Free Money

A fascinating case study of life in a Kenyan village-turned-petri-dish from the perspective ofthose living out the revolutionary idea of universal basic income.


DocAviv Film Festival (2023) – Nominated: Beyond the Screen Competition

Docville (2023) – Nominated: Jury Award: Best Topics Documentary

Munich International Documentary Festival (DOK.fest) (2023) – Nominated: Viktor Award: DOK.horizons

SA Premiere
Screenings – CT
Lab1Fri 23 June 8.45pm
Screenings – JHB
ZoneNouv 12Sat 1 July 5pm


Lauren DeFilippo & Sam Soko


Kenya | USA



Running Time:

77 min


English, Swahili

Free Money explores the impact of providing a modest basic income grant to villagers in rural Kenya, part of an economic experiment facilitated by the organisation Give Direct, which asks the simple question of what happens when we give money directly to people in need, rather than to charities that often provide services of questionable value and which usually take a large percentage of donations to cover their running costs. One of many experiments with universal basic income grants currently taking place around the world, the impact seems to be largely positive, but it’s more complex than that, as this film shows, especially for those who don’t qualify to receive the income. More than a mere document of a social experiment, Free Money is a rich human story that reflects the role that money and wealth plays in all our lives.

Previous Festivals

CPH:DOX (2023)

FIPADOC Festival (2023)

IDFA (2022)

Toronto International Film Festival (2022)