By Margaretta wa Gacheru (email@example.com)
On the poster, the brand new film scripted by Charles Chanchori reads ‘Two strangers wake up in the same bed after a drunken one-night stand…’
The line is likely to whet someone’s appetite for more news about this tantalizing tale. It’s might even inspire the public to come to the premiere screening of Pillow Talk on Saturday night at 20th Century’s IMAX on Mama Ngina Street.
Produced and directed by Alice Kombani of Old Gold Productions, this provocative-sounding film is being shown both Saturday and Sunday, February 15th and 16th from 6pm. The red-carpet premiere is Saturday when those who attend will have a chance to meet the actors, screen-writer and producer as well.
But as spicy as the opening epigram may sound, don’t expect to see pornography on the IMAX screen. Pillow Talk stars millennials Muhugu Theuri as Aster, a beautiful super-model and Emmanuel Mugo as Osoro, a war photographer, two people who admittedly met by chance and hardly remember how they landed at Osoro’s flat.
But the story goes places you won’t expect. It’s been written by one of Kenya’s rising stars among screenwriters and novelists. Chanchori’s short stories have also won him a huge fandom on Facebook. For instance, his 8000-word short story, ‘Around Nairobi in One Night’ has acquired such a big following that’s been nicknamed by his Facebook fans ‘Confessions of a Kenyan Uber Driver’.
“I prefer my own title since I don’t need to give a plug to Uber,” says this full-time writer who was actually trained as a lawyer. But law was sort of a stop-gap, he admits. “What I’d always wanted to do was be a writer,” he says.
“It’s already happening,” observes the producer of Pillow Talk, Alice Kombani, who read his script even before she met the man. “I loved it straight away,” says this award-winning Kenyan filmmaker who won ‘Best Short Film’ at the Zanzibar International Film Festival for her 27 minute ‘Angles of my Face’, based on life in an IDP (Internally Displaced People) camp.
“Charles responded to a notice I had put on Facebook offering my film equipment to anyone who had a good script and also needed a producer. He was among the first to respond,” she says.
Explaining how, after she had won at ZIFF, one kind Kenyan woman offered her film equipment to Alice since she saw the younger female filmmaker might find it useful for making her next movie. “I made two short films with her equipment, and then returned it to her with thanks,” Alice says.
“But by then I had equipment of my own, so I decided to do the same sort of favor to someone who might have a similar need to what I had,” she adds.
‘Pillow Talk’ is the script Chanchori sent her, and this is the one that became the one hour and fifteen-minute film that might have special appeal for millennials since that is what the writer was until he turned 30 a few months ago.