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“Act of Love” short film garners international recognition for its powerful message

The short film “Act of Love” has captured the attention of film enthusiasts worldwide as it continues to be selected for esteemed film festivals.

This impactful narrative, inspired by a true story, unfolds in the heart of Nairobi, providing a moving portrayal of a young mother’s challenging journey in pursuit of a livelihood.

The film, featuring the talented Mwixx Mutinda, has received invitations to prestigious festivals such as the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) in Tanzania, the Swahili International Film Festival and Awards in Kenya, the Fragments Festival in the United Kingdom, and the Hollywood African Cinema Connection (HACC) Film Festival in the United States.

One of the recent additions to its impressive list of achievements is the coveted People’s Choice Award at the inaugural Sauti Zetu Film Festival, which took place in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, on the 13th and 14th of October, 2023.

This award is a testament to the film’s ability to connect deeply with audiences and spark meaningful discussions on critical topics such as human rights and social issues.

“Act of Love” stands as one of only three films to be recognized out of 117 entries from Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa. The People’s Choice Award, determined by festival attendees, acknowledges the film that resonates most profoundly with viewers.

Ms Shelly Gitonga, the writer of the film, explains, “‘Act of Love’ is a film that compels society to confront the darker aspects of motherhood. Statistics reveal that Post-Partum Depression (PPD) affects 10-20% of women globally, but in Africa, the situation is even more dire, with 10-32% of women experiencing PPD.”

Ms Shirleen Wangari, the producer at Blackwell Films, adds, “In Kenya, the prevalence of this maternal mental health challenge is reported at 11-13%, impacting the well-being of mothers, newborns, families, and communities. PPD can impair a mother’s ability to care for her child and, in extreme cases, lead to post-partum psychosis, suicide, and/or infanticide.”

The film’s lead actress, Mwixx Mutinda, personally accepted the award in Tanzania and shared her thoughts.

“We had people who had watched ‘Act of Love’ at ZIFF, and they had come to watch it for the second time! During the Q & A session, multiple people referred to the film as an example of how our stories should be told professionally. From their reactions when the movie was screening, they loved the story (or rather felt the pain of Juliana) all the way; from the writing, to the performance, to the technical work, and generally how the whole project was executed.”

The official premiere of “Act of Love” is scheduled for Friday, October 20, 2023, at Anga Cinema, Diamond Plaza 2 in Parklands, Nairobi.

The event will commence with a red carpet affair at 5:30 PM, followed by a cocktail reception and the screening at 7:00 PM.

A panel discussion featuring the cast and crew, moderated by Mugambi Nthiga, will take place at 7:30 PM.

“We intentionally chose to premiere ‘Act of Love’ on Mashujaa Day,” says Ms Trushna Buddhdev-Patel, Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer & Content Director at YAKWETU™, the distributor.

“This is to stand with all the heroes, either personally or as supporters, who are dealing with Post-Partum Depression. Film possesses the extraordinary power to effectively communicate this issue and be a catalyst for conversation, which often leads to various life-changing supportive actions.”