Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu will be awarded the Spirit of Cinema award at the 28th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK).

The 43-year-old filmmaker was chosen for the accolade for her fights against conservative values in Kenya.

Kahiu made waves in the country in 2018 when her film, Rafiki, was banned in the country. Despite his rejection by Kenyan authorities, the film premiered at several international festivals including Cannes, where Kahiu made a name for herself in the industry.

She has since directed Netflix 2022 film Look Both Ways starring Lili Reinhart, Danny Ramirez, David Corenswet and Aisha Dee.

Beyond film, Kahiu, is also the force behind ‘Afro Bubble Gum’, an artistic movement to change the way the world perceives Africa and to create a new vision for the continent.

The Spirit of Cinema award aims to honour the fighting spirit of filmmakers. Iranian filmmaker and women’s activist Mahnaz Mohammadi was the winner last year.

The award comes with a monetary prize of KSh. 915,395 and will be presented at the inaugural ceremony of the IIFK to be held at Nishagandhi Auditorium on December 8.

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