June 25, 2013

Short is Sweet Part 3: What film festivals focus on short films?

Short is Sweet part 3:  What film festivals focus on short films? 

Kibera Film School trainees discussing their short documentary project
First:  Ask yourself is your film ready to enter a film festival? 
Is it a great story, well told?
Excellent production quality, including sound?

Note that most film festivals will require subtitles in English if that is not the original language of the film.
BE SURE TO spell check the subtitles.
Remember subtitles are NOT an exact translation but should give the idea of what is being said.

Good idea to do TWO versions of your short film - one with subtitles in English, one without subtitles. 

Be sure to prepare a dialog list in English. 

Although most film festivals have a section for short films and usually it is easier to get a short film into a festival than a feature, not all festivals pay careful attention to short films. 

There are a number of international festivals that focus on the short film.

An excellent resource for short film festivals is http://www.shortfilmdepot.com/
Enter your films easily into the major festivals around the world using one single form:
Create your account
Fill out fill forms (cast & crew, contact details, formats, photo...)
Upload your film on line
Enter your films into the festivals where submissions are currently open
Check-out the progress of your submissions (online entry, validation, selection)

Short Film Depot gives you a list of current short film festivals all over the world. 
You have to choose which ones to enter.

Here are some things to consider:
Check the deadline dates carefully.
Choose international film festivals with no entry fee and preferably with an international competition for awards.
Be sure to notice what are the rules for entering the competitions.

Wikipedia has a long long list of film festivals that accept short films.

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

June 17, 2013


Words of Kevin Kiarie, trainee at Kibera Film School.

We were privileged to have the C.E.O. of Safaricom, Mr. Bob Collymore  visit us on the 7th of June at Hot Sun Foundation.

His coming didn’t come immediately, bearing in mind that he is a very busy man. Josphat Keya, Hot Sun Foundation’s Program Coordinator, followed Bob on twitter.  Then he sent Bob Collymore a tweet requesting him to visit Hot Sun Foundation. Josphat kept following up on twitter.

Josphat's tweets bore fruit as Bob Collymore agreed to come and  share ideas with us. His visit attracted Mr. Ronnie Osumba, also  of Safaricom and Honorable Kenneth Okoth the Kibra Member of Parliament. .

When time came for Bob to give his talk, we were amazed by how direct he is. Bob came from humble beginnings in Guyana, South America. He has worked and lived in many countries including Japan, UK, Germany, South Africa before coming to Kenya.

Bob Collymore is passionate about painting. He says that when you are a painter no one tells you what to paint you just paint. He wanted to be a painter, but his mum was not that keen on his surviving by selling paintings on the street in the UK.

Bob spent his early years doing corporate videos and went into corporate work of purchasing. He worked in many different areas.  Bob didn’t know what he wanted to do until his mid 40’s. That’s when realized that he wanted to transform lives. This is what has made him successful. “ I change lives and the appropriate follows,” he humbly asserts. He wants the power to make a difference in people's lives.

Wasting his time is the biggest crime. Bob  insists on everyone being short and precise. When asked to describe Hot Sun Foundation in one word he confidently said “real”. His reason was that at Hot Sun Foundation we tell our own stories by ourselves and don’t hire people from outside to do videography and photography.

Bob  said that everyone should  be precise in what you want to say, be disciplined.  There are infinite possibilities in life, meaning that one can achieve whatever one really wants to achieve.

Bob is the coolest C.E.O. as he runs a business out of an ambition to transform lives and not just make money. 

Through the tweet that Josphat sent, Mr. Bob Collymore has transformed us. Thank you  Bob.

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

June 13, 2013

Safaricom C.E.O Bob Collymore Visits 'House Of Creatives'

 By Wambui Kaggai Trainee,  Kibera Film School

Every Friday at Hot Sun Foundation we invite industry experts and media/film professionals, who come and interact with us (trainees at Kibera Film School). The Friday Guest Talks were started last year by Josphat Keya the Program Coordinator. Friday Guest Talks help youth to think beyond their current situation, exchanging ideas with people who have transformed their lives and now are role models.

On Friday 7 June 2013,  we hosted three prominent  people:  Bob Collymore the C.E.O. of Safaricom,  Ronnie Osumba, Safaricom sector manager--media, ICT and education, (Ronnie was the running mate for Peter Kenneth)  and Kenneth Okoth, Member of Parliament for Kibra constituency.

That Friday morning the Hot Sun Foundation was a buzz of activity. Last minute checkups were done. Then  Josphat Keya calmly went through the plan for the afternoon’s events.

By 2:30 pm the program was underway. The guests had arrived and had a tour of the programs at Hot Sun Foundation - Hot Sun Productions, Kibera TV and Kibera Film School.

We sat in our chairs patiently waiting for the session to begin. When Bob started to speak silence, prevailed, (except for planes and helicopters overhead), as each person listened carefully, not wanting to miss a word.

Although now a C.E.O. of a very well-known company,  Bob's journey to success started from a humble beginning in Guyana.  At one time he ventured into the film world, doing co-operate videos using a 60mm- film camera. “If you want to do something good you have to put hours into it”.

Bob’s talent, which he discovered over the years, was his ability to relate well with people. “And through this I have been able to transform the lives of people everyday. This keeps me going”.

Ronnie and Kenneth both went to school at Olympic Primary School and grew up in Kibera. Now they are positive role models for the youth in Kibera.

"It does not matter where you begin but what you do with what you have. This is what matters," said Ronnie Osumba.  "There are infinite possibilities." Those words echoed deeply within us.

Ronnie, Kenneth and Bob watching 2 min films by Kibera Film School 
and Kibera TV

Ronnie, Bob, with Hot Sun Foundation staff enjoying the umbrellas. 
An umbrella comes in handy during sunny shoots

Bob Collymore, Safaricom CEO,  with trainees of Kibera Film School

Hon Kenneth Okoth MP Kibra constituency 
with Kibera Film School trainees

Ronnie Osumba with Kibera Film School trainees

Bob at the Hot Sun Foundation reception 
with Anne Mwaniki (left), Financial Manager
and Josphat Keya (right), Program Coordinator

Bob and Ronnie with Martin of  Kibera TV

Ronnie shares his story.

You are most welcome any time!

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

June 6, 2013

Short is Sweet part 2

Short is Sweet  part 2: What makes a great short film?

Second in a series of blogs about short films

Heinz Hermanns, CEO of Interfilm Berlin, an international film festival and distribution center for short films  www.interfilm.de/en/ described what is a good short film, during his recent visit to Hot Sun Foundation in Kibera, Nairobi.
What makes a good short film (according to Heinz Hermanns, Interfilm Berlin).

Preproduction and feedback  are CRUCIAL to filmmaking
Filmmakers in Kenya need to be more critical. Exchange your ideas, scripts: get and give feedback.  Must have a great story or you don't have a film.  Get feedback from the beginning of the concept.

Short film: must have an audio visual concept, seduce the spectator to take part emotionally and intellectually

Short film: must work immediately, grab attention of audience, something interesting,
Must be visual.
Story development: must work.  Can make NO mistakes (feature films can have some)
Short film must be more original than a feature film, have something special. Very little time to tell the story
MUST BE COMPLETE: with an ending… not just stop

Components of a great short film:
Plan:the look of the film
Color concept: palette
Sound: must develop the audio concept before shooting. MUST have quality sound.
Suggest: Be careful with music, especially piano music which can overwhelm the visual. 
Casting: Actors key
Camera: must hold attention of audience
Every frame is a composition like a painting

Some elements of bad short films
            Too long
            Do not care about your audience
            TV aesthetics
            A copy of another film or story
            Choose team carefully
            Seduce not provoke audience
            Accept criticism
            Don't make it too personal
            Not a slide show of a series of stills
            MUST have good sound and sound concept

To be continued. Comments welcome on this blogspot or info@hotsunfoundation.org

NEXT: Third blog in short films series:  What film festivals focus on short films?  

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

June 5, 2013

Aida and The Inlaws: A true story.

 Aida with camera    
Aida Achieng


Greetings from Hot Sun Foundation! 

Aida and The Inlaws:  a true story         

            Support young filmmakers in East Africa! goto.gg/3632 

Have you ever had a misunderstanding with your inlaws?

What if your inlaws came into your house and took away everything you own?  
Outrageous? Unbelievable?
Here's Aida's story and the story of a film at Hot Sun Foundation that mirrored her own life.
Aida Achieng, 28, graduated from Kibera Film School in 2010. Aida is currently the coordinator of the Kibera Film School.  
Two years ago, Joash, one of the trainees at Kibera Film School was preparing to shoot a short film. The main actress didn't show up.   Joash asked Aida to take the lead part and she agreed. Joash shot the film and all went well.
According to Kenyan tradition, after the death of the husband, the in-laws come and take all of the property from the widow, and sometimes even her children.
In Joash's film, titled The Inlaws, the grieving widow, played by Aida, lost everything, even a photo of her deceased husband. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMRaCK7voKU  
Joash based his film The Inlaws on what had happened to his aunt. He didn't know at the time of making the film, that in real life, following the death of her husband in an auto accident nine years ago, Aida's in-laws came to her apartment and took everything, leaving her with an empty house.
Aida is pleased with the film: The InLaws got prizes in film festivals. I was able to show what women who don't have voices are going through. I want all Kenyans to see this film and change this tradition.
These are the type of films that the youth at Kibera Film School are making - stories of lives of people whose voices are not heard - stories that can help change lives and destructive traditions.
You can be a co-producer of films like The Inlaws and help change the lives of women like Aida.
Support young East African filmmakers! Donate at goto.gg/3632
Your support will go 50% farther for ONE DAY ONLY - Wed. 12 June - Bonus Day.
Mark it on your calendar, mobile phone, computer.
Remember to support young East African filmmakers on Wednesday 12 June.
Kibera trainee Shirley with Joash and kids
HSFd Staff
  Grp foto grad 2013 
Marketing & Business Advice
Are you a marketing or business professional? Come and give a talk at the Kibera Film School. Send an email to info@hotsunfoundation.org   
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Mentor a young filmmaker.
No film experience needed. Inspire others!  

Send an email to projects@hotsunfoundation

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Learn more about volunteering info@hotsunfoundation.org

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