When a dangerous water-weed threatens to take over his lake and livelihood, a fisherman in rural Kenya enlists the help of his granddaughter to fight back using glowing, genetically modified fish. As strange lights appear in the lake, chaos erupts in the village.
Elizabeth Charles (Kenya)
When forced to live lives plagued by scarcity, we hold on to whatever promises security and hope. These then become anchors from which we tether our identity and draw inordinate amounts of self-worth. What happens when these things are threatened? Or worse, stolen by people and systems that ought to protect us? What do we do with that betrayal? What lengths would we go to get those things back? These are the questions that brought me to this story.
Neon Tilapia is a portrait of a place and people I know, told through the prism of a relationship between Giddie and his granddaughter, Zeddy. Both of them are losing the anchors to their identities and self-worth: For Giddie, his anchor is a trade that feeds those he loves. For Zeddy, it’s an education that promised a way out of poverty. In telling their story, I hope to speak to a larger one, of thousands like them in my home.
Tony Koros is a New York based Kenyan screenwriter, director and producer. He is a recipient of the 2020 Tribeca Film Institute Sloan Grant, the Martin E. Segal Production Grant and the 2019 HFPA grant. His latest short film, Tithes & Offerings premiered in competition at Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival 2019 and has since been acquired for distribution by CANAL+. His previous films have screened at over seventy international film festivals including Palm Springs where he won the Alexis Prize in 2017, Clermont-Ferrand 2018, FESPACO 2017. He holds an MFA in Filmmaking from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Elizabeth Charles has over a decade of experience in media across the Caribbean and United States. She is a graduate of MBA/MFA program at NYU Stern School of Business and the Tisch School of the Arts. As an Independent Producer, Elizabeth’s films have accrued millions of views and received awards from film festivals including the Best Emerging Filmmaker Awards at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in both 2017 and 2018, and Official Selections in festivals like Clermont- Ferrand International Short Film Festival, ITV Fest and FESPACO. Elizabeth is a 2020 Sundance Creative Producing Fellow and Mark Silverman Honoree.
December 2021, Kisumu, KENYA
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