These students represent Nairobi and its stories.
 
 

2018 NAIROBI | DEBRIEF & FILM REVIEW

STORIES FOUND: NAIROBI

 
 
 
 
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12 students. 2 films. 1 city. 

 

We had this crazy idea — let’s invest in young filmmakers with transformative ideas; let’s give them the training and the tools they need to find and tell the stories from their own city. So we did. And these are the stories they found.

 

"WE ARE ATTEMPTING THE IMPOSSIBLE ..."

 
 

... I said as I turned toward our small class of twelve filmmakers. It was just past 9AM when we had all cleared an arduous security screening, and were seated around a few tables at the reference center library at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.

It was the filmmaker's meet-and-greet; the first session in our five-day filmmaking intensive designed for a select group of emerging filmmakers in Kenya. Juma, Gloriah, Brian, Joan, Firul, Jephtha, Arnold, Karanja, Vanessa, Florence, Jackline, and Samuel had made it through a grueling application process from a pool of almost 900 filmmakers. There were many qualified applicants, and thousands of fascinating stories submitted -- but this group showed unique potential.

The first item on the agenda was to review the production schedule; I had it up on the screen. It was a laughably simple production schedule, and read something like "Monday: Pre-production, Tuesday/Wednesday: Production, etc."

"You see -- this production schedule here," I said as I motioned towards my Powerpoint, "isn't typical for any production -- even for short films this is kind of insane."

It was true.

Producing, shooting, and editing two films in five days is just stupid.

In that moment the reality of it all hit the group collectively. We all froze -- even the instructors. No one seemed to be breathing. A few eyes zig-zagged across the room; one of the students let out a nervous laugh, "Haha." 

Had we overreached?

Was this filmmaking intensive going to be too intense?

Perhaps. 

Behind the scenes of the film ShotoPhoto Credit: Ishamel Azeli

All sixteen of us (12 students and 4 instructors) had poured ourselves into this project thus far. For the previous three weeks, students had completed an exhaustive online filmmaking curriculum that covered all things related to short doc. production.

Our Nairobi-based instructors had already begun pre-production for the two films, and James and myself had just come off of finishing the third and final module of the online curriculum. By 9AM on that first day, all of us were already exhausted. 

Bud and Evie offer guidance on direction and sound on the set of  Zumari. Photo Credit: Gabriel Kariuki

Bud and Evie offer guidance on direction and sound on the set of Zumari. Photo Credit: Gabriel Kariuki

All of us were already exhausted.

Each of us had invested so much into this impossible idea that we were going to make -- not one -- but two films in a single week. Turning back now was not an option.

So as the awkward silence slowly began to intensify, I did what I always do in the face of a good challenge: I spew out rapid-fire, botched quotes by Winston Churchill, JFK, and Muhammad Ali.

This time I landed on one by Eleanor Roosevelt: "We must do the things we think we cannot do."

She was right, we must.

And somehow, by the end of that week, we had.

- Bud Simpson

Founder, Stories Found

 

891 Applicants

Hundreds of kenyan filmmakers applied to the free stories found online curriculum and workshop


12 Filmmakers

Twelve emerging kenyan filmmakers were selected to participate in the workshop


3 Weeks

Selected applicants had three weeks to complete a rigorous online filmmaking curriculum


5 Days

Once the Students completed the online Training, STORIES FOUND instructors met the students in Nairobi, KENYA for a five-day FILMMAKING intensive


1 Goal

Find and Film two stories that Capture the Essence of Nairobi

FILM REVIEW

Your constructive feedback will help our students hone and improve their craft.

 

Step 1: (30 seconds)

Download your SF Mentor's Toolkit.

(the toolkit is a big file; the download may take a few minutes)

 

 

Step 2: (10 minutes)

Watch the films below.

 

SHOTO

a story found by

FIRUL MAITHYA and ARNOLD MVOI


Shifting gears in Nairobi's Eastlands, a local man strives to take over the matatu bus industry with a promise to uphold its vibrant culture.

password: storiesfound

Instructors: James Martin and Ishmael Azeli


DIRECTION & SCRIPT SUPERVISION

Firul Maithya and Vanessa Wairimu Njora

PRODUCTION

Gloriah Amondi, James Martin, Vanessa Wairimu Njora, and Florence Nyokabi

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Juma Adero and Ishmael Azeli

EDITING

Firul Maithya, James Martin, and Vanessa Wairimu Njora

SOUND & MUSIC

Juma Adero, Arnold Mvoi, and Florence Nyokabi

ZUMARI

a story found by

BRIAN KARANI


In Nairobi's toughest slum, a young man summons the courage to change his life and discovers peace in an unlikely place.

password: storiesfound

Instructors: Bud Simpson and Evie Maina


DIRECTION & SCRIPT SUPERVISION

Brian Karani, Jackline Wangeci, and Samuel Wanjohl

PRODUCTION

Evie Maina and Joan Njeri Maina

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Brian Karani, Jephtha Oketch Malelah, and Bud Simpson

EDITING

Brian Karani, Joan Njeri Maina, Karanja Ng'endo, Bud Simpson, and Samuel Wanjohl

SOUND & MUSIC

Joan Njeri Maina and Samuel Wanjohl

 
 

 

Step 3: (15 minutes)

Write your constructive feedback.

 

 

Step 4: (30 seconds)

Send us your feedback at info@storiesfound.org

 
 

Here's what the students had to say ...

 

VANESSA WAIRIMU NJORA

STORIES FOUND FILMMAKER, 2018

"A colossal amount of information was made available through the online course and was further enforced during the workshop. The instructors were very experienced, friendly, open to questions and suggestions, and were hands-on throughout the process."

ARNOLD MVOI

STORIES FOUND FILMMAKER, 2018

"It is by far the best learning experience I've had in filmmaking. I feel more confident as a filmmaker now than before the program started."

FLORENCE NYOKABI

STORIES FOUND FILMMAKER, 2018

"Before Stories Found, I was struggling a lot trying to find my niche in filmmaking. The program gave me an opportunity to rediscover myself while working alongside film enthusiasts and trainers that were skilled and affirming."
 

SAMUEL WANJOHL

STORIES FOUND FILMMAKER, 2018

"Of the many workshops and film initiatives I've been a part of, Stories Found stands out to me as the most intensive and beneficial of them all. The collaborative spirit and teamwork taught me what neither film school nor my previous film experience has. Thanks to the Stories Found team for this eye-opening experience!"

JOAN NJERI MAINA

STORIES FOUND FILMMAKER, 2018

"To me, the best part of the workshop was the practicality of it. Working through the entire film production process from start-to-finish was a key highlight of mine."

FIRUL MAITHYA

STORIES FOUND FILMMAKER, 2018

"The workshop was amazing. It covered everything a first time filmmaker would need to know in order to make a film. It was detailed and intense. I learned how to conduct documentary interviews and how to pace a story during editing. It was an amazing experience and I would highly recommend it to all filmmakers."
 

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Honored to have the opportunity to review and offer feedback on these students' films as a Stories Found Mentor! Stories Found is a rigorous filmmaking curriculum designed for emerging Kenyan filmmakers. Check out https://www.storiesfound.org/ to learn more about this awesome program!
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