This charming children’s film was one of the sleepers of the year. Every Motion Picture Academy member I spoke with who saw it loved it. It’s hard to believe that Supa Modo did not make it to the foreign language shortlist.

Jo, played with amazing energy by Stycie Waweru, is a nine-year-old girl with terminal cancer. She and her friends in the child cancer ward of a hospital are obsessed with super heroes. When Jo’s mother, Kathryn, gets the news that Jo has only two months to live, she takes her home to live out her days with her mother and Jo’s older sister, Mwix. Kathryn wants Jo to stay indoors and rest while she goes to work. Mwix has other ideas. Engaging the entire village (except her mother), she creates an imaginary reality in which Jo uses her super powers to win a football (soccer) match and catch a thief. When Kathryn finds out, she’s furious. But it turns out that Jo is more aware of what’s going on than the others realize.

However, Jo’s days as a super hero are not over. Mwix and local cinema enthusiast Mike, with limited resources, produce a film with Jo as the super hero star.

It’s not easy to make an entertaining film about a child dying of cancer, but director Likarion Wainaina and a team of screenwriters have succeeded.