes society acknowledge the ugly side of Motherhood”, says Ms Shelly Gitonga – the now Award-winning Scriptwriter.  

“Statistics show that Post-Partum Depression (PPD) affects 10-20% of Women globally; but in Africa, the situation is worse, with 10-32% of Women suffering from PPD.”

Act of Love has won several awards including Best Short Film at the 9th MASHARIKI African Film Festival in Kigali – Rwanda, Runner-up for Best Kenyan Short at the Under Our Skin International Film Festival for Human Rights in Nairobi and the People’s Choice Award at the inaugural Sauti Zetu Film Festival in Dar-es-Salaam – Tanzania, during October 2023.

Shirleen Wangari, the producer of the film says it delves into an important topic.

“In Kenya, the prevalence of this Maternal Mental Health challenge is reported as 11-13%, affecting the well-being of Mothers, Newborns, Families and Communities.

“The condition can impair a Mother’s ability to care for her Child and, in extreme cases, can lead to post-partum Psychosis, Suicide and/or Infanticide.”

Congratulating the film’s crew on its win, Trushna Buddhdev-Patel, Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer & Content Director of YAKWETU™, the film’s distributor, said that the company hoped to make it widely available.

“We are so Proud of the Cast & Crew of this beautiful Film. 

“Act of Love is available worldwide on our own MyMovies.Africa™” and now Available for Licensing to other Video On Demand (VOD) services, Television and Non-Theatrical opportunities like Airlines, so that as many Africans and diasporans as possible, can watch this important title.”

Chloe Genga, Impact Producer at LightBox Africa, said they were hosting special screenings to create awareness. 

“We have begun special Screenings to underserved Communities of Women and Healthcare Workers around Kenya and Africa, to raise further awareness and spark Conversations for supportive Action on Post-Partum Depression, Maternal Health and Mental Health.

“And we’re open to Collaborating with any Partners who share our Vision.”

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