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Kenyan filmmaker Tosh in court over Netflix movie Volume

By Sinda Matiko December 21st, 2023 3 min read

Renowned Kenyan filmmaker David ‘Tosh’ Gitonga is currently locked in a nasty legal suit with a German filmmaker Christian Kramer over his new project Volume.

This series premiered on Netflix on Wednesday, 20 December.

Kramer is accusing the Kenyan film Director of refusing to pay him 4,400 Euros (Ksh725,000) over the project and now wants the court to rule in his favour where he is seeking compensation that might go beyond Sh1 million should Tosh be found guilty.

In June, 2023 through a demand letter, Kramer had threatened to move to court if the Disconnect Director failed to pay him the 4,400 Euros within seven days.

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Kramer claimed Tosh tapped on his expertise to edit the Volume trailer, which enabled him to land funding from Netflix to develop the project into a full series, but has since refused to pay him his dues.

“Our client instructs us that you are the producer and director of Primary Pictures Limited. That on diverse dates in the year 2021 you reached out to our client via phone calls while he was in Germany seeking to engage him for his professional services as a world renown film editor… You needed him to edit the Volume series trailer so that the same could be used to pitch for Netflix funding for the production,” read part of Kramer’s demand letter through his lawyer James T. Makori Advocates.

Upon receiving the demand letter Tosh’s Primary Pictures wrote back through his lawyers Mwanyumba Kariithi & Co, seeking 21 days to come up with a good detailed response to the claims, which Kramer granted.

In the detailed response to Kramer dated June 15, Tosh dismissed ever seeking the German’s services to edit the Volume trailer.

This is despite the existence of email correspondences, text messages and WhatsApp chats between the two, as seen by Nairobi News.

“We would like to begin by stating that our client has not and has never sought or engaged your client in any capacity for the provision of any professional services as alleged in your letter. Your client’s supposed relationship with one David Tosh Gitonga, a Director of our client is not a professionally binding relationship the consequence of which is meant to obligate our client and its actions in any way,” read part of Tosh’s response.

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The filmmaker’s legal team further added, “Our client has never needed your client to edit the Volume Series Trailer as alleged in your letter so that the same can be used to pitch for Netflix funding for the production… We wish to state clearly, without any fear or contradiction that our client shall not be extorted. Blackmailed, deceived, pressured or strong-armed into accepting that it has any professional relationship with your client despite this blatant attempt to do so.”

With the impulse, Kramer filed a legal suit case number SCCCOMMM/E4791/2023 at the Milimani Small Claims Court, where the matter is now before Honorable Magistrate Barbara Akinyi.

“The hearing was on November 22, 2023 before magistrate Hon. Barbara Akinyi. Both the Plaintiff and the Defendant testified and were cross-examined, as a matter of fact Tosh appeared in person and we cross examined him. The honorable magistrate then directed that both parties file submissions. The matter will now be mentioned on February 9, 2024 to confirm the filling of submissions and a date of the judgement issued. All my client is seeking is compensation of his pay 4,400 Euros plus Interest at court rates from the date of filing of the case and any other costs that the court will deem fit,” Kramer’s lawyer told Nairobi News.