Young Isiolo filmmaker wins global Tribeka award

Tribeka awrd winner

 Young Northern Kenya film-maker Moses Thuranira who has bagged a Tribeka festival award for best documentary in New York.

Photo credit: Courtesy

Northern Kenya's budding film producer Moses Thuranira has bagged this year's Tribeka Festival award in the best documentary and cinematography category in the United States.

Mr Thuranira, 29, popularly known as Mosnah, was announced as the winner of the 22nd annual Tribeka festival, which celebrates diverse and groundbreaking works and creators from around the world, during an awards ceremony at Racket in New York City last Thursday.

The competition attracted talent in a variety of categories including feature film, short film, audio storytelling, games and other untold stories.

The documentary Between the Rains, co-produced by Mr Thuranira and Mr Andrew H Brown, an award-winning filmmaker in sub-Saharan Africa, was filmed over four consecutive years in Isiolo's Ngaremara County as the region bore the brunt of Kenya's worst drought in four decades.

The film shows how the local community coped with changing climatic conditions that threatened pastoralism, the region's main economic livelihood, and exposed them to resource-based conflicts.

Unpredictable weather patterns, says the film's main character, have pitted communities against each other as they seek to replace lost livestock, take control of natural resources such as water points and grazing land, and even extend their borders.

"Rivers and water sources have dried up and our neighbours have become our enemies ... But I am not afraid of my enemies," says the male character, demonstrating his resilience and determination to find other mechanisms to cope with the drought.

Local dialect

Having borne the brunt of climate change, including massive losses of livestock and subsequent starvation, the young man, speaking in the local dialect, says he only fears nature.

Mr Thuranira told Nation.Africa that the documentary sought to understand the experience of livelihoods caught in a traditional culture that is the "victim" of climate change.

"I am so happy for the award, which not only puts Isiolo on the global map but also gives the community a voice to tell their untold story of resilience," he said.

The documentary emerged as the best in terms of "craft, narrative impact, raw and elegant coming-of-age portrait of resilience", according to the judges.

Cypher and A Strange Path took top honours in the US narrative feature and international narrative feature categories respectively.