When universal basic income (UBI) comes to the Kenyan village of Kogutu, lives are forever changed. GiveDirectly, one of the fastest growing nonprofits of the 21st century, is sending free money for twelve years as part of the world’s largest UBI experiment. Filmmakers Lauren DeFilippo and Sam Soko juxtapose the story of these young economists, bankrolled by Silicon Valley and convinced that they have found an infallible algorithm to end world poverty, with portraits of local Kenyans whose lives are being dramatically impacted for better and for worse.
“This gripping, broadly accessible breakdown of a globally resonant subject.”
“Powerful…smart, calmly probing”
“Illuminating…A thoughtful starter for a pressing conversation.”
“A penetrating and absorbing siren of a movie that shouldn’t be ignored.”
“An important document continuing a discussion of how best to globally distribute the wealth of nations.”
Toronto International Film Festival – 2022
Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival – 2022
Lauren DeFilippo is a director, producer and partner at Insignia Films, where she most recently produced Ailey.
Her short documentaries, most notably Clean Hands, have been featured at festivals internationally. Lauren’s work has been supported by Sandbox Films, The Ford Foundation’s JustFilms, the Sundance Institute and Gotham Documentary Lab, and in 2021 she was included on DOC NYC and HBO’s annual list of “40 Under 40” documentary filmmakers to watch.
Sam Soko is an award-winning director, producer, and editor based in Nairobi, Kenya. He is co-founder of LBx Africa, a Kenyan production company that works to bring uniquely African perspectives to global audiences. LBx Africa produced the 2018 Academy Award–nominated short Watu Wote.
His first feature-documentary SOFTIE, a story about balancing the deep love of country with the needs of family, premiered at Sundance 2020, winning a special jury prize for editing. His satirical radio play The New Bwana was produced and broadcast by BBC 4.