Filmmaker Uses Kenyan Pirates to Distribute His Film

Monday, 04 February 2013 12:52 , Written by 

For Drury University Filmmaker in Residence Patrick Mureithi, his message is more important than box-office receipts. When it came time to spread his documentary, Kenya: Until Hope Is Found, throughout his home country in December of 2012, he didn't approach movie theaters. He turned to DVD pirates.

To reach as many people as possible, Mureithi gave the film to street vendors who, since then, have been selling, and in some cases, giving the film away. He receives no royalties from these sales. "My reasoning was that since they have the most efficient distribution system in Kenya, then they would be able to get the film into as many hands as possible," said Mureithi. "As I type, their vendors are selling the film country-wide for less than 80 shillings (approx $1)."

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Mureithi started this project after the 2007/8 post-election violence in Kenya left more than 1,200 people dead and 500,000 displaced in his home country. His goal is to understand how to confront unresolved trauma and heal before the March 2013 elections.

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He has released an early version of the 60-minute documentary in advance of the upcoming elections in an effort to stave off another round of violence. Film critic Roger Ebert called the work "an urgent documentary by a filmmaker I admire."

Mureithi, based in Springfield, Missouri, USA, plans to visit Kenya from February 10th to the 23rd to meet with reporters and promote the film across the country.

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To make a tax-deductible donation to Patrick’s February trip and the continuation of his work, visit

Check out the trailer below.

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