|Premiere of 'Me, My Wife, and Her Guru at Capri 7|
According to Alexandros Konstantaras, the film's inception was completely informal; A group of friends, all filmmakers and enthusiasts, decided to spend an idle day creating a script that they would then produce and film themselves. After a quick exchange of ideas, they settled on a parody of the recent 'Finger of God Church' saga and the tongue in cheek comedy that is 'Me, My Wife, and Her Guru' was born. In the film, Steve (Alexandros Konstantaras) is happily married to Angela (Lizz Njagah), a successful TV presenter whose career is on the rise. Their marriage is on the rocks though as she thinks he's irresponsible and too carefree. A shrewd religious Guru (Ian Mbugua) takes the chance to worm his way into her life and her purse. Throw in a hypnotic flute, a sex(y) tape, a couple of unintelligent(but emotional) kidnappers, anatomically inappropriate yoga sessions, and the preacher's jealous personal assistant(or is it wife?) into the mix and you have the recipe for a good laugh. The cast gave it the kind of performance you get from people who are having fun while doing something they love, comfortable yet serious about the delivery(though Ian Mbugua seemed to enjoy the Yoga scenes more than everyone else). A trailer can be found here if you're curious.
|The Guru conducts a garden yoga session.|
|The Cast pose for a photo.|
|A section of the audience at the Premiere of 'Me, My Wife, and Her Guru.|
The premiere was attended by hundreds including a-list celebrities and judging by audience reaction, the comedy must have hit home just right. For an independent film that was funded out of the pockets of Alexandros and Lizz Njagah, shot within 4 days using borrowed equipment from Vivid Features & JITU Films and post-produced with help from Flick-7 Pictures, the film makes a big statement about the possibilities that lie in the country's film sector if funding would cease to be an obstacle. The response to local productions in film and TV has kept on improving surprising even those responsible for it. As Alexandros says, "The final result is more than we initially thought and the impact even bigger! So although we were planning to sell it straight for TV (and we will still do) we are thinking also to put a small amount of DVDs in the market and see how the sales will go and refill accordingly." Which is good news for all of those who missed the premiere. If the DVD is released, it will be accessible, along with all previous JITU releases, at your nearest supermarket.
By my reckoning, the production and quality of 'Me, My Wife, and Her Guru' and in particular, the response it got is a good sign for the industry. And it's not the only sign I see; all over the country filmmakers are increasingly taking up their cameras and discarding old expectations of production especially where budgets and production requirements are concerned, and telling their stories with whatever resources are at hand. The result is a film and TV sector that is teetering on the brink of something big and interesting; either great success, or great disappointment. As established filmmakers adapt to new ways of film-making and a new generation of talent emerges, I'm hoping for the 'great success' option. Perhaps this new mentality is summed up best by Alexandros who says, "Now we are writing the script for our next comedy related to Kenyan reality again but let me not tell you more yet! But we hope to film it the next couple of months in a similar mentality. Like we said its better to do things yourself than wait for others."