Kenyan film ‘Softie’ has been nominated for the 2021 Peabody Awards in another cheer for the 2020 hit documentary.
The Peabody Awards Board of Jurors based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia announced its 60 nominees representing “the most compelling and empowering stories released in broadcasting and streaming media” in 2020.
From more than 1,300 submissions for the prestigious award, only 60 stories were selected and ‘Softie’ made the cut.
When the news of the nomination broke, ‘Softie’ director Sam Soko was ecstatic, writing on Facebook: “I am so proud of our fantastic Softie the film team... Mad love to the crew, incredible supporters, and Boniface and Njeri Mwangi (the subjects of the film). Thank you! Congratulations to the other amazing nominees.”
The Peabody Awards honour excellence in storytelling that reflects the social issues and the emerging voices.
“It is really exciting to be nominated because it means this is an African story that has reached a global audience. A good story has no colour or race. We are honoured to be among other honourable nominees and we hope to win,” said Boniface Mwangi.
Speaking to The Standard last year as the film won accolade after accolade, Soko said the hit documentary started as a simple idea.
“When we stared it was not meant to be a documentary. We were just filming the process of the protests he was leading in 2013. It was sort of supposed to be a how-to-guide. Like an activism manual. Something short that could go on Youtube and that would be it,” he said.
“But as time went on we realised it was very interesting to see what happens behind the scenes when Boni does something. Yes, he is an activist, but he is also a father and a husband and there are demands made of him for those roles. We never actually get to see the consequences. When he and his family get death threats, that this is what it actually means."
The Peabody Board of Jurors announced this year’s crop of nominees on May 4, listing ‘Softie’ alongside ‘Athlete A’ and ‘Disclosure’ among 16 others in the documentaries segment.
HBO’s 'I May Destroy You', Amazon Studios’ 'Small Axe', and Showtime’s 'The Good Lord Bird' also received recognition from Peabody, as did CBS’ 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert'.
Peabody Awards winners will be announced in June and the organisation plans to honor this year’s nominees, as it did last year, via a virtual event.
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