Free Money
Free Money
Free Money
Free Money

Free Money

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    • Directed by: Lauren DeFilippo, Sam Soko
    • Released: 2024 (educational)
    • Year of Production: 2022
Running Time: 74 min
Language: English,
Subtitle Options: English Closed Captions
Subjects: Economic Studies, African Studies
      
        

When universal basic income (UBI) comes to the Kenyan village of Kogutu, lives are foreverchanged. GiveDirectly, one of the fastest growing nonprofits of the 21st century, is sending freemoney for twelve years as part of the world’s largest UBI experiment. Filmmakers LaurenDeFilippo and Sam Soko juxtapose the story of these young economists, bankrolled by SiliconValley and convinced that they have found an infallible algorithm to end world poverty, withportraits of local Kenyans whose lives are being dramatically impacted for better and for worse.           

Official Selection at 2022 Toronto International Film Festival and 2022 IDFA
      
" The camera captures weaver birds building their spherical hanging nests as they’ve always done; for people living in a world defined by capital, there is no such natural order of things. But somewhere between instinct and economic theory, GiveDirectly and other UBI proposals aim to break the charity mold and offer solutions that solve poverty. Free Money is alert to the pitfalls but also asks how such help isn’t worth a try." - The Hollywood Reporter
     
About the filmmaker 

 Sam Soko is a documentary filmmaker based in Nairobi, Kenya. With his captivating approach to socio-political storytelling, he has developed content and collaborated with firebrand artists worldwide. His first feature documentary project, Softie, a story about balancing the deep love of country with the family’s needs, premiered at the 2020 Sundance film festival, winning a special jury prize for editing. Soko has gone on to receive Emmy, Peabody, and PGA nominations for his work. He is an outspoken defender of freedom of expression and has taken part in global conversations on making media matter when the world is on fire. Soko is also co-founder of LBxAfrica, a Kenyan production company that works with local and international filmmakers to bring uniquely African perspectives to global audiences.   

 

Lauren DeFilippo is a documentary filmmaker and partner at Insignia Films based in New YorkCity. She most recently produced Ailey (Sundance 2021). The acclaimed feature documentary was released in theaters nationwide by NEON, broadcast on PBS’s American Masters and is now streaming on HULU. Lauren’s directorial debut Red Heaven (SXSW 2020) follows a NASA psychological experiment to prepare for the first manned trip to Mars and asks, what are our basic needs as humans? Her short documentaries, most notably Clean Hands, have been recognized at festivals internationally and have appeared on The New York Times Op-Docs series. Lauren holds an MFA in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University. In 2021, she was included on DOC NYC and HBO’s annual list of “40 Under 40” documentary filmmakers to watch.

 

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