Pumzi is a short film about “a dystopian future 35 years after water wars have torn the world apart. East African survivors of the ecological devastation remain locked away in contained communities, but a young woman in possession of a germinating seed struggles against the governing council to bring the plant to Earth’s ruined surface.” It was written and directed by Wanuri Kahiu, a Kenyan woman who won a grant from Focus Films’ Africa First short film program.

With the money she was able to create this short with complete creative freedom and is now taking it to Sundance in hopes of expanding it into a feature length film. Her story is similar to that of South African Neill Blomkamp who first created Alive in Joburg, which was then expanded into one of my favorites of last year, District 9.

I think the idea of Kenyan science fiction sounds amazing. The vibe of the trailer reminds me a bit of THX 1138, a group of people are trapped in an underground sanctuary and are highly medicated to keep them in check. She also does a great job of using matte paintings and special effects to give it that sort of a retro vibe without it feeling cheesy.

I really hope they release this on DVD or online or something, I’d really love to watch the whole thing. Or better yet, maybe Peter Jackson will lend her $20 million or so?

Found through Wired


January 28, 2010