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'Mono': Film depicting Form One life to premier at Anga Cinemax

 A film dubbed 'Mono' depicting the first year of highschool life will premier today at Anga Cinemax. [Courtesy]

A new Kenyan film depicting the life of a first-year high school student is set to premiere today at Anga Diamond Plaza.

Dubbed ‘Mono’ the film’s release coincides with the selection and admission of the last crop of Form One students as the curtain closes on four decades of the 8-4-4 education system.

A statement to newsrooms said the film’s narrative echoes societal challenges depicted in a recent parliamentary report outlining root causes of indiscipline in secondary schools, encompassing issues of communication gaps, academic pressure, and deficiencies in school management.

‘Mono’ seeks to amplify crucial societal discussions while showcasing the rich storytelling prowess of Kenya's burgeoning film industry.

This year marked the last Kenya Certificate of Primary-KCPE examination as the 8-4-4 is phased out with the Competency-Based Curriculum-CBC.

Created by Cheese Pictures Limited, the cinematic film is a 90-minute deep dive into the life of young students as they join a Kenyan boarding high school.

The story full of nostalgia for those who experienced the country’s boarding schools, sheds light on the orchestrated misfortunes that befall the first formers.

In the statement, Joyce Wamwira Musoke, Director of Cheese Pictures, highlighted the film's theme's relevance which was initially inspired by growing concerns about school unrest in Kenya.

Cheese Pictures Limited was among 14 local production houses to receive a filmmaking grant from the Kenya Film Commission, underscoring the burgeoning growth and support for the Kenyan film industry.

“While this film was intended to depict daily life in a Kenyan high school, it is now likely to become one of the few nostalgic movies for people who lived through those moments,” she said.

According to Musoke, the film showcases young Oliver Samaja's arrival at the prestigious Francis Morris Morton Mission High School (Framomo) to join Form One.

It unveils the challenges faced by the new students, confronting deep-seated traditions and institutional issues prevalent in the school system.

Musoke’s sentiments are echoed by Director of Photography, Chris Rohio who said the work captures a compelling narrative, portraying the struggles of the students against systemic challenges, aiming to reclaim their dignity and challenge archaic traditions.

Roger Lulu, Ahsante Ng’ang’a and Josh Muli, with veterans like Zainabu Harri, Andrew Muthure, Nyokabi Macharia, Steve Katingima and David Opondoe are among the cast delivering powerful performances that resonate with the film's poignant themes.

After its premiere at Anga Diamond Plaza, ‘Mono’ will continue to screen across various venues during December, with admission details and screening schedules to be communicated.

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