Act of Love is also open for licensing to Video on Demand (VOD), television, and non-theatrical opportunities, including airlines as part of an effort to expand its reach to a broader audience, both within Africa and the diaspora.
By Helena Olori
Following its major film festival wins, the cast and crew of Act of Love, a short film produced by Kenyan filmmaker Shirleen Wangari, are set to host a free screening of the film at The Alchemist in Westlands, Nairobi.
The special screening, scheduled for Tuesday, January 30, 2024, is organised in conjunction with MyMovies.Africa™ in celebration of the film’s success and its impactful portrayal of real-life challenges faced by mothers, particularly in addressing postpartum depression.
Act of Love, which is set in Nairobi and inspired by the writer’s true story, is a mental health-themed drama about Juliana (Mwixx Mutinda), a young mother grappling with the challenges of life. Her struggle to maintain a semblance of sanity becomes central, as her world is thrown into disarray in pursuit of a livelihood.
Directed by Eric Mwangi, the film stars Veronica Gatuguta, Naomi Mburu, and Dennis Musyoka alongside Mwixx Mutinda in the lead role.
“Act of Love is a film that makes society acknowledge the ugly side of motherhood”, says Shelly Gitonga, the film’s writer. Shedding light on the alarming prevalence of Post-Partum Depression, Gitonga noted that “Statistics show that Post-Partum Depression (PPD) affects 10-20% of women globally; but in Africa, the situation is worse, with 10-32% of women suffering from PPD.”
“The condition can impair a mother’s ability to care for her child and, in extreme cases, can lead to post-partum psychosis, suicide and/or infanticide”, added producer Shirleen Wangari, emphasising the film’s role in raising awareness about maternal mental health challenges in Kenya.
Act of Love has garnered significant acclaim and recognition in the film festival circuit, with an impressive tally of 15 festival selections, 9 nominations, and 5 awards since it first premiered in October 2023. The film recently clinched the Best Short Film and Best Scriptwriter awards at the inaugural Mombasa International Film Festival, and was recognised at the Mashariki African Film Festival in Kigali and the Under Our Skin International Film Festival for Human Rights in Nairobi.
The film, produced by Blackwell Films in collaboration with Ripple Productions and supported by Some Fine Day Pix, GIZ, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation & Development of Germany, and DocuBox East Africa Fund, has not only garnered acclaim but continues to spark conversations on mental health.
The free screening event, limited to 100 seats, will be followed by a discussion with the cast and crew. Film enthusiasts interested in attending can register at https://app.mymovies.africa/tickets/act-of-love.