Two tenacious Kenyan women are transforming a dilapidated, junk-filled library in downtown Nairobi into a hub for the city’s citizens and creatives. But first they must wrangle with local government, raise several million dollars for the rebuild, and confront the ghosts of a problematic colonial history still trapped within the library walls.
About the Filmmakers
Maia is an award-winning Kenyan musician and filmmaker. Her debut feature-documentary The Letter was Kenya’s Official selection to the 93rd Academy Awards, and premiered at IDFA 2019. Currently performing with her band Maia & the Big Sky on international stages, Maia fuses her music with a fascination of people and culture, and has worked as a documentary director, producer, composer & sound recordist. She was named a goodwill ambassador for UNHCR on World Refugee Day, 2013 and has received an African Movie Academy Award for her song ‘Uko Wapi”. Working together with husband Christopher King their films are deeply personal, multi-layered character studies of some incredibly compelling human-beings. 'The Letter' explores the inter-generational conflict currently happening within Maia's homeland, coastal Kenya and has been supported by Sundance Documentary Fund, IDFA Bertha Fund, Hot Docs Blue Ice, Visions Sud Est and Docubox East African Film Fund. Maia also composed a stunning original score for the film, collaborating with Emmy-Award winning composer Ken Myhr.
Christopher King is an award-winning filmmaker based in Nairobi, Kenya. Originally from Australia, he has lived & worked in Kenya since 2007, having founded Circle & Square Productions with his wife Maia Lekow in Nairobi, 2009, and their co-directing debut feature The Letter, was Kenya’s Official selection to the 93rd Academy Awards. A fluent swahili speaker, Chris's 14 years in Kenya working as a freelance cinematographer, editor, director/producer and video artist. saw him awarded an African Movie Academy Award for editing, and has worked within the East African film industry as Christopher’s debut feature documentary, The Letter, co-directed and co-produced with wife Maia Lekow, premiered at IDFA and AFI DOCS after six years of filming, having been supported by Sundance DFP, IDFA Bertha Fund, Hot Docs Blue Ice, Good Pitch Kenya, Docubox East African Documentary Fund, Visions Sud Est, and Chicken & Egg Pictures.