LEO is a charming and beguiling adult fairy-tale. It’s a story of a boy who thinks he is a superhero, fails to be a superhero and discovers that he is a hero in a different way. It’s a simple story of a child who is opened up to the possibilities of dreaming. The film depicts an insightful, positive view of life in Kenya as seen through the eyes of LEO, who wants to live out his dreams in his homeland. It is a story about a little Maasai boy, raised in a low-income home, achieving his dream against all odds.
Jinna Mutune is a Kenyan film producer and director. Mutune grew up in Nairobi in a middle-class family in Eastland’s Kimathi Estate.
Mutune studied at the South African School of Motion Picture, Medium and Live Performance and also studied film in the United States. After film school in South Africa, she went back to Kenya for a while and then moved to the U.S., living in Boston, Houston and California. Mutune states that she knew she wanted to be a filmmaker at age sixteen and by that time had also been directing plays at church and at her school.
Mutune is the director of Leo, a story told through the eyes of a Maasai boy who wants to live out his dreams. Leo was her first feature film and it was also funded by her own production company, Pegg Entertainment, Cinematography by Abraham Martinez. Leo premiered in Nairobi in April 2011, but only to small venues: the film debuted on the “big screen” in Kenya in November 2012.
The U.S. premiere of Leo was well received by Kenyans and Americans. She appeared on Kenya TV to discuss Leo. Mutune also organized a business deal with the airlines, Kenya Airways and Emirates, to show Leo in flight. She also directed the film, Chep, which was also produced by Pegg Entertainment. Chep, a movie about a female marathon runner, set in 1970s which celebrates women and the men who support them, will be released in 2016. In addition to her feature films, she has also produced the music video for the Kenyan Official Olympic score and worked with Graca Machel on a public service announcement.