May 31, 2013

Kevin on left reviewing script of Boomerang with Godfrey Chogo, Assistant Director
Mineral Water and Preproduction

By Kevin Kiarie, trainee at Kibera Film School

Last week at Kibera Film School began on a high note followed by a pin drop silence.  We were scared of the gigantic task before us -- we were beginning to shoot our very first short film projects.

With this in mind and our scripts in our hands, the previous weeks we were busy with our preparations. This stage of filmmaking is called Pre-production.

Pre-production can make you or break you. This is where a filmmaker makes the plans necessary for successful production. It’s a grand scheme made up of a number of details.

Preproduction requires a checklist that contains  every detail about crew, actors, locations, budget, rehearsal, shooting schedule, equipment, props, wardrobe and makeup.

Pre- production includes

1.    Auditioning and casting-Getting the required actors for various roles.
2.    Location scouting- finding the places for your shoot.
3.    Releases:  for the location, for everyone in your film.  Have them signed during preproduction.
4.    Rights acquisition- if you are using music in your production talk to the owner first to get permission to avoid being sued.
5.    Budget- this is an estimate of income and expenditure.
6.    Rehearsals: working with actors is a challenge, especially volunteers. They need time to learn and practice lines.
7.    Shooting schedule: When doing this visualize a shoot, day by day, hour by hour, imagining what everyone is doing at any given time. Detailed thinking works out the daily schedules.
8.    Equipment checking- everything ready for shooting, including cameras, lights, tripod, slate and sound kit . VERY IMPORTANT: Batteries charged, back up batteries available. 
9.    Catering: even for a short, low budget film, actors and crew need water, juice, snacks to be productive, especially on a hot day. 

Wednesday 22 May, 2013  the shoots began on a high note.  I was privileged to be a cast member for my classmates low budget short film. After the first scene I was so thirsty and as if he had read my mind, out of nowhere he offered me water! This impressed me a lot. As we called it a wrap I was so much amazed by how much preparations he had done.

Wish my classmates all the best!
Shooting Boomerang, Kevin on left, Charles with sound, Godfrey with Camera, Josphat, lead actor

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

May 20, 2013

Africalia Supports Art and Culture

               Bjorn Maes (2nd on left) Africalia Program Manager with Hot Sun Foundation staff 

What is the role of art and culture?

 For Africalia, art and culture are essential for all people. Africalia supports and celebrates art in seven African countries: South Africa, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Kenya, DRC, Senegal and Zimbabwe. Africalia is a non profit organisation based in Belgium. (

Hot Sun Foundation has been working in partnership with Africalia since December 2008.  Because of Africalia's long-term commitment, Hot Sun Foundation is on its way to becoming a stable, community based arts organisation, focusing on filmmaking. 

Last week, Hot Sun Foundation was delighted to host a visit by Southern Africa & Kenya Program Manager,  Bjorn Maes.  Bjorn has lived in Zimbabwe and is well acquainted with arts and filmmaking in Africa and Europe.

Bjorn spent a morning with the Hot Sun Foundation staff, reviewing and assessing the progress of the foundation and its three programmes: Kibera Film School, Kibera TV and Hot Sun Productions.

Bjorn participated in an afternoon film screening session with the trainees at Kibera Film School. He reviewed and critiqued their short films.  He emphasised the importance of  great stories and quality production values in every short film. He suggested film festivals to enter and agree to make himself available to assist in film festival submissions.

The Kibera Film School trainees and staff were inspired and encouraged by Bjorn's interest in their work and Africalia's support for Hot Sun Foundation.

                          Bjorn with Kibera Film School trainees, showing off the
                                 backs of their tee shirts with the Africalia logo 

Thank you Bjorn for your visit.  
And thank you Africalia for your guidance and support. 

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

May 17, 2013

Short is sweet

Words of Pamela Collett. 

Maria Kaggai a trainee tries her hand on flip camera.

Are you an independent filmmaker who makes creative short films (1 -15 min) long?
Do you have some short films you want to enter in international film festivals?
Do you have some short films you want to screen in Nairobi?

Joseph Matu,  Kibera film school trainee.

If the answer to ANY of the above is YES, read on.

Have you ever heard of interfilm Berlin?

Initially founded in 1982 as a short film festival, interfilm is an internationally active focal point for short films, including marketing and distribution.
Here's what Heinz Hermanns, CEO of Interfilm Berlin had to say about short films during a recent Friday afternoon visit to Hot Sun Foundation in Kibera, Nairobi.

Audience: with short films it is easier to find audience. There's more of a potential market.  Interfilm shows short films in 20 cities in Germany The other large market: France For the market: shorter films are best: 5 - 15 min.  7 min to show before feature film in cinemas, 90 seconds in subways or other public place. 

Trainees of Kibera film school on location shooting their short films.

In Kenya: Educate your audience: need to develop an audience for short films
Suggest: short film festival or quarterly short films screening. People must spread the word about seeing great short films. 

Any place that people gather, shopping center, medical clinic, railroad station, bus stop, public transport is a potential market for showing short films.  In Berlin Germany and Seoul Korea there are 90 second short films on the subways. 

To be continued.

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

May 16, 2013


                                      Caroline Goodall with Aida Achieng, Kibera Film School Coordinator

It was 11th May 2013 on a Saturday morning. Kibera Film School was a beehive of activities. From trainers, trainees, interns, coordinators and visitors no one dared to be left behind. The excitement in the air however did not surpass my imagination and dire need to see the much anticipated and talked about woman; Caroline Goodall, who was coming that morning.

Born in Britain to Australian parents, Caroline Goodall is internationally known as a leading actress who has starred in some of the biggest blockbusters of the last fifteen years, including Schindler's List (1993), Hook (1991), Cliffhanger (1993), Disclosure (1994), White Squall (1996) and The Princess Diaries (2001), The White queen-TV Series (2013), CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2005).
She is a graduate of Bristol University where she gained a Bachelor of Arts Hons. In Drama and English, and studied alongside other notable screenwriters such as Jeremy Brock (Mrs. Brown). As a writer, in addition to "The Bay of Silence" for Radiant Pictures, credits include screen adaptations of Rupert Thomson's "Dreams Of Leaving" for HKM Films.

Caroline brought us some of her films. The films were really amazing. From her work on acting she advised and said that filmmaking is not about moneymaking but passion is everything. That has been her driving force all along.

“Is that kissing real”? A classmate asked her after watching a scene where Caroline was kissing a man. “ Of course it’s real. As a professional actress everything you do is professional. It’s your job to make a movie appear real," she calmly and jokingly answered. Her seriousness and humor was coupled up by her great personality.  I think that the video of her visit would make a scene in a movie!

“Never ever walk away on set as an actor just because you disagree with a director. Make the director feel that you are not just an actor but also part of the production by telling him on how you feel you can deliver your lines,” she concluded as she offered to buy us lunch and promising to connect Hot Sun Foundation to the outside world after seeing the amazing work done by Kibera TV.

Caroline  was overjoyed and promised to come back again.

Thank you Caroline for a memorable visit.  
We will never forget you!

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.