Over the years, Kenyan films have taken small but mighty steps into the international scene with some movies and series being showcased in online movie streaming services such as Hulu, Showmax and Netflix.
Netflix is the leading online movie streaming service in the world. It enjoys approximately 195 million paying subscribers daily. On September 20th this year, Netflix Kenya launched a free watching plan that allows people to enjoy Netflix advertisement-free on Android mobile phones in Kenya.
With this great offer, here are some of the Kenyan films you can binge watch that are now showing on Netflix:
1. Just In Time
Genre: Comedy, Family
Duration: 1hr 35mins
This family comedy-drama film premiered on Netflix on March 2021. It was written, directed and co-produced by famous Nigerian filmmaker Dolapo Adeleke. The film revolves around a clerk for a bookstore who’ s life has been shattered after losing that job and finds herself taking care of her cousin’s mischievous 11-year old daughter. Just In Time stars award-winning Kenyan actress Sarah Hassan (also the producer) and top Ghanaian actor Mawuli Gavor. This film was shot in Nairobi in 2019. Other actresses such as Staycie Waweru (from Supa Modo), Eve D’zouza and Kenyan top Dj, Pierra Makena.
Genre: Romantic comedy
Imdb: 6.6 /10
Duration: 1hr 27mins
Sincerely Daisy is a Kenyan coming-of-age romantic comedy film that was directed and produced by Nick Mutuma. This was the first ever Kenyan film to be released through Netflix as an original movie in 2020. The film stars Ella Mina, Brian Abejah, Sam Psenjen and Mbeki Mwalimu as the lead role actors. Written by Natasha Likimani, the film is about Daisy (played by Ella Maina) a talented, happy high school graduate, whose dreams, confidence, expectations and passion of being an actress are all affected by family financial constraints and romantic drama. Other characters of this film include Foi Wambui and Jacky Matubia.
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Duration: 1hr 47mins
Having premiered in April 2018, this is a romantic comedy that shows the different absurdities, experiences and encounters that come from dating in the Nairobi scene. It is about a group of single people who mingle in the wild Nairobi dating scene while two friends wonder if their friendship is more than a platonic relationship. Disconnect features Brenda Wairimu and Nick Mutuma as lead roles with Catherine Kamau, Brian Ogola Patricia Kihoro, Pierra Makena and Justin Mirichii as supporting cast. It was directed by David ‘Tosh’ Gitonga and Michael Jones, written by Silas Miami and produced by Njeri Karago.
4. 40 Sticks
Genre: Action, Thriller
Duration: 1hr 32mins
This is a Kenyan-produced action thriller movie that premiered on Netflix on November 20, 2020. This 90-minute film features a criminal gang of four whose roles are played by Robert Agengo as Pablo, Andreo Kamau, Mwaura Bilal and Xavier Ywaya as Majuju. When their prison bus crashes in a forest during one rainy night, the group of criminals find themselves battling a mysterious killer and fierce wild animals. 40 Sticks rose to the second most-watched movie on its first week on Netflix in Kenya. It is really captivating on its use of sheng/slang which is a mix of English and Kiswahili languages.
Genre: Crime, Action, Short
This Kenyan/ British short film tells the story of a daring farmer who steals illicit Elephants’ ivory from a group of international terrorists and must then elope their dangerous and deadly games. The award winning film, shot in Tsavo West National Park, showcases issues on illegal ivory trade.
It won the Best Short Film award at the 8th Kenyan Kalasha TV&Film Awards and bagged awards for the Best Actor in a film, Best Director of Photography (D.O.P), Best Supporting Actor in a Film and Best Director. The 2018 film was directed by Tom Whitworth and stars Brian Ogola, Davina Leonard, Shiviske Shivisi and Lenny Juma.
6. The Captain of Nakara
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Duration: 1hr 28mins
The Captain of Nakara is a Kenyan comedy film that was initially released on February 10, 2012. It was produced by Mario Zvan and Oliver Thau and directed by Bob Nyanja. This movie features a lot of Kenyan talent, with the actors being familiar faces from television and others. The notable cast in the film include late ‘Papa Shirandula’ actor Charles Bukeko playing as General , Charles Kiarie as Sunday, Shirleen Wanjari as Muna, Bernard Safari as Muntu and Patrick Oketch as Captain.
The plot revolves around a recently released criminal from prison through presidential pardon. He however is a charming con man and he doesn’t stop his sly, deceptive ways when he tries hiding. He pretends to own a profitable market stall in order to win the woman of his dreams. His honest attempts to make his lie a reality fail owing to corruption but he manages to defend his rights and his happiness in a stolen military uniform. It is an adaptation of a German play, The Captain of Kopenick by Carl Zuckmayer.
7. Gardeners of Eden
Genre: Documentary/ Drama, Action, Adventure
Duration: 1hr 12mins
Directed by Austin Peck and Annelise Vandenberg, this docu-drama showcases how Africa’s elephants are close to extinction to fuel the worldwide ivory trade. And as the corrupt governments fails to stop the poaching of elephants for ivory, an 80-year old woman and a crew of rangers bravely try to end this illegal crime. It is a gripping, first-person experienced inside Kenya’s David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
The 2014 film features Nick Trent, Daphne Sheldrick and Julius Shivenga. It was edited by Austin Peck.