The film ‘18 Hours’ is a Kenyan production that follows a rookie paramedic who spends 18 hours in an ambulance for the life of a road crash victim struggling to be admitted to any hospital. It features Brian Ogola, Nick Ndeda and Sue Wanjiru.
The movie was inspired by a real-life tragedy, where a man bled in an ambulance for 18 hours because Kenyatta National Hospital claimed it did not have an ICU bed.
This happened back in October 2015. At every hospital they went to, they couldn’t be admitted because they didn’t have enough money.
The cast of 18 hours was interviewed by Adelle Onyango and Shaffie Weru on Kiss FM, where the film’s director, Kevin Njue, talked about how he got the idea for the movie.
“So I was at home and I was reading my newspaper. It was on October 5th, 2015, I will never forget that date. And I asked myself, how could such an incident happen in our country? In a country like ours, this not supposed to happen. So I thought, what can I do as a citizen or as a Kenyan to stop this from happening? And that’s when we started playing around with the idea that this can be a powerful film; a film that can entertain but also be used for social change,” he said.
Considering how expensive it is to make a movie, how did they get the finances to go ahead and shoot the movie?
Kevin said, “We have a group of three guys, [me,] Bill Afwani and Phoebe Ruguru. So the three of us form a company called Rocque Pictures. We started looking for finances and started walking to different offices in Nairobi, just telling people this is a story that can have a great impact, and it’s different from what we are used to.
So luckily we had three people living in the UK and one living in Kenya, and they said, we can put this amount of money and see what you guys do with it, and you have to bring the money back once you start releasing the film.
That’s pretty much how the movie was financed. In terms of actors, it was basically through auditions.”