March 6, 2017


ACPCultures + had the chance to discuss with Ng'endo Mukii, project manager of "Nairobi Berries", a virtual reality movie

What’s your background?

I’m a documentary animator. I also do printmaking and I’m a photography artist, currently based in Nairobi.

Why are you here in Berlin?

I’m here to show my film Nairobi Berries, which is a virtual reality film which I’ve been working on lately. It’s an experimental piece exploring my different emotions about living in Nairobi. It gathers the beautiful, amazing things that make me flourish as an artist, versus the darkest side of the city which is always present.

Which have been your motivations and driving forces? Why did you do this film?

I wanted to create something which could be a magical experience for the audience. And I thought it would be great to explore my city in a more emotional, emotive and psychological way, rather than what people usually feel when they think of Nairobi, or other African locations, usually related the physical part of the cities, its poverty and harshness. I wanted to reach a really different approach.

What are in your opinion the differences between linear storytelling and virtual reality?

It’s a really different experience, but you can still have a linear storytelling within virtual reality, but then your experience will be completely different, because you’re submerged into the space, and you don’t have one single perspective, but many, you see many things happening around you and you become part of the story itself.

How was your experience working with Electric South?

They’ve been very supportive. We’ve had so many struggles while making these films. They were always on call, holding Skype meetings, answering emails, so we could dialogue and discuss the issues that we were facing and how to overcome them. Without their support I think none of us would have considered making a virtual reality film, at least this year, and some people of the team not even in their entire life.

How do you feel commercial issues and monetization of this film?

Well, I’ve made films before, I made an animation documentary called Yellow Fever. It ended up being quite successful in terms of festivals, also commercially I was able to sell it in different platforms. Nairobi Berries is a personal and experimental piece, so we will see in time, specially in this new format, how and where it moves. We definitely have a feeling that it has a great -commercial potential, especially once we have passed headsets and that sort of things.

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