Kenyan Filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu to Produce Two Hollywood Big Screen Movies

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Wanuri Kahiu

Wanuri Kahiu is a 39-year-old Kenyan filmmaker, author and director best known for her controversial and award-winning Kenyan LGBTQ movie Rafiki which was banned after its release in Kenya. Her other notable films include “From A Whisper”, her first feature film which gained 5 awards and “Pumzi”, a science fiction movie.

Kahiu has just got a bumper deal to direct two big screen Hollywood movies under Universal Studios.

After Universal Studios gained the rights to turn the bestselling Young Adult novel “The Thing About Jellyfish” to life into a movie, the award-winning filmmaker was announced as director of the movie.

She however will be working with American playwright Molly Smith Metzler and English actress Milly Bobby Brown for the much-anticipated movie.

“The Thing About Jellyfish” is a novel written by Ali Benjamin, about a young girl named Suzy who got convinced that the cause of her best friend’s death by drowning was caused by a rare jellyfish string.

This caused her to retreat into a silent world of her imagination and began to craft a globe-trotting plan to prove her theory. The book explores the ideas of life and death, the frailty of friendships and the potential of hope right next door.

It is a huge deal to have an African direct a Hollywood big screen which comes to show that African creatives are slowly getting the attention and opportunities they deserve.

Aside from The Thing About Jellyfish, Wanuri Kahiu will also direct the Los Angeles based love story Covers also under Universal Studios.

On March 14, the newest Hollywood director posted the news on her Twitter a few days after news about her selection as a 2019 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum was published.

Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane of MWM Studios, Bruna Papandrea and Reese Witherspoon are producing the adaptation of the acclaimed novel by Ali Benjamin.

Wanuri Kahiu made a bold move into the creative industry to the chagrin of her parents after bagging a degree in Management Science. She went ahead an completed her masters in Fine Arts in production at the University of California, Los Angeles’s School of Theatre, Film and Television.

Her profile has been on the rise ever since with her creative works and zeal.

Wanuri Kahiu presently resides in Kenya.

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