SHORT FILM "MISS PATHETIC" PROPELS JOAN WANJIRU (AMARA) TO AMONG THE GREATS
Everyone was still, all the attention, focused on her. The camera kept rolling, silence on set from the cast and crew was getting uncomfortable and just when no one was expecting it…a drop of tear slowly rolled down her left cheek, minutes later another landed on the ground. This is one of the highlights of working with Joan Wanjiru who plays the role of Amara in Miss Pathetic, a seven minute short film produced by Media Development in Africa (MEDEVA) trainees 2012.
The nominees for the Kalasha Awards 2012 are out, and Joan has made the cut. The petite actress has been nominated in the category of Best Female Actress 2012. “Oh my God are you sure it’s me. I felt that my co- actress was stronger” said an elated Joan on receiving the news. According to Beatrice Nyariwo, the Casting Director of Miss Pathetic, “Joan was among 5 others who auditioned for the role on short notice. She is a natural, very talented and cooperative. She knew what was expected of her and delivered it satisfactorily. It was fun working with her.”
Miss Pathetic is a film featuring a cast of four and tells the story of Ammara (played by Joan Wanjiru Nga’nga) a soft spoken, beautiful teenager who has to put up with a difficult mother (played by Jackie Mukirai) with a daunting past and present filled with leading a double life. It also features Kevin Gitau (Miss Pathetic’s boyfriend) and introduces Beatrice Wanjiru (Voice of Ammara’s grandmother).
“The feeling of being placed among big names is surreal. I respect the other actresses and for them to nominate me is great” she adds. Her competitors have cut a niche in the film industry. She is nominated alongside Nigerian actress Rita Dominic who stars in the 2011 film, Shattered produced by Dream House Productions; a role that has seen her win the prestigious African Movie Academy Award AMAA for Best Actress and Patricia Kihoro for her role in Miss Nobody produced by Hot Sun Films.
The 20 year old is however not new to performance arts as she has appeared in commercials and stage plays with Next Level Production (NLP). Theatre is a platform that most Kenyan artists use to launch their acting careers.
Miss Pathetic has a crew of 9 members drawn from different educational and professional backgrounds that were part of MEDEVA trainees 2012. The film was part of the annual intense month long training and was produced during the last week as part of their project.
According to Joy Wanjiku, MEDEVA’s Programs Manager. “We decided to be ambitious and try something different and a short film is what we came up with.” Miss Pathetic was supervised by Paul Ekuru a Series Producer and Director alongside other notable names in the industry that double up as trainers at the organization. Other trainees were tasked to produce radio and TV documentaries.
Kenya Film Commission, the organisers of Kalasha Awards seek to motivate local producers to produce quality film and TV productions. Other MEDEVA productions nominated are Agenda Kenya a political talk show and The Space a teen talk show in the Best Talk Show category. The awards ceremony is scheduled to take place on 8th December 2012.
By Noella Luka.