Film Fridays – Kenyan filmmaker wins case over ban of internationally acclaimed independent film, “Rafiki”

A judge has ordered a temporary lift on the ban of a film featuring a love story between two women, allowing its director to submit it for Academy Award consideration.

The ruling will allow Kenyan adults to view Wanuri Kahiu’s internationally acclaimed independent film Rafiki for the first time in the country. The movie, about two young women from opposing political backgrounds who fall in love, was banned by the Kenya Film Classification Board on April 26 for “promoting lesbianism.” Kahiu filed a lawsuit against the board on Sept. 11, claiming that banning the film violated her constitutional right to free speech and free expression as an artist.

Delivering her ruling on Friday, Justice Wilfrida Okwany said, “I am not convinced that Kenya is such a weak society that its moral foundation will be shaken by seeing such a film.”

Okwany added that the artistic theme or practice of homosexuality “did not begin with Rafiki.”

The decision means that Kahiu can now submit Rafiki for Best Foreign Language Film at next year’s Oscars. The film — which has been shown in South Africa, Toronto, and, most notably, the Cannes Film Festival — needs to have been shown in the country where it was produced for seven consecutive days in order to be eligible.


– Excerpt from an article written by Tamerra Griffin for Buzzfeed News. Find the full article here


Disclaimer: Please note that the information contained within this news post and site is offered simply as a consideration to visitors who are in the entertainment industry and are seeking to learn more about various areas of entertainment, be it in film, movies, television, music, digital, new media, film financing, merchandising and/or branding. As such, the information so provided should never be construed as legal advice. If you need further assistance or legal advice for your specific matter, please do not hesitate in contacting an entertainment attorney (film, music, digital, licensing, financing) here in Los Angeles, California at The Hollywood Lawyer by(1) emailing us at; (2) calling us at (323) 300-4184; or (3) filling out our online form.

Related Posts