YES! Filmmaker(s) Attending for Q & A

Fri Feb 28, 2020 – 7:30 pm | Domenico’s
Sat Feb 29, 2020 – 7:30 pm | Bagels & More


Directed by Philip Knowlton
Documentary Feature
USA | 70 min | 2019

On the coast of Kenya, where people impacted by disability are often shunned and viewed as cursed, three determined teenagers set out to challenge their community’s long-held stigma and climb Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro.

My dear friend and creative partner-in-crime, Jess Weixler, was pregnant with her first child last year. I’d recently become a father myself, and we were both asking ourselves the big questions: “What does it mean to be a parent?” “How will this new responsibility affect us as artists?” “Are we going to make ALL the same mistakes our parents did?” And most significantly… “Are we fuckin’ ready to become adults?”

So we decided to take all this existential exploration and head back to our indie roots to make a movie about it. We assembled a team of rock-star friends and collaborators and shot the film in 8 days (with an 8-month pregnant co-star) on a shoestring budget. The resulting movie is one that we are very proud of — a scrappy, punk rock comedy that serves as both an immediate and true (if somewhat hyperbolized) snapshot of a potent turning point in our lives.

Kupenda Movie Poster | Philip Knowlton, Director

Kupenda - Philip KnowltonPhilip Knowlton

Born and raised in Paris, France, Knowlton became fascinated with the creative world at a young age. Following an internship with hip hop video icon, director Little X, Knowlton landed a once in a lifetime chance to work alongside Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch as an editor at Oscilloscope Films. Since then, he has been refining his unique style as a music video, commercial and film director / editor. Knowlton has directed commercials for Nike, Jetblue and Ford, while his documentary work has won several awards including the Documentary Directing Award at the Amsterdam Film Festival. He is currently based in Atlanta, Ga.

Film Information

Director: Philip Knowlton
Country: USA
Year: 2019
Language: English, Swahili
Runtime: 70 min.
Rated: PG


Producer: Ryan Schwartz, Steven Berger, Joshua Rofe

Connect With This Film

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival