Experiencing Interruptions?

Joy's Garden

Edwin is no one's ideal Dad. Can he step up when his estranged daughter Joy needs a home?

  • Ngwatilo Mawiyoo
  • Ngwatilo Mawiyoo
  • Mungai Kiroga
    Something Necessary
  • Hawa Essuman
    Soul Boy, Silas
  • Firul Maithya
  • Ngwatilo Mawiyoo
  • Melvin Alusa
    Key Cast
    Lusala, The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind, The First Grader, Unseen Unsung Unforgotten, Weakness, Adisa, Subira
  • Torah Nato
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Family
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 29 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 8, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    2,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Swahili
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Zanzibar International Film Festival
    Tanzania, United Republic of
    July 23, 2021
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Almagro International Film Festival
    August 1, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Washington West Film Festival
    Washington, DC
    United States
    October 21, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Cucalorus Film Festival
    Wilmington, NC
    United States
    November 11, 2021
    Official Selection
  • VGIK International Students Festival
    Russian Federation
    November 18, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Amity Short Film Festival
    December 4, 2021
  • Pan African Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    April 25, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Seattle Black Film Festival
    United States
    May 1, 2022
  • Women of African Descent Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    June 11, 2022
  • Love Your Shorts Film Festival
    United States
  • Afrika Film Festival Köln
    September 16, 2022
  • Silicon Valley African Film Festival
    San Jose
    United States
    October 15, 2022
  • Manyatta Screenings

    October 28, 2022
Director Biography - Ngwatilo Mawiyoo

Ngwatilo Mawiyoo received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She makes her debut as a writer/director and producer with her short film, JOY'S GARDEN, for which she received a Docubox (East Africa Film Fund) grant.

Ngwatilo is the author of two poetry collections, BLUE MOTHERTONGUE and DAGORETTI CORNER. As an actor, Ngwatilo has played leading and supporting roles in several drama series for mainstream broadcasters in Kenya and MNET South Africa, including THE AGENCY, MNET’s first ever original hour-long Kenyan drama series, written and directed by Ekwa Msangi. She went on to star in Msangi’s short SOKO SONKO and Amar Tei Amar’s ARC.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Absent or largely unavailable fathers have become a common occurrence in my communities. Mothers have had to fill the gap and many endure, which offers some, if limited, comfort. But mothers still worry if and how their children would survive their absence should the worst happen.

JOY'S GARDEN attempts to bring to life a moment where an absent father encounters himself as his child's last hope. I needed to realize how he might step up. JOY'S GARDEN is at its heart a hopeful story: about how a child might survive their mother’s death, how a maladapted man could learn to listen and understand what his child needs.

While it could happen anywhere, I was interested in setting this story in the housing developments that many middle-class families in Nairobi live in today: concrete boxes not well suited to fostering children's play, let alone their connections to the natural world.