Neophobia writer and director Mark Maina holding the 4 awards

The UDADA Film Festival took place over the weekend and closed on Sunday in a Gala night where several films were awarded. One of the biggest winners of the night was the short film Neophobia which scooped not one but four awards at the event which celebrates women filmmakers. The film won awards in the Best Male Director, Best Production Design, Best Sound & Score and Best Short Film categories. 


Written, directed and edited by Mark Maina, Neophobia tells the story of a young woman Fiona Bosibori, played by Joyce Maina, who is obsessed with old routine and an unwillingness to try new things. When she unexpectedly finds an appreciation for a modern hair dryer, she is forced to completely rethink – and overthink – her life. The short film also features popular actor Brian Ogola as Dr. Adam Akunga and radio presenter Cate Sidede as the story narrator (VO).


The awards were received by the film’s D.O.P Marvin Kariuki and Mark Maina. Taking to his social media page to express his excitement, Neophobia writer and director Mark Maina wrote this,
“Winning! My goodness. Neophobia just scooped four awards at the UDADA Film Festival. I’m short of words. Neophobia team, this one’s for you, you are all awesome. I am most humbled.”


Earlier in May this year, Neophobia was screened at the prestigious 70th Cannes Film Festival in France. It was the only African movie chosen for this year’s Cannes festival. The film will be screened at Alliance Francaise on 4th December.

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