June 14, 2014

Shooting of "My world" short films

Filming in progress
The Hot Sun Foundation Film School trainees' filmings of their eight “My World” short films are over. Here's a rundown on what they've been through so far. 
The trainees started with a scriptwriting class, which was a challenge for everyone. They learned scripting format using celtx, storyboards, treatment, character bible, synopsis and logline.  After feedback from instructors, staff and fellow trainees, everyone had to rewrite their scripts several times. The final step was a script clinic, where Hot Sun Foundation staff worked individually with each trainee, giving them detailed feedback.  
Trainees started with still photographs and went on to video, learning about and practising with a professional camera for the first time. They began to understand that scriptwriting and pre-production take considerable time and lay the foundation for the actual filming of their "My World" -projects.    
Even with careful planning, production is always challenging. Most of the filming was done in Kibera, an urban slum in Nairobi, next to the film school. Weather conditions as well as audio interruptions due to airplanes overhead made for delays. Other challenges were the constant changes of location. On some days there was no time for meal breaks. 
Shooting of "Paparazzi"
Filming gave the trainees the opportunity of working together as a team. “The shooting of the "My World" -project went well thanks to the crew”, noted Mary. Each trainee got the chance to perform different functions, including camera person or director while working on the eight short films. “I got to know my capacity as a director. I felt how a set runs and feels like”, said Nick.
The production situation created pressure on the first-time crew members. “It was hard working on set because people are different and react different to situations and challenges”, said Nick. Mary observed the same, “Lots of misunderstandings can come up during a shooting."
All in all, the filming of their "My World" short films was an amazing first-time experience for the trainees. “My story achieved all that I visualized while writing the script. I got the opportunity to visit different people and places within Nairobi”, commented Oluoch.

Now the trainees are back to the class room and editing begins. After they’ve captured their results they will know if they’ve done a good job in the field.

Director for the day Nick Kinyuru gives instructions

Film crew is done with the shoot and happy

Denis Mwangi Mugwe with the slate

To support the great youth of the Kibera Film School, please visit our Global Giving Page

June 6, 2014

"Something Special" - Workshop at Film Fupi Fest

Director Heinz Hermann’s much anticipated “Something Special: The Art of Short Films"  workshop at Film Fupi Fest on the 31st May at Creatives Garage was as stimulating as we expected.
Heinz, director of Interfilm in Berlin, came prepared to dazzle. He showed and discussed some very interesting short Films; from very Short Short Films (as short as 90 seconds!) to longer Short Films which lasted up to 20 minutes. He showed dramas, documentaries and incredible animations. The films shown varied from surprisingly simple but well executed ideas to rather complex storylines. All films Heinz showed had something very special. He presented moving stories, tear-jerking stories, as well as funny stories. All films were so well executed that they simply took our breath away.
Heinz discussed the concepts and techniques of making short films and the craft and art of good story telling.  Heinz‘s real strength is the way he lets a film speak for itself. In his witty, unassuming way, he gently prepares his audience and then allows them to watch the film and, in the end, to judge the result freely and individually.
This workshop was something special and ended too soon. Those who missed it are advised to look out for Heinz Hermann when he comes back to Nairobi. We hope to have the chance to host him again.
The day before the workshop, Heinz spent time with the Film Fupi Working Team. He gave valuable advice on what makes film festivals successful, based on his experiences with his own festival Interfilm Festival in Berlin. He pointed out that, in order to host a successful festival, it is important to build a solid database of filmmakers and people who attended the festival.  Furthermore,  a successful film festival requires a creative, passionate, and very hard working staff, a good location, great and interesting content, many exciting side programs, sponsorships and connections to the city.

by Pauline Njau, Programs Manager, Hot Sun Foundation 

Pauline Njau during the workshop

Heinz Hermann

Heinz Hermann

Trainees of Hot Sun Film School listen and learn

Visitors at the workshop

Visitors at the workshop

Trainees of Hot Sun Film School at the workshop


To support the great youth of the Kibera Film School, please visit our Global Giving Page

June 3, 2014


The Broadcast Film and Music Africa 2014 exhibition, organized by AITEC at the KICC  in downtown Nairobi, Kenya on Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th, was a great place to be. Hot Sun Foundation had a stand where we met hundreds of people and had conversations about our film training programs, Film Fupi Fest (a collective of upcoming filmmakers) and our Red Epic workshop in June.
There were many outstanding exhibitors of the broadcast and film industry at the exhibition.  We had a very fruitful discussion with Thomas Binsert, Sales Director Africa & Middle East, who donated an ARRI Lighting Kit to Hot Sun Film School last year. We had interesting talks with Delmar Estabillo of United Broadcast & Media Solutions, some representatives from Sony, and  Sriram Bhartatam, Founder and Chief Mentor of Kuza Biashara. We had the chance to meet people during the workshops that were organized according to the exhibition’s theme “AfRIWOOD Rising”.
BFMA is a great place to connect with other filmmakers and practitioners in the broadcast and film sector. During these two days we had the opportunity to present Hot Sun Foundation to a wide variety of people. Our stand was very popular and people responded well.  We answered queries about our training center, our content, the Film Fupi Fest and our workshops.  As the curtain fell on AITEC 2014, we could say, “we were glad we came”.
By Pauline Njau
Programs Manager, Hot Sun Foundation

Pauline Njau and Pamela Collett at the stand

Pauline Njau in contact with a visitor

Pauline Njau and Pamela Collett in discussion with Delmar Estabillo

Roy Paul provides information about Hot Sun Foundation

Pauline Njau talking to visitors

To support the great youth of the Kibera Film School, please visit our Global Giving Page

May 28, 2014

 Profile of Benta Oyugi
Where are you from?
I am from Mathare, Nairobi.
When did you first think of becoming a filmmaker?
When I was in class eight, I used to watch films from Nigeria. I liked these movies a lot and so I became interested in films. In Form One, I joined the Mwelu Foundation after I was introduced by a friend. They do mainly photography work, but also editing, filming and so on. They offer photography workshops during the holidays, too. These workshops run at least for two weeks and I took part in it to learn about photography.
In Form Two, I joined Mathare Youth. They host a festival, the Mathare Youth Film Festival. I’ve been participating in it the past three years. For this festival we were supposed to shoot short films about themes that were given to us. We were groups of six and everyone had his own task. One was the director, one was responsible for the camera and so on. Our films were shown on the last day of the festival during a screening. I enjoyed this very much.
How did you find out about Hot Sun Foundation's Hot Sun Film School?  
Mwelu Foundation was invited by Hot Sun Foundation to the Tropfest Short Film Festival workshop,  so I went with them. At the workshop, I met people from Hot Sun Film School. Furthermore, a friend of mine had done the film training at Hot Sun and is now successful on TV. So I decided to come to Hot Sun Foundation, because I knew it is a very good school and it would give me the chance of gaining a deeper knowledge and developing my skills in all areas that have to do with filming.
What do you like best about Hot Sun Film School?
The trainers are very good and willing to share their knowledge. The facilities and the equipment are good, too. The school has strict rules that everyone has to stick to. If you don’t follow the rules, you go. I like this very much even though it took me a while to adapt. But as I really want to do this training, it is possible and ok for me. And it shows that Hot Sun Film School is serious and professional. All in all, I feel supported to know my potential because the school creates space which enables me to find out about it.
What has been your biggest challenge so far at Hot Sun Film School?
The most challenging was the scriptwriting because I didn’t have any experience and no idea of how this should work. It was a lot of work to rewrite everything all the time. I also had to take a lot of criticism which was hard for me. I had so many ideas, but it was difficult to put these ideas into the form of a script.
What do you think is necessary to keep Hot Sun Film School going?
I think most important is that people stick to the rules and take them seriously.
What do you think the Kenyan film and media industry could do to support young filmmakers?
They could come up with workshops to encourage young filmmakers and to provide them with training and experience. It’s the same with schools – they should go there and encourage the students to become filmmakers because to most people becoming a filmmaker isn't considered to be a good career. Furthermore, they could try to raise funds to support people that want to become filmmakers and who have financial issues.
What would you like to do after you have finished the foundation in filmmaking?
I’d prefer specialising in editing and camera work. And I definitely want to stick to film.
What kind of films would  you like to make? 
I’d like to make short films and fictional dramas.
Why should people support Hot Sun Foundation on Global Giving?
Because Hot Sun helps youth in creativity and film and young people need a chance to bring out their talents.
Why should Kenyan film industry professionals support Hot Sun Foundation?
Because they should support young filmmakers to grow and therefore help the film industry grow.

To support the great youth of the Kibera Film School, please visit our Global Giving Page

May 23, 2014

Videography classes Sony 100p in use

                                          Instructor Wilfred Masea with the Trainees
                                            Sammy Barasa Trainee on Camera
                                            Double O pays attention to the instructor
                                          Slating techninues
                                                         Dennis prepares to slate

To support the great youth of the Kibera Film School, please visit our Global Giving Page

Wazimu Visit to Hot sun

                                               Wazimu sharing with the trainees
                                          Wazimu, the team and Hot sun foundation family
                                          Wazimu and Pamella Collett Director and Trustee
To support the great youth of the Kibera Film School, please visit our Global Giving Page
It's not just a name welcome and learn the art of filmmaking. Our training is hands-on.