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Get Some Money: Tale of Jesus being betrayed in sheng

By Shirley Genga | Tuesday, Feb 21st 2017 at 10:15

When it comes to creating stimulating story lines, local producers never run short of ideas. Take the case of Kati Kati, which made its debut in Kenyan cinemas and has attracted lots of attention.

And if you think Kati Kati was brilliant, then, you need to catch a glimpse of the latest film, Get Some Money.

 The film, which made its debut on February 25, is enjoying rave reviews.

Get Some Money tells the story of Judas Iscariot with an interesting and refreshing way that adds a Kenyan touch to the tale.

It is a Kenyan comedy drama feature film that represents the biblical story of the betrayal of Jesus Christ by one of his disciples (Judas).

The film chronicles the last days of Judas Iscarioti Mikwanja (Collins Ochieng’) in the village of Ghetto Semane.

The faces behind it are Winnie Njoki and Wangui Ngunjiri who is the producer, and L Biko Nyongesa, who is not only the writer, but also the director.

Worth noting, apart from the fact that it is an introspective film that explores our society’s obsession with money and love, according to Njoki, it also seeks to bring to light the plight of suicidal beings in an effort to advocate for world bodies to increase awareness and speak against suicide.

“I do not want to give away too much of the film’s story. It revolves around Judas, who is of marrying age, is under pressure from his family to marry, and leaves the discipleship of an order led by a renegade called Ticha (Stitchy Stitch). Judas’ parents, however, will not allow him to marry the woman of his dreams, Magda (Naomi Mburu) as she is Galilayan, a rival tribe, but Judas will hear none of it.

Being the discipleship’s treasurer, he soon begins embezzling their collective funds and spending to impress Magda, who hasn’t the slightest feelings for Judas.

This forces Judas to consult his close confidant Petero (L Biko Nyongesa), who advises him to sell out Ticha.

The film is narrated in Sheng, which makes it interesting.

When picking the cast for the film, they chose to work with both upcoming actors and also faces from the industry.

“We worked with Babgee (Machachari), Naomi Mburu, Farouk Maina, Emmanuel Okoth and Sharma Akmar from Tahidi High, Helleni Njoki, Maina Ndungu, John Onyango and Peter Kawa who are also familiar faces in other local series,” she says.

“Although it was our first feature film, the whole experience was just amazing. The film was shot in Kajiado County at Kenya Mining Quarries (kmq). We camped there for 15 days with the cast and crew of about 80 people. We had awesome views, the cast and crew was also comprised of amazing people who were very cooperative.”

Interestingly, the choice to use Sheng in the film was inspired by the spirit of patriotism.

“Sheng is Kenyan and the language many Kenyans relate to. We wanted this movie to reach as many people as possible and that’s why we settled for that, plus it’s a comical film and we didn’t want our actors to struggle to bring a joke home.”

The production company behind the film is Legit Films, which was founded by Winnie Njoki and Wangui Ngunjiri in 2014. Legit Films focuses on telling great stories in unique ways and in a variety of genres to make movies that resonate with audiences both domestically and abroad.

Although Get Some Money is their first feature-length film, this is not Legit Films’ first rodeo when it comes to filmmaking.

“This is our fourth film. Our first film was Rolling On, a short film that we did in 2014, and then in 2015, we did Mizizi, a 40-minute film that premiered in October 2015 at The Junction Century Cinemax.

In the same year, we did a short film, Get Some Money , which was a seven-minute film for the Machakos Film Festival, but after it emerged position four and won a Sh100,000, we decided to shoot it as a feature film,” continues Wangui, who is also the film’s producer.

However, she states that making films in Kenya is not easy, with the biggest challenge is lack of financial muscle.

“When making the film, we went to Kajiado with a cast and crew of 80 people who were fully depending on us for food, accommodation, transport etc. Most of the time, we went broke on set and had to call home for help. Our location had poor network, so even getting through to people in Nairobi for help was a great challenge, but we made it.”

The film will premiere in Kenyan cinemas on February 25, 2017 at Century Cinemax, Garden City Mall.

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