These students represent Nairobi and its stories.
 
 

2020 | FILMMAKING WORKSHOP AND ONLINE COURSE

 
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12 students. 2 films.

1 crazy idea. 

 

Stories Found is a documentary film training initiative that offers hands-on, intensive, and high-value educational opportunities for emerging filmmakers worldwide.

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 communities. So we did. And these are the stories they found.

 

WHAT WE DO

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ONLINE DOC TRAINING

Our online documentary film course covers the basics and need-to-know info for first-time documentary filmmakers. Students get free, lifetime access to our content which includes video tutorials, case studies, and interviews with professional filmmakers.

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FILMMAKING INTENSIVES

The Stories Found intensive is a week-long filmmaking workshop, wherein a small group of highly-motivated filmmakers work together to shoot and edit a short documentary.

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INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION

The filmmaking intensive culminates in participants submitting their films to film festivals and planning press events to get their work seen by an international audience.

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CRITICAL FEEDBACK

Filmmakers receive insightful feedback on their work from our very own team of Stories Found Mentors — a hand-picked panel of professional documentary filmmakers from across the globe.

2018 | NAIROBI INTENSIVE

 
 
 

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 Wanjohi

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 Wanjohi

SOUND & MUSIC

Joan Njeri Maina and Samuel Wanjohi

 

Here’s what the students had to say …

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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."

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SAMUEL WANJOHI

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!"

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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."

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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."

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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."

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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."

 

THE TEAM

 
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ISHMAEL AZELI

Instructor, Cinematography

Ishmael Azeli is a Kenyan filmmaker and international 1st AC/CAM OPP, with years of experience in the region and around the globe. He has worked with different clients to conceptualize, manage and execute projects across multiple locations and needs, bringing his creativity and vision to immortalize scripts and images that bring ideas to life. His projects include TV commercials and brand films to short films. His work has been seen alongside big brands around the Globe, and through production houses like: Ahoy Films-South Africa, Quite Bright Films-Kenya, Mermaid Production-New York, Ginger Ink-Kenya, Blue-sky Films -Kenya, Stage Light Production-South Africa, Mojo Productions-Kenya, Bore ales-France, HOME- Los Angels, and others.

He has also been privileged to work with renowned filmmakers, such as DP Denson Baker-Hollywood, Director Jim Loach, Carl Finch-Hollywood, Rowry O Grady-South Africa, Director Dan Prior-Kenya (a mentor), and Director Juan Reina-Finland. His passion lies in storytelling and derives his excitement from engaging and moving the audience through dynamic cinematic design. This has been as a result of years of perfecting his craft in filmmaking.

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EVIE MAINA

INSTRUCTOR, PRODUCING

Evie Maina is a Television Presenter and  founder of Cultured International. She established her organization-Cultured after hosting Arts and Culture Television show, where she got to see the beautiful Cultures found in Kenya. Inspired by a love of people and the diversity it brings, she began the journey of bringing all these colors to those around her through film and different activations centered on Culture.

She has worked with different groups and embassies found in Kenya as well as organizations like United Nations on documentaries about Quality Infrastructure and World Oceans Day. She was also part of  the crew on the international documentary film project, AVOICE4PEACE

She believes in the uniqueness of everyone she comes across and looks for inspiration from the beauty of the human spirit.

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JAMES MARTIN

INSTRUCTOR, DIRECTING

James Martin is a documentary filmmaker and co-founder of Four x Productions living in Atlanta, Georgia. Combining his love for well-made cocktails and filmmaking, his directorial debut The New Orleans Sazerac is an award-winning short documentary about the history of the famous Southern drink. Shot on location in The Big Easy, The New Orleans Sazerac was featured at several 2016 U.S. film festivals, including the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the American Pavilion, as part of the Cannes Film Festival. It debuted online through The Bitter Southerner in 2017. His latest film, Being With Elephants, was filmed in the Maasai Mara region of Kenya in July 2018, with premieres at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, and Sidewalk Film Festival in 2019.

Martin is also a co-director of Stories Found, an initiative which helps emerging Kenyan filmmakers create and share unique stories to the region.

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BUD SIMPSON

Instructor, Cinematography/Editing

Bud Simpson is a director of photography and independent filmmaker based in Atlanta, Georgia.

His documentary work has been featured in film festivals internationally including Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Newport Beach, Sidewalk Film Festival, Cucalorus, Oxford, and Oaxaca Film Festivals.

In the commercial world, Bud has shot for brands such as Mercedes Benz, IHG Hotels, Doosan, and Kodak.

When he’s not shooting, he is leading filmmaking workshops and intensives for emerging filmmakers in Atlanta, Georgia and Nairobi, Kenya in a program he founded called Stories Found. Along with a powerhouse group of creatives, he is building the largest, free online filmmaker training program in the world.

Bud is super friendly :) and is always down to grab a coffee or beer. If you're ever in the Atlanta area and want to connect, hit him up at his contact form on his website.

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EVA SIMPSON

PRODUCER, PR MANAGER

Eva Simpson is a Senior Account Supervisor at Geiger & Associates, and has been with the agency for over four years.  

Eva has also been responsible for marketing the travel destinations of Fredericksburg, Texas; Door County, Wisconsin; Healdsburg, California and others. Her background includes planning and executing media development missions, content creation, media marketing programs and coordinating media tours. In the last 3 years, Eva has produced several documentaries including AVOICE4PEACE and Blue Heaven.

Prior to joining the team at Stories Found, Eva spent almost four years working for a non-profit hospice. She facilitated communication, and created interventions to help clients and families achieve individualized goals. Eva graduated from The Florida State University with a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy, and took additional coursework in Psychology at Florida State’s London campus.