Andrew H. Brown - Co-Director & DP
After his time as an enlisted Forward Observer in the US Army, Andrew has spent the last decade working as a humanitarian & filmmaker in sub-Saharan Africa. Most recently, he was the producer (p.g.a.), cinematographer & editor of KIFARU (Audience Award at Full Frame, Grand Jury Winner at Slamdance). As the producer of KIFARU, Andrew secured exclusive access to the story of Sudan - the last northern white rhino male in existence - allowing the crew to capture the story of extinction in real-time for the first time in history. As the editor for KIFARU, he was nominated by Jackson Wild for Best Editing. Prior to that, Andrew spent three years building relationships within northern Kenya’s poaching network, unveiling the intricacies of the illegal ivory trade as the producer of WHEN LAMBS BECOME LIONS (Best Editing, Tribeca Film Festival); a recipient of Sundance’s Documentary Production Grant in 2017. Andrew was also a member of the 2022 Points North Fellowship.
Samuel Ekomol - Producer
Samuel is an activist and studying to be a science teacher based in Kenya. Born and raised in the village where our story unfolds, Samuel prides himself on being a representative voice for the Turkana people and culture. As an advocate, he has worked on various peace building initiatives throughout northern Kenya’s rural communities. As a leader within the student body at Moi University, Samuel partnered with the university to help inform and equip students and their families from pastoral communities on their rights and opportunities available to them in their communities. Samuel currently works as a public school teacher for his rural community.
Moses Thuranira - Co-Director & Producer
Moses is a producer, journalist, activist & art teacher based in northern Kenya. As a journalist and community organizer, Moses has devoted his life to ensuring that the communities in Kenya’s northern region have a voice. Moses is also working to establish northern Kenya’s first art school - where students will be encouraged to become the creators & problem-solvers for Kenya’s tomorrow. Moses is currently a fellow in the Kenya Film Commission residency program for Documentary and Feature Films as well as a member of the 2022 Points North Fellowship.
Making The Film
Between the Rains is a visually-driven story that is told through patient, verité filming over the course of three years. Through unscripted events and unmeasured reactions that unfold on screen in real-time, viewers are offered the opportunity to reflect on universal questions about our common humanity -- How does my culture shape my identity? What is my relationship to nature? What happens to the heart when it is filled with hatred?
Our approach is both cinematic and intimate, conveying the humanity of our subjects, while also capturing the scope and scale of the decisions they make. To achieve this level of unprecedented access into the Turkana community and to ensure that we had the right to tell this story, we followed the lead of producers Moses Thuranira and Samuel Ekomol — two emerging Kenyan creatives that have been a part of the community their entire lives. Aiming for the highest measures of collaboration and trust with our subjects rather than just a basic level of consent, we spent years building trust before a camera was ever turned on.
We focus the story on strong characters as they learn from their choices in real-time. Much of Kolei’s character arc will be driven forward as he faces his fears — both literally and metaphorically — allowing viewers to empathize and connect from a deeper, internal place. Relying on unguarded thoughts rather than carefully answered interviews to drive the story, viewers are given a more immersive experience; where they feel the weight of Kolei’s choices and are offered the same sightline.
Furthermore, because our film takes place in the vast northern Kenyan landscape where the land itself has a direct and daily influence in our subjects' stories, it will be a cinematic point of focus.
Because Andrew helped shoot and edit his previous feature film, he was able to shoot with an editor’s eye; following and crafting the story in real time. Filming body language and emotion rather than chasing after leading soundbites, we have crafted a deeply personal story that doesn’t depend on a viewer’s ability or willingness to read subtitles. The majority of the filming is handheld and camera movement is used only to pull viewers closer into the story -- not just for the sake of stylized movement.
Both of our lead producers were born and raised in Isiolo County, Kenya; the location where our story takes place. Samuel (producer) was born and raised in Ngaremara village and currently teaches at the community's only school. Furthermore, he is the oldest son of Veronica and cousin to the protagonist, Kolei. Moses, (co-director, producer) on the other hand, lives 45 minutes away from the village in the neighboring tribal territory. After losing his father to tribal violence, Moses teamed up with Samuel to explore the issues that seemed to be driving the conflict. At that time, they reached out to their friend Andrew (co-director/DP), an American humanitarian and experienced documentary filmmaker that had been living and working in Kenya for the last decade, to see if he would help them tell this story.
Striving to prioritize the health of our partnerships over the 'productivity' of production, we spent the first year of production meeting with each one of the 172 households within the village to share our intent and approach while also opening up a direct line of communication. The purpose in doing this was to not merely settle for the consent from the community's elder leadership circle but to gain collaboration and true blessing from each family.
That being said, this story comes from a very near and dear place to our team. Prioritizing authorship, we have invested in building a strong team that closely reflects the communities and cultures we've filmed. And from that foundation of trust and intentionality, the Ngaremara community has opened their doors for us over the course of five years and given us exclusive access to tell their stories.
Moses Thuranira, Director