‘Softie’, a documentary by Boniface Mwangi, has been shortlisted in the Best Documentary Feature category. The documentary, that has yet to premiere in Kenya on October 16th,has qualified for consideration for the Oscar Awards shortlist in 2021.

‘Softie’ tells the story of Boniface Mwangi’s life, his wife Njeri and their children, and is among 40 documentaries listed in the category.

The documentary, having won the Best Documentary at the Durban International Film Festival held virtually in September this year, qualified for consideration for the Oscar documentary shortlist for the 93rd Academy Awards Ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

‘Softie’, directed by Sam Soko, first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January this year where it won a special jury prize for editing. It has so far received  many reviews, being lauded for  keenly documenting Kenya’s grapple with tribalism.

The documentary narrates a seven-year journey, moving from a street filled with protests to Boniface Mwangi vying for a parliamentary position in Starehe Constituency. He quickly learns that standing up to established political dynasties endangers not only him, but also his family.

Boniface and Njeri Mwangi (Parents cover shoot) 

At this point, the documentary shifts its focus to one principal question, ‘Is it family or country first?’

‘Softie’ was shot over a period of 5 years, and deeply delves into what it’s really like to be a young activist with a family, how that family dynamic works and where to draw the line between love of family and love of country.

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