SHORT FILM #MANT ADDRESSES THE SENSITIVE ISSUE OF MUSLIMS AND TERRORISM
Anyone who has watched and enjoyed the 2009 Wanuri Kahiu film on terrorism and bomb blast that shook the nation in the year 1999 will definitely catch the drift in this short titled “Muslims are not terrorists” or #MANT.
MANT is a short film about two seemingly different families and the grave circumstances under which their paths meet. These families bear differences in structure, religion, financial and social status. However, to some extent, these very families bear almost as many similarities; similarities that are unknown to them.
Watch the film below:
Latif (played Innocent Njuguna) is a Muslim family man. He lives with his wife Na’ilah (played by Elsie Chelimo) and his 8 year old daughter, Aisha (played by Amaal Hassan).
Detective Robert Njonjo(played by Bernard Waithaka) is a devout Christian man. He is a senior detective in the Kilimani Police Force. Like Latif, Robert too is a family man. Unfortunately, he lost his wife shortly after the birth of their son, Ethan (played by Strae Ndolo).
These two men both rise on the 20th of September to conduct their daily tasks just as they would any other day. Unbeknownst to them is that on this particular day is of significance to both of them.
An unexpected visit from his younger brother, Mahmud (played by Isaya Evans), creates a sort of pandemonium in Latif’s peaceful life. This pandemonium spreads further resulting in the eventual
crossing of two families, through Latif and Detective Njonjo and the loss of an innocent child’s life, Aisha.
#MuslimsAreNotTerrorists, shortened to #MANT is the idea of young student director and producer, Victor Oprisanu. It was inspired by the terrorist attack on Westgate Shopping Mall on the 21st of September 2013 and the events that followed after.
During this period, there was a quote, “#MuslimsAreNotTerrorists” that had been trending on social media all over the world as people sought to unite to support one another and pray for our country rather than stigmatize our Muslim brothers are sisters. It is these events that led Victor to write a
story bearing a similar message. One that discouraged judgement based on religion and challenged us to reflect on ourselves as a society, considering our differences and similarities as individuals, and learning
to accept them.
The film was Executive Produced at the cost of about 250,000 Kshs by The Jamhuri Film and Television Academy, under the keen supervision of renowned cinematographer and sound recordist Wilfred Kiumi, alongside other experienced lecturers.
It was produced, directed and edited by Victor Oprisanu who at the time, was also a student at Jamhuri Film and Television Academy (JFTA). The entire film crew comprised solely of students of JFTA,some of who were still very new to film while others were fairly experienced after having been exposed to the industry for some time. Many of these experienced students had chosen to specialize in specific aspects
of film, such as, lighting, sound mixing, production design, cinematography and production management.
#MANT also stars several very talented, upcoming Kenyan actors and actresses who deliver breathtaking performances within the 15 minute short.
The performance and character of one Innocent Njuguna (playing Latif) simply stands out as he drives the film the adversity of doing what is human rightly and fight his religious faith. A well done job.
The film is extremely breathtaking, equally thought provoking and emotionally captivating. A tremendously good watch. Look forward to several more good projects from the students of JFTA, the talented cast and upcoming screenwriter and director, Victor Oprisanu.
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