Just a Band is about four Nairobians who drop out of university to form an Afro-electric pop band, a counter-narrative to the lives expected of them. Borrowing from a cultural mishmash of Sun Ra, Kung Fu Movies, Hip Hop and other bits of detritus, the film is a coming-of-age story in the middle of Kenya’s post-dictatorship art renaissance.
About The Team
Anjali Nayar (Writer/Director) is a filmmaker based between Nairobi and Montreal. Anjali’s last documentary, Silas (TIFF 2017), profiles a network of citizen reporters using smartphones to expose land grabs and corruption in West Africa. The two-time Sundance supported film has screened in hundreds of festivals, went on to win awards around the world and has been picked up by Amazon. Anjali’s feature debut, Gun Runners (Hot Docs 2016), about Kenyan warriors turned marathoners, was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award and a Director’s Guild of Canada Award, went theatrical and was bought by Netflix. Anjali also recently directed the short Évasion (2018) about a Rwandan refugee who cycles across Canada and to the Arctic in winter, and is developing her first scripted project. Beyond film, Anjali founded TIMBY (This Is My Backyard), a suite of digital tools that helps activists report, verify and tell stories safely. She has a Masters from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, a Masters in Environmental Management from Oxford and a Graduate degree from the International Space University.
Wanuri Kahiu (Producer) is part of the new generation of African filmmakers. Her latest film Rafiki, a same-sex love story set in Nairobi, premiered at Cannes in 2018 to international acclaim. In 2010, her short science fiction Pumzi premiered at Sundance Film Festival and went on to win best short film at Cannes Independent Film Festival and the silver at Carthage Film Festival (Tunisia). Pumzi also earned Wanuri the Citta di Venezia 2010 award in Venice. Wanuri’s first feature film From A Whisper, based on the real events surrounding the 1998 twin bombings of US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Wanuri is the co-founder of Afrobubblegum, an art movement that celebrates fun, fierce and frivolous African art. In 2018, she was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Just a Band is a Cinereach grant-supported film.