Kenya / United States 2022, 78 min, English and Swahili, Hebrew & English subtitles

Giving money away is not a simple task, and neither is receiving it. The people of GiveDirectly learned this hard lesson when they decided to offer financial support to the world’s poorest populations, including the people of Kogutu, a village in Kenya. The experiment—though founder Michael Faye insists that it is nothing of the sort—is supposed to go on for 12 years, and those behind it envision the villagers investing, developing, creating, or, in short, completely changing their lives. The reality, however, is not as glamorous as all that. The giveaways are met with suspicion—what do these generous whites expect in return? Do they have malicious intentions? Jealousy also abounds, especially among those not eligible for the grant due to various bureaucratic reasons. The influx of money stirs up a storm in the village, and the repercussions reach far and wide.

Previous Festivals: TIFF, IDFA, CPH:DOX

Official Website

Sam Soko is an award-winning director, producer, and editor based in Nairobi. He is co-founder of the production company LBx Africa. He made his feature directorial debut with the documentary Softie (2020). Free Money (2022) is his latest film.

Lauren DeFilippo is a filmmaker who produced the feature documentary Ailey (2021). Her directing credits include the documentary feature Red Heaven (2020) and the short Clean Hands (2017). Free Money (2022) is her latest film.

Production: Stephen Ives, Bramwel Iro, Christopher Buck, Tess Cohen, Jordan Fudge, Jeremy Allen, Amanda Pollak
Production Company: Insignia Films, LBX Africa, Retro Report Films, New Slate Ventures
Editing: Ryan Mullins, Raul Santos, Mila Aung-Thwin
Cinematography: Vanessa Carr, Nyasha Kadandara, Wambui 'Bo' Muigai
Research: Eric G. Cotton, E. Sophia Dwyer
Sound Design: Edward Ahenda
Music: Eduardo Aram

Source: Dogwoof