Private Project


AVOICE4PEACE offers a rare glimpse at the vibrant and expressive musical culture of Kenya and illustrates the meaningful contribution of three musicians who are using music - humanity’s universal language - to bring about peace in Kenya and around the world.

  • Bud Simpson
  • U.S. Embassy, Nairobi
  • Music Celebrations International
  • Jefferson M. Braswell
  • American Choral Directors Association
  • Ken Wakia
    Key Cast
  • Kevin Fenton
    Key Cast
  • Maureen Obadha
    Key Cast
  • Ambassador Robert F. Godec
    Key Cast
  • Raouf Mazou
    Key Cast
  • Peter Twycross
    Key Cast
  • Brett Bittner
  • Luka Sharron
    Sound Design
  • Diana Benocilla
    Lead Animator
  • Evie Maina
    Location Managers
  • Josephat King'Ori
    Location Managers
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    44 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 31, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    50,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Super 16mm
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • World Premiere
    April 4, 2017
    World Premiere
  • Madrid International Film Festival
    July 10, 2017
    Nominated: Best Short Documentary, Best Director of a Short Documentary, Scientific & Educational Award
Director Biography - Bud Simpson

Bud Simpson is an international Director/DP known for his short documentaries. AVOICE4PEACE is Bud’s first film and he his thrilled to share it with the international filmmaking community.

From a ripe age, he knew that he was put on this earth to make meaningful films - cultural artifacts - that resound with and captivate audiences. Bud studied history at Florida State University, and became faculty at the university soon after graduating. He now pursues film full-time. His production company is based out of Atlanta, GA, where he lives with his wife, Eva.

His goal for the next year is to produce several short narrative films.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

“We’re on our way now!” I shouted into my cellphone, as our small van raced across a deserted Nairobi thoroughfare; the morning sun just beginning to kiss the sky. Our United Nations commuter plane was just moments from departing on its biweekly flight to
Kakuma Refugee Camp, and my producer and I were going to miss it. We arrived at a small airport to a sea of slowly shaking heads and chiding looks. We were late, and there was seemingly no hope of getting on that plane. But thanks to a heated exchange between Ken and the airport staff, we found ourselves seated at the back of a prop-job, flying high above Kenya, on our way to one of the largest refugee camps in the world.

I realized several days after our visit that our late arrival was analogy for something much more significant. I was not only late to catching my flight to the camp, but I was late to understanding the burdens placed on refugees; late to putting faces to the countless numbers; and I was late to knowing what peace means to a refugee: having a home.

Refugees are the result of violence that is systemic - violence that has become an epidemic - where one’s only recourse is to run from it. We never set out to make a film about refugees. But as we began to explore the causes and side effects of violence around the world, and the ways that music is used to de-escalate it, we naturally found ourselves at Kakuma.

When people ask me what it was like visiting Kakuma, I ask them to imagine the sounds of movement, the sound of color, of dress; I ask them to imagine a place where the cultures of fifteen nationalities converge in a single space: I ask them to imagine a human symphony.

And lastly, I ask them to imagine joy in it’s purest form: joy as a result of just being alive. This surprises most people, as it surprised me when I first visited. How could there be an ounce
of joy in this place? But the young ladies and gentlemen at Kakuma expressed an intrinsic joy that I’ve never known - and it was because they were simply alive, living on this precious Earth.

AVOICE4PEACE is a small window into the lives and music of Kenyans, including the refugees that call Kenya home. I hope that you let this film ‘sink in’, and I hope that it leaves you with renewed sense of humanity, and that it helps you discover - like I did - that it’s never too late to bring a little more peace to this world.