Heather Waters of the Richmond International Film & Music Festival guest curates ICA Cinema

Richmond International Film & Music FestivalThe December edition of the ICA Cinema Series will feature the groundbreaking Kenyan film, Rafiki.  The event has been curated by Heather Waters, Founder & Producer of the Richmond International Film & Music Festival (RIFF), and will be held at the Institute for Contemporary Art on Wednesday, Dec. 12, with festivities to begin at 6:00 p.m.

Rafiki is directed by Wanuri Kahiu and stars Samantha Mugatsia and Sheila Munyiva. The film has enjoyed wide acclaim in 2018 including becoming Kenya’s first ever official foreign film Oscar submission, however, not without controversy and challenges to overcome.  The feature film premiered at Cannes this summer and went on to play at the Toronto Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, and many others on the festival circuit before being banned for a period of time due to the cultural and political issues the film addresses. Logline: “Good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives,” but Kena and Ziki long for something more. When love blossoms between them, the two girls will be forced to choose between happiness and safety.

Samantha Mugatsia makes her acting debut in Rafiki in the lead role of Kena.  Mugatsia will be traveling from Nairobi and be in attendance for the Richmond premiere with a Q&A to follow the screening that will be moderated by Waters and Enjoli Moon, Assistant Film Curator at the ICA.

The event will be Waters’ first guest curation for the ICA.  When asked to select a film that is reflective of the ICA current exhibition, “Hedges, Edges, Dirt” which has themes around boundaries, migration, and what it means to belong as well as the types of international films that are programmed each year at RIFF, Waters explored several projects before landing upon Rafiki as her perfect fit.  “Rafiki reflects our RIFF programming beautifully and it is the kind of voice that I want to continue bringing to our community. The film not only entertains, it asks important questions for the time in which we live. While it is a glimpse into the current issues that Kenya faces, some of those struggles are universal and ones that many communities today are facing.  In the end, Rafiki is an intimate, honest portrayal of the deep complexities we are currently challenged with in our personal, family and community relationships. It will stick with you long after leaving the theatre and Kahiu, the director is a powerful female voice that all should continue to watch.” says Waters.

 
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