When Rafiki, an LGBT drama by Wanuri Kahiu, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, it received a six-minute standing ovation. With jury praise from acclaimed actress Cate Blanchett, the film’s critical acclaim seemed to be the first sign of its burgeoning success, and we were right. Film Movement has acquired the North American rights for the flick. Rafiki is being repped internationally by Orange Studio and MPM Premium.
For those unfamiliar with the premise, Rafiki is a coming of age story that chronicles a burgeoning romance between two teenage girls that blossoms with opposition from their respective families and communities. Although the movie was banned in Kenya where homosexuality is illegal, that hasn’t stopped the movie from receiving a level of critical acclaim on par with films such as Pariah and Moonlight, both of which have subverted the conventions of modern cinema by showcasing the LGBTQIA experience through the black lens.
Film Management is planning to give Rafiki a theatrical release later this year in New York, Los Angeles, and five other currently unannounced cities.