First film from a Kenyan director and producer at Sundance will play as part of the 33rd season of POV on PBS
New York, N.Y. — January 26, 2020 — POV today announced the acquisition of the U.S. broadcast rights for Softie, directed by Sam Soko, fresh from its world premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2020. The film, which is the first Kenyan produced documentary to Premiere at the festival, will air as part of the series’ 33rd season, which kicks off on PBS in June 2020.
Premiering yesterday as part of the World Cinema Documentary Competition, SOFTIE follows political activist Boniface “Softie” Mwangi, a daring and audacious political activist, who decides to run for political office in Kenya after several years of fighting injustice in his country. But running a clean campaign against corrupt opponents becomes increasingly harder to combat with idealism alone. And Boniface soon finds that challenging strong political dynasties is putting his family at risk. Should country really come before family, as he’s always believed?
“Telling a story that speaks to our experiences, triumphs and tears as Kenyans and have it resonate with the world is an incredible honour. As a first from Kenya, I hope the film inspires audiences to become active citizens in their own right and find harmony with those they are fighting for and alongside.” said Nairobi-based director Sam Soko, co-founder of LBx Africa, a Kenyan production company, which was the service producer for the 2018 Oscar nominated short fiction film, Watu Wote.
"When Justine Nagan and I saw Softie pitched at Hot Docs years ago, we knew we had to get involved. The team is talented and vibrant, and the story of an activist turned politician feels urgent." said Chris White, executive producer of POV, “It’s a classic POV and we’re thrilled to premiere it at Sundance and bring it to American audiences later this year.”
Produced by American Documentary and broadcasting on PBS since 1988. POV is American television's longest-running documentary series.
POV's 33nd season begins in summer 2020 on PBS television, PBS Passport as well as pov.org and amdoc.org, with exact premiere dates to be announced in Spring 2020. Softie will premiere with other announced titles including Advocate by Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaiche and the two-part special And She Could Be Next by Grace Lee, Marjan Safinia, and Jyoti Sarda.
The Softie deal was negotiated by Justine Nagan and Chris White on behalf of POV, and Toni Kamau from We Are Not The Machine and Bob Moore from EyeSteelFilm on behalf of Softie.
Softie was produced by LBx Africa in association with We are not the machine and Eyesteelfilm with the generous support of Luminate, Just FIlms | Ford Foundation, Sundance, Bertha Doc Society, Hot Docs Blue Ice Fund, Hot Docs firstlook Pitch Fund, Quebec Production Services Tax Credit, Hot Docs Partners and Docubox.