The recent online phenomenon that is the series Tuko Macho has been selected as one of the five television programs to be showcased at the Toronto International Film Festival. With only eight episodes exclusively available on Facebook as a web series, the show has captured urban audiences by combining imaginative story telling and a chilling Nairobi reality.
At times faulted for closely mirroring Nairobi Half Life, the series starts with the disappearance of a well known carjacker during a heist. Then a video is released online by a masked vigilante asking the city to vote on whether the carjacker should live or not. The resulting vote begins a cataclysmic chain of events that will involve the Kenyan police a desperate man out for justice and an ugly Nairobi underbelly.
It is this mix that made the perfect brew to entice the TIFF(Toronto International Film Festival) judges and earn a selection. Tuko Macho will be the only African television show at the worlds biggest film festival. And shall also serve as the first time Sheng shall be a medium used in film at the festival. Speaking at a recent press briefing, Jim Chuchu, the director pointed out the beauty of having a Sheng series nominated as testament to the triumph in the Kenyan struggle for identity and the recognition of Sheng as a legitimate language.
TUKO MACHO will be presented within the PrimeTime program. The prime time program presents the best in international television, celebrating the growing convergence and artistic equality between television and cinema and is currently in its second year. The TIFF audience much like the local one will be invited to participate in a live, in-cinema vote that chooses which cut of the subsequent episode will be shown. This is the first time that such a truly interactive element will be explored in a storytelling experience during the festival.
TUKO MACHO is panning out to be a series of many firsts but for one, it is the third film presentation from the Nest Collective. A multidisciplinary arts collective formed in 2012 that is quickly establishing itself as a creative force in the country and continent. It is the same group that gave us the internationally acclaimed Stories of Our Lives and followed it up with a fashion film featuring super model and fashion icon, Ajuma Nasenyawna.
Below is the trailer for the show that continues to break barriers with Kenyan content.
The interview was conducted by Capital Campus correspondent Munene Mwarania a former Daystar University student with a keen interest in the arts.