This week sees the debut of Kenya’s first Netflix series, “Country Queen.”
The Kenyan drama series backed by the DW Akademie and financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development will launch on the streaming platform on July 15. (BMZ).
Corruption, rural-urban differences, and women’s responsibilities in society are common DW Akademie topics. However, this time the narrative will be shown on a little screen.
Over the last five years, the organization has sponsored a team of outstanding filmmakers as they developed “Country Queen,” the first show of its type on Netflix for Kenya and the surrounding area.
The story centers on Akisa, a lady who left her community to start a new life in Nairobi, far away from her past.
However, when she is driven to return home to see her dying father, she discovers that an unscrupulous mining firm has found gold near the hamlet where she grew up. Trapped between two worlds, she must face her history and choose what is most essential.
“Our nation is at a crucial political, social, and economic transitioning period,” said director Vincent Mbaya. “Country Queen’s plot is contemporary and significant.”
In 2017, at a workshop conducted by Good Karma Fiction and funded by DW Akademie, Kenyan filmmakers conceptualized and started developing the tale. “Country Queen” started to take form as a result of this first encounter. A year later, the BMZ provided funding for the pilot, which was created by Good Karma Fiction.
During pre-production and production, the initiative supported capacity building by conducting training at all levels of filmmaking, including acting, directing, camera, and makeup.
“Thanks to ‘Country Queen,’ the Kenyan television and film industry has much more highly professional participants,” stated producer Ravi Kumar.
More than 160 actors and crew members recorded six episodes for the series’ first season.
The quality of their work on the pilot also piqued the attention of Netflix, who decided to co-produce and distribute the series, achieving the second objective of the project, which was to raise the profile of Kenya’s creative industry.
This is a very innovative strategy for DW Akademie, but it is consistent with the organization’s mission to promote media and media creators in the area.
“We want to promote true African narratives that encourage us to alter our perceptions and think creatively. The African creative industry plays a vital role in advancing freedom of speech on the continent “Natascha Schwanke, Director of Media Development, said.
The 15th of July marks the restricted global release, omitting Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and France. In October, Arte will issue a second version for these nations.
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