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10 Interesting Facts about The Movie “18 Hours”

The Movie “18 Hours” won the ‘Best overall movie’ at the just concluded African Magic Viewers Choice Award (AMVCA) 2018 on the 1/September. The AMVCA is the top movie award show in the continent. It could be said to be African’s own OSCAR. The award show is biggest Movie Award show in Africa and it show case movie from all over the continent.



The movie is a fictional movie was  written and directed by Kevin Njue and this was his debut. 18 Hours took took home the best award for the night and many people never saw it coming. The Kenyan movie also won “best movie East Africa” and “Best Picture Editor” went to one of the 18 Hour crew member , Mark Maina . The movie was released in 2017.

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Lets look  in to 10 interesting facts about the Movie 18 Hours

1. The Movie Loosely based On True Life Events

18 hours movie poster

18 hours movie poster

Back in 2015 the movie director Kevin Njue came across an article in a newspaper. It was a story inspired by a real-life tragedy. In the story a man bled in an ambulance for 18 hours. This was because Kenyatta National Hospital claimed it did not have an ICU bed.

That was when it crossed his mind that the idea can be a powerful film; a film that can entertain but also be used for social change. The real motivation behind the movie was to send a message for societal change in the way that emergencies are  handled.

The movie Producer Phoebe Ruguru who has earlier worked with Kelvin got attached to the idea and script development began.

2. The Plot of the Movie Loosely based on the real-life paramedic

The paramedic here is Brian Odhiambo. In the Movie he is embodied in the character Zach.

Zach works for Raven paramedics services. His job is to handle emergency cases. An emergency call comes in from a witness about an accident that along a Highway. A pedestrian has been involved in a high speed hit and run while on his way home from work.

Assigned head of the rescue, Zach and his driver Mark dash out of their base and in about 20 minutes, they arrive at the scene. The casualty is bleeding from the head and not moving.

Zach and Mark get the casualty into their ambulance and soon after, they are on their way to different hospitals. Joined by Sabina (the casualty victim’s wife), they each take turns watching over the casualty as they ensure he has sufficient oxygen all the time. Zack is determined to keep the accident victim alive, 18 hours after the accident.

The movie gives a positive view  on the healthcare system, and that of a medic who is willing do whatever it takes to save the life of a patient.

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3. First Kenyan Movie to be nominated for the “Best Overall Movie” category At the AMVCA.

18 Hours the movie

Screen Shot from the Movie

Many records  has been set by the Movie ”18 Hours”. It became the first Kenyan Movie to be nominated for the “Best Overall Movie” category At the African Magic Viewers Choice Awards. The movie stood above the rest and won the coveted price among other good contenders like, “Tatu”, “Alter Ego” “The Torture” ” Isoken” “A million baby” “The road to sunrise” “Excess Luggage” .

4. Best movie East Africa

Screen Shot from the Movie

Screen Shot from the Movie

18 Hours also won the “best movie East Africa” category of the African Magic Viewers Choice Awards. The film was nominated for a total of four category and it won three of them. Amazing isn’t it?

5.  Best Picture Editor

The Movie "18 Hours"

It was all round success for 18 Hour movie at the AMVCA. The movie crew member Mark Maina also took home the award for best Best Picture Editor.

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6. First Attempt At Directing a Movie

Njue Kevin , 18 Hour movie director

Njue Kevin

The 18 Hour Movie is a big success. You will be surprised to know that this was his debut film. This was the first big movie for the Director Kevin Njue.

In 2015, Kevin worked on a Kenyan short MovieIntellectual Scum“. 

The film is an adaptation of the controversial article ‘You Lazy (Intellectual) African Scum!’  by Field Ruwe, a USA based Zambian media practitioner. The short film was a huge success in Kenya and the Whole of East Africa.

It has been met with widespread critical acclaim as being one of the most successful short film in the history of Kenya.

7. Two Good Brains are better Than One

The Movie 18 Hours

18 Hour Producer , Phoebe Ruguru with the Award at AMVCA 2018

The saying above is very true of the Director and Producer ( Kevin Njue and Phoebe Ruguru). The two are like a match made in heaven. Every project that they have worked with together has been a resounding success.

Njue’s first ever work was Sticking Ribbons (2013) they whole movie was written from his University dormitory.

The film was a success, as it went on to win the SIGNIS award for best East African talent.

At the 2014 Zanzibar International Film FestivalSticking Ribbons is a story about Kimberley, a former sex addict, who addresses a group of recovering addicts as to why after being released from rehab, she enrolls right back.

Phoebe Ruguru, then a Kenyan filmmaker based in London. She was impressed by Sticking Ribbons, she contacted Njue on Facebook and they teamed up to make the second short film titled Saidia/Help, which was penned by Njue.

The Movie was however directed by Phoebe Ruguru. The most amazing thing is that the whole  movie was shot entirely on an IPhone 4S and edited on the same day, as the filmmakers were in a rush to beat a festival deadline. The film was shot at Kenyatta University grounds and Njue’s dormitory.

The movie won the 2014 Best Young Director award at the Unchosen modern day slavery short film festival in London. That was the beginning of their success story that leads to “18 Hour”.

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8. Young And Up Coming

Kevin Njue and Phoebe Ruguru who both directed and produced “18 hours” respectively and both below 30’s.

Kevin Njue is 26 years old and Phoebe Ruguru is 21 years old. They may be young but whole world is right before them to conquer.

They have produced an two award winning movie together and their collaboration is bound to bring more good news.

9. The Movie is Medically Authentic

18 Hours is  medical thriller, so it had to be true to the medical fraternity. Producer, Phoebe Ruguru was then attached and the script development began with speaking to several doctors and emergency technicians who were fully immersed and involved with the project throughout.

Benjamin W. Wachira

Benjamin W. Wachira
helped made te 18 hour script authentic

One of the Doctors that help authenticate the script is DR. Benjamin W. Wachira who Manages Emergency Medicine Kenya Foundation

10. Sold Out Premier

18 Hour Movie

Screen shots 18 Hour Movie

Even with a small budget on publicity and marketing the , team behind 18 Hours where able to utilized the power of social media. With many Kenyans on Facebook, Instagram and twitter many people catch on on the buzzed.

The film was  positively received in Kenya, Tanzania and the whole of East Africa.

18 Hours opened to theaters across East Africa on 10 November 2017 to a sold out premier. A number of media personalities graced the launch including Kenyan athlete David Rudisha, who was involved in the marketing campaign to advocate for better emergency response in Kenya. Watch 18 Hours Trailer below.

In Africa we need more films like this. Movies should not only be entertaining , it should be used to sent a positive change in the society. 

All African youths aspiring to reach their dreams, should borrow a leaf from the young team behind this movie. 


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