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Last Updated: Friday, 20 July 2007, 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK
Kenya 'loo' film gets global deal
By Kevin Mwachiro
BBC News, Nairobi

Scene from the film Malooned
The characters explore their stereotypes while locked in a loo
A Kenyan film about two people stuck in a toilet has secured a deal for international release.

The film, Malooned, is a romantic drama about two people from different tribes who have to resolve their prejudices when they become locked in a washroom.

The title is a play on the word marooned, with "loo" inserted to highlight the film's main location.

The deal for international release was secured after the film won two awards at the Zanzibar film festival.

Producer Bob Nyanja says he was inspired by a true story about a university professor who was locked in a toilet for several hours.

The film was produced for less than a third of the $2.5m deal signed with Pretty Pictures International.

Let's get out of our prejudiced toilets and work as a nation
Bob Nyanja
Malooned producer

"This is a fantastic opportunity through Pretty Pictures International to showcase what Kenyans with limited resources can do," Mr Nyanja said.

The producer says that to surmount the challenges of logistics and limited budgets, Kenyan film makers have to be more creative in seeking out fresh ideas and talent.

Ethnic politics

In the film, a married man and a young woman are locked in a toilet. They develop a relationship through their enforced enclosure.

"People always love to watch movies about love stories and I used this inclination to set my film," Mr Nyanja explained.

Scene from the film Malooned
The film's producer aims to break down deeply-held prejudices
Malooned highlights the prejudices and stereotypes that exist between different ethnic groups in Kenya.

The prejudices depicted in the movie also touch on the ethnic nature of Kenyan politics.

Mr Nyanja hopes that the movie will foster a spirit of reconciliation among Kenyans.

"Let's get out of our prejudiced toilets and work as a nation," he says.

"By talking, we will discover we like one another even more than we know."

Funding and distribution are some of the major challenges facing the country's fledgling movie industry.

The producers are hoping that by making the Malooned available in all major film outlets and supermarkets, that they will overcome the logistics of distribution.


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