Soul Boy

  • Soul Boy
Genre : Fantasy
Type : Fiction
Original title :
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv
Year of production : 2009
Format : Feature
Running time : 120 (in minutes)

A lost father. A dedicated son. A magical journey.

Nairobi, Kenya. 14 year-old Abila lives with his parents in Kibera, one of the largest slums in East Africa. One morning the teenager discovers his father ill and delirious. Someone has stolen his soul, mumbles the father as he sits huddled in a corner. Abila is shocked and confused but wants to help his father and goes in search of a suitable cure.Supported by his friend Shiku who is the same age as him, he learns that his father has gambled his soul away in the company of a spiritual woman.

The teenager doesn't want to believe it and sets about looking for the witch. When he finally discovers her in the darkest corner of the ghetto, she gives him seven challenging tasks to save his father's lost soul. Abila embarks on an adventurous journey which leads him right through the microcosm of his home town.

Soul Boy is an outstanding new feature film that comes out of a Kenyan-German co-production and was shot in Kibera. Soul Boy was filmed by the Kenyan-Ghanaian Hawa Essuman alongside the German director Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, Perfume, The International). The film script was developed by Billy Kahora of Kwani? and Tom Tykwer, transforming the mysteries and myths of this multi-faceted social microcosm into a modern fairytale story. The soundtrack features music by Princess Jully and Mr. Abbas.
Soul Boy will be one of the best films to come out of Kenya. It is the first result of a project by One Fine Day Films, an alternative film production company that follows the non-profit society One Fine Day e.V., the local production company Ginger Ink, the film equipment manufacturer Arri München, the Göteborg International Film Festival and Goethe-Institut Nairobi..
In this project, every year, an experienced filmmaker produces a feature film with a small team of professional crew and a much larger staff of young trainees from East Africa. Professional knowledge and perspectives are shared and acquired during the direct partnership on set. Every department gets one overall responsible person and several trainees that are involved in all creative and organizational steps.

by Hawa Essuman, Kenya/Germany, produced by Tom Tykwer.

RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes

Abila__ Samson Odhiambo
Shiku__ Leila Dayan Opou
Nyawawa__ Krysteen Savane
Macharia__ Frank Kimani
Abi's Father__ Joab Ogolla
Abis's Mother__ Lucy Gachanja
Aunt Susan__ Katherine Damaris
Bojo Kevin__ Onyango Omondi
Kaka Calvin__ Shikuku Odhiambo
Willie__ Nordeen Abdulghani
Claire__ Siobhain "Ginger" Wilson
Brian__ Nick Reding
Amy__ McLean Wilson
Rafael__ Jomo Wilson
Thief__ Godfrey Ojiambo
Angry Man__ Rogers Otieno
Matatu Tout__ John Githui
Mr. Kamangu__ Tony Rimwah
S.A.F.E. Stage Father__ Juma Williams
S.A.F.E. Stage Mother__ Sharleen Njeri
Kama__ Micheal Babu
Kimani__ Peter Paul Njogu
Bibi Okello__ Lydia Makori
Mama Wekesa__ Aida Mulafu
Mama Akinyi__ Rose Adhiambo
Weaver Woman__ Consolata Apondi
Gatekeeper__ Gilbert K. Lukalia
Old Couple - Man__ Jones Onyango Ajwala
Old Couple - Woman__ Clementina Makokha
Auctioneer__ Christopher Abuga
Thug 1__ Douglas Asila
Thug 2__ Alex Jadolo
Dead Man__ Anthony Waweru

Directed by Hawa Essuman
Written by Billy Kahora
Produced by Marie Steinmann; Tom Tykwer
Co-Producers Siobhain "Ginger" Wilson; Guy Wilson; Verena Rahmig; Sarika Hemi Lakhani
Associate Producers Bee Gilbert; Dirk Wilutzky
Director of Photopgraphy Christian Almesberger
Production Designer Naima Mungai
Editor Ng'ehte Gitungo
Sound Mixer Big Willie Kiumi
Original Music by Xaver von Treyer
1st Assistant Director Tony Rimwah
Production Manager Kenya Rebecca Chandler
Production Coordinator Germany Svenja Rieck
Supervising Director Tom Tykwer
Supervising Cinematographer Christian Almesberger
Supervising Editors Sabine Smit; Guy Smit
Sound Supervisor / Re-Recording Mixer Matthias Lempert
Production Coordinator Caroline Ngesa
Production Apprentices Godfrey Ojiambo; Kate Nyaga; Shamim Achieng
AD Apprentice Rita Wachera
Location Manager Peter Gachanja
Set Runner Gideon Muthembwa
Location Scout Tony Rimwah
Location Catering Moniko's
Casting by Bee Gilbert; Anna Nygh; Kevin Otieno
Casting Apprentice Evans Kang'ethe
Casting Camera Abbie Sharp; Kevin Otieno
Production Accountant Godfrey Chege
1st Assistant Camera Rafael Jeneral
D.O.P. Dream Sequence Guy Wilson
D.O.P. Apprentices Stephen Kibunja; Ng'ethe Gitungo
Clapper Loader Bonnie Katei
Camera Apprentice Lawrence Kimani
Camera Making Of Nathan Collett
Gaffer Saul Ogada
Electrician Suleiman Wafula
Key Grip/Crane Operator Peter Juma
Asst. Grip/Asst. Crane Operator Michael Chege
Sound Apprentices George Adede; George Kaigwa
Editing Services Stefan Gollhardt
Editing Technical Consultants Étienne Boussac; Sebastian Bonde
Art Director Apprentices Stephen Oloo Atengo; Jonah Ng'ang'a; Eugene Oyoo
Stunt Coordinator Charles Kimbero
Stunt Performer Patrick Owour
Stills Photography Mwangi Kirubi
Billboard VFX Photography Daniela Müller-Brunke
Transport Captain Tony Lidonde
Production Drivers Fred Ambia; George Paul Kimani; Bakari Hamisi; Joseph Githua ; John Kimani Kariuki
Editing Facilities Ginger Ink Films (Kenya)
Sound Facility sehohrkester
Foley Stage Tonstudio Hanse Warns
Sound Mix ARRI Film & TV Services; Henry Mayr
Sound Editing Matthias Lempert
Foley Artist Carsten Richter
Foley Mixer Hanse Warns
Sound Engineer Thomas Orthofer
Visual Effects & Digital Intermediate by ARRI Film & TV Services
Head of VFX Dominik Trimborn
VFX Producer Nina Knott
Senior Compositing Artist Chris Wieser
Compositing Artist Tobias Wiesner
Title Design and Animation Lutz Lemke
Head of Digital Intermediate Hari Schernthaner
Branch Manager Berlin Mandy Rahn
Inhouse Producer Berlin Andreas Reuber
Digital Intermediate Producers Andreas Mummert; Kenneth Stiller
Lead Digital Colorist Bianca Stumpf
Technical Projector Coordinator Kathi Klippe
Digital I/O Supvervisors Christopher Chaber; Jens Vormann; Arne Hastedt
Project Coordinator Dailies Daniel Schwertfeger
Dailies Colorist Natalie Helgath
Camera Equipment ARRI RENTAL, Berlin; Ute Baron, Stefan Düll, Christoph Hoffsten
Grip Equipment Kenya Grip Company Ltd.
Lighting Equipment Sparks Lighting Company Ltd.
Sound Equipment Arno's Filmton - Arno Wilms; Kortwich Film-Ton-Technik
Film Stock Fuji Kine Film
Insurance AON Jauch & Hübener GmbH; Kiki Kasartziadou
Travel Agent Kenya Let's Go Travel
Travel Agent Germany Televisa
Poster Artwork omstudios Berlin; Jeremias Steinmann
All music performed, recorded and produced by Xaver von Treyer at Supersoul Studios, Berlin-Mitte
Published by Universal Music Publishing GmbH
Additional Hang Drum Performance Manu Delago
Additional Cello Performance Arthur Hornig
Additional Music Editing Patrick Petzold; Serge Garcia
Performed by Gebrüder Teichmann
feat. Lon'Jon, Mr. Abbas, Kimya
Music written by Hannes & Andi Teichmann
Words written by Lon'Jon, Abbas, Kimya
Produced by Gebrüder Teichmann for NRBLN
Recorded in Nairobi and Berlin
Published by Copyright Control
Performed by Princess Jully & The Jolly Boys Band
Written by Princess Jully
Marketed and Distributed by Princess Jully Productions
Published by Copyright Control

The Producers wish to thank:
The people of Kibera; The department of Film Sevices Kenya; ARRI Film & TV Services; FUJI Kine Film - Colin Ullmann; Kenya Grip Company Ltd.; Sparks Lighting Company Ltd.; Goethe-Institut Kenya - Johannes Hossfeld & Barbara Reich & Eliphas Nyamogo; Göteborg International Film Festival - Asa Bernlo; Hubert Bals Fund - Iwana Chronis & Janneke Langelaan; German Embassy Nairobi - Karl Heinz Blinninger; The Hot Sun Foundation - Nathan Collett; ExperCo Consulting GmbH - Franz Fuchs; Ludwig Kameraverleih Berlin
Just Publicity - Regine Baschny; The S.A.F.E. Ghetto Theatre Company - Nick Reding; Franz Kraus; Sepp Reidinger; Wendy & Rob Andrew; Chris Evert; Sonja Heinen; Robert Kirsch ; Manisha Lakhani; Katja Lebedjewa; David Muriithi; Anna Trzebinski; Frank Tschörtner; Mathilde Bonnefoy; Emma Frost; Ned Birkin;Joni Hurst; Billy Scherer; Anna Nygh ; Everyone at Anno's Africa;

With the kind support of
Goethe-Institut Kenya; Hubert Bals Fund;
Göteborg International Film Festival


Eines Morgens ist Abilas Vater nicht mehr derselbe. "Sie haben mir die Seele weggenommen", sagt er und bleibt matt liegen. Beunruhigt läuft der Junge zur Mutter, doch die winkt ab - zu gerne trinkt der Vater zu viel Alkohol und redet dann wirres Zeug. Eigentlich glaubt auch Abila nicht an die alten Mythen seines Volkes, aber was ist, wenn der Vater diesmal recht hat? Was ist, wenn seine Seele tatsächlich gestohlen wurde? Mit Hilfe seiner Freundin Shiku beginnt er in den verwinkelten Gassen des Kibera - Slums nach der Wahrheit zu forschen. Ihre Suche führt sie in die Hütte einer mysteriösen Geisterfrau, der Nyawawa. Sie stellt Abila sieben rätselhafte Aufgaben. Wenn er diese alle löst, könne er die Seele des Vaters retten. Dank der Hilfe Shikus und mit Mut, Verstand und ein bisschen Glück, schafft es Abila schließlich die ersten sechs Aufgaben zu meistern.

Abila... Samson Odhiambo
Shiku... Leila Dayan Opollo
Geisterfrau Nyawawa... Krysteen Savane
Macharia... Frank Kimani
Abilas Vater... Joab Ogolla
Abilas Mutter... Lucy Gachanja
Abilas Tante Susan... Katherine Damaris
Bojo... Kevin Onyango Omondi
Kaka... Calvin Shikuku Odhiambo
Willie... Nordeen Abdulghani

Regie: Hawa Essuman
Regie Supervisor: Tom Tykwer
Buch: Billy Kahora
Produzent: Marie Steinmann & Tom Tykwer, One Fine Day Films
Ko-Produktion: Ginger Inc.
Kamera: Christian Almesberger
Production Design: Uli Hanisch
Schnitt: Ng'ehte Gitungo
Schnitt Supervisor: Sabine Smit & Guy Smit
Originalton: Big Willie Kiumi
Sound Supervisor / Mischtonmeister: Matthias Lempert
Originalmusik: Xaver von Treyer


De veertienjarige Abila woont in een van de ellendigste krottenwijken van Afrika. Zijn vriendinnetje Shiku behoort tot een andere stam, waardoor hij eigenlijk niet met haar om mag gaan. En dan heeft zijn vader in een dronken nacht ook nog zijn ziel vergokt. Met steun van Tom Tykwer maakte de jonge Keniaanse cineaste Hawa Essuman er een fonkelende film van.

Regie: Hawa Essuman (Kenia/Duitsland, 2010)

DVD (Tiger Release, Rotterdam)
Ondertiteling: EN/NL
Prijs: €14,95


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