DISCOVERED THE REEL; ANNRITA KIRIAMITI

Published on: May 28, 2019

  1. How did you get into film?

I always knew I wanted to be an actress from a very early age, but I didn’t get to act in my first film until 2013. It was a short film called The Lucky One, in remembrance of the Westgate mall attack.

  1. What difference do you see in yourself from the film time you were on a set to now?

Being on set and taking on a new character has a peculiar way of opening you up and teaching you things about yourself you didn’t know existed. I think that is always the difference for me. When I leave a set I find that I usually have discovered more to me and my nature.

  1. What is your creative process?

I am an emotional person and I believe that if I can feel it, I can express it. So my creative process heavily involves getting in touch with myself and my feelings. When I do that I am then able to write about what is on my mind, and what it is that I really want to convey to the world. This applies to both my writing and my acting. When I get a new character, I like to know what moves them, what is important to them, their perspective on life and how they would react to different situations. This always helps me with getting into my character and taking the character’s life and making it mine. It is one of my favorite things about acting.

  1. What has been your greatest challenge?

My biggest challenge has been constantly believing in my craft. Self-doubt is rampant among creatives, especially when you feel that the work you are putting in isn’t getting seen enough or isn’t good enough. I am learning to trust in my abilities even when there is no one around to affirm it. I have also learnt to keep creating, even when it doesn’t feel good enough, create. That is how we grow in our craft, by doing the thing that needs to get done.

  1. Do you feel like the Kenyan Entertainment Industry is one to sustain a career?

A few years back I might have given a different answer, but in this day and age, I am wildly optimistic that it can be done. With the advent of social media, I feel that if you work smart, you can salvage a lot from your career as a Kenyan entertainer. We are at a point where corporate brands, both local and international, are increasingly looking for artists and personal brands to work with. I think how you market and build your brand as an entertainer in Kenya determines how well you are able to monetize it and make a sustainable career for yourself. But just like any business, you will need a game plan. And that’s where a lot of artists miss out.

  1. What would make the Kenyan industry unique? How do we create our own brand and identity?

Simple, by telling our own stories, in their true authentic form. This is especially a task for the writers and directors. Let us write films that celebrate our uniqueness as Kenyans, let us incorporate the diversity of our culture, our languages, our interactions with each other. They don’t all have to be rosy stories either. We face a lot of hardships as Kenyans too, let us put that in our art. Your story should at least have a reflection of our political climate; what are the strengths and struggles unique to our women, how does society treat our men, who are our legends, who are our gods, our myths? Let us show off our landscape more, Kenya is a beautiful country and there are so many stories we are yet to tell.

  1. What makes you unique?

I would say being the daughter of a reformed bank robber and a former nun gives me quite a unique perspective on the world. My uniqueness is in how I perceive the world and its workings.

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