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
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