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Tuko Macho

The Nest Collective and Jim ChuchuKenya31 minutes201614AColourSheng English

An ordinary man turns vigilante to take on the rampant crime and corruption in his city of Nairobi, in this interactive web series that rallies the audience to vote on the fate of criminals.

Is there a crime worthy of punishment by death? A new interactive web series will ask you the question directly. Produced by Kenya's The Nest Collective, creators of the 2014 Festival selection Stories of Our Lives, Tuko Macho is a procedural crime thriller that follows the kidnappings carried out by the titular terrorist cell.

Run by a ruthless vigilante named Biko, the Tuko Macho organization snatches up criminals from the streets of Nairobi and puts them on trial before the world's most powerful public court — the internet, whose anonymous viewership decides whether the offender should live or die. Starting with a petty carjacker and proceeding to perpetrators of more ethically complicated crimes, Tuko Macho weaves an intricate web of moral questions that examine current issues in Kenyan society.

Showrunner Jim Chuchu has created a truly interactive episodic experience, a compelling fictional tale that plays with reality-TV tropes in order to lend a platform to opinions unrepresented on the mass market. Each week the viewing public votes alongside the fictional internet audience to determine each criminal's life-or-death fate in the next episode. Tuko Macho's social media also gives viewers voice and provides them with a forum on which to discuss the issues at hand.

At the Festival, we will welcome our cinema audience to take part in that discussion with a live vote that chooses which cut of the subsequent episode will be shown. Can episodic media interact with social change? The choice is yours.

MICHAEL LERMAN

Black + African Diaspora