category Focus: Africa


English, Swahili


Romanian, English


Beach Boy


19 March, 16:00, Cinema Elvire Popesco

(screened alongside A Goat for a Vote)

20 March, 20:00, Cinema Studio

(screened alongside A Goat for a Vote)


Juma is a “beach boy”: he is one of the many young men lining the beaches of Kenyan resorts offering companionship and sexual services to European women vacationers. Like so many others, Juma just wants a better life for himself and for his girlfriend, who is herself working away from home. A brief relationship with Lynn, a middle-aged tourist from the UK, seems to fit in with his plans. This Kenyan story offers an interesting reversal on the idea of sexual tourism, which is usually associated with European men. Neither entirely material, nor solely romantic, the transactions made on these resort beaches are in fact based wholly on power – economic, political, and historic. But the director treats this brief post-colonial romance with a light, sympathetic touch that is careful never to tip the loyalties of the viewer one way or another. What results is a more human and at the same time more political statement than Ulrich Seidl’s film on the same issue, Paradise: Love.


This deceptively simple short documentary speaks volumes about the relationship between the global South and North through the non-judgmental, unsparing, yet simultaneously intimate camerawork, and through its even-keeled relationship to its two protagonists.


2014 - St. Petersburg Message to Man Film Festival, Russia, Centaur Award

2014 - Tampere International Short Film Festival, Finland, Best International Documentary

2014 - DokuFest, Kosovo

2014 - HotDocs, Canada, Best Short Documentary Honorable Mention

2014 - Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival, Greece, Audience Award (International, Under 45 Minutes Long)

2014 - ZagrebDOX, Croatia

2013 - CPH:DOX, Denmark

2013 - Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Czech Republic, Best Documentary Film (Under 30 Minutes Long)