Hot Sun Foundation

Vision of Hot Sun Foundation: Social transformation through art and media. Mission: Identify and develop youth talent in East African slums to tell their stories on film. Rapid urbanization in East Africa and lack of options leads to wasted talent and frustration among the youth. Training in filmmaking enhances their creative potential, creating role models and cultural leaders from within their communities.
Oct 15, 2014

Deleted Photos, Ongoing Passion

Charles, Hot Sun Foundation filmmaking trainee
Charles, Hot Sun Foundation filmmaking trainee

My name is Charles. I live in Majengo, Nairobi, Kenya. (Editor’s note: Majengo is a large urban slum). My interest in cameras lead to my journey in filmmaking.

 My first experience with a professional camera was when my sponsors from the UK, who were paying my high school fees, came for a visit to Kenya. We took a trip to Mombasa (on the coast) and they were taking photos the whole time. I asked to view their pictures, but by accident I was so curious about the camera’s functions that I clicked around and accidentally deleted all their photos. They were very angry with me. 

 The next morning, I woke up early to take photos of beach activities and capture the sun rising. This remedied the situation because they told me my photography was surprisingly good. I guess I have a natural ability to compose pictures.

 After high school, I joined Hot Sun Film School. I could only manage to attend classes for one month. As an orphan, I have to take care of myself, and my income as a second hand clothes trader was not enough.

 However, I continued my filmmaking learning via tutorials on Youtube. I also attended various art and film workshops.  I have stayed in touch with my former classmates and participated in their projects.

 Now I am back at Hot Sun Foundation learning about film production.

 Training at Hot Sun Foundation is quite engaging. I love interacting with other students who are full of big ideas and have as much energy for the art as I do.

 I have come to discover that implementing an idea can be really challenging. I have a number of movie ideas but funds to achieve these ideas are not easy to come by. Nevertheless, I have managed to shoot a short trailer for a movie about old people in the coastal town of Mombasa, Kenya who are subjected to lynching for suspicion of being witches.

 Filmmaking is challenging as equipment is expensive and even low budget productions come with a hefty price tag. All in all, I love it so much that I am up to the challenge.

 On Bonus Day Wednesday 15 October, remember me and the many, many urban slum youth who have benefitted from the hands-on filmmaking training offered only at Hot Sun Foundation.

 Our future depends on you! Any amount welcome.

 Donate TODAY WED. 15 October Bonus Day 

and your donation will be matched 30%!

 Donate at goto.gg/3632

 THANKS for your support. It does make a difference.

Your generosity provides opportunities for talented youth in East Africa.

Teamwork at Hot Sun Foundation filmmaking training
Teamwork at Hot Sun Foundation filmmaking training

Links:

Oct 7, 2014

Fail Forward: filmmaking training in East Africa

Hot Sun Foundation graduates training others
Hot Sun Foundation graduates training others

 In 2009, when Hot Sun Foundation contemplated moving from a program based in Kibera, (a slum in Nairobi, Kenya), offering film screenings, short term training, workshops, special events and street theatre to providing comprehensive hands-on training in filmmaking, our first thought was to involved local professionals from film and media. Hands-on filmmaking training was seldom practiced in training institutes in East Africa. Most of the training was theoretical. We were determined to be different. Not just because we were working with youth in slums, but also because we wanted to offer quality filmmaking training that would equip youths to make films.

 We invited film and media professionals to our very modest office and training centre. To our great satisfaction, many well-known professionals came to our orientation meeting and said they embraced the concept.

 Yes, they embraced the concept, but putting it into practice was another issue. We called professionals from film and media to teach specific classes on specific days at specific times. Very few of them had had any past teaching experience. Very few of them had worked in urban slum settings with youth with limited formal education.

 Professionals would agree to a certain class but then at the last minute could not show up. Usually because they had a paying gig. Most professionals in film and media in Kenya are self-employed and/or work on a project basis. If a project comes up, they have to take it to survive.  Our filmmaking training paid a very minimum wage plus they had to travel to the urban slum plus they had to work with urban slum youth plus they had to try to familiarize themselves with our curriculum. That was asking a lot. Perhaps too much.

 So what happened? Over time as we trained urban youth in filmmaking, most of whom got jobs or projects in the mainstream media in Kenya, some of the graduates of our Foundation in Filmmaking program became the core of our trainers.

 We still reach out to industry professionals, but now more as mentors. Our core trainers are our graduates who are willing and able to return to teach others.

 Unfortunately, this virtuous cycle may come to an end in 2014. Our major grant is ending. It costs about USD$395 per month per trainee for our four month Foundation in Filmmaking program.

 With your support, we will be able to continue.

 The very BEST time to donate would be Bonus Day (Wed. 15 October) when your contribution will be matched 30%.

Mark your calendars and don't forget to donate on Bonus Day Wed. 15 October. 

 BUT ANY TIME and ANY AMOUNT is a good time to donate.

To keep young filmmakers training urban slum youth in Kenya, donate at http://goto.gg/3632

 Your support is  always appreciated.

Thank you.

Links:

Sep 9, 2014

Movie Madness Part 2: Denis comes to Nairobi

Denis preparing for filming
Denis preparing for filming

Movie Madness Part 2: Denis comes to Nairobi

When I told my mother I wanted to move to Nairobi from the small town of Muranga’a to become a filmmaker she was very upset. She was scared and worried that something would happen to me and that I was going to get lost in the big city just by myself.

I was the only son still at home, the youngest, too. But I really wanted to join the Hot Sun Foundation Film school, so she called her aunt to organize a place for me to stay. I live in Kaloleni now with my uncle. I’ve never met him before but we get along very well. My mum and I talk on the telephone almost every day. She got used to the idea that I live in Nairobi now and she is proud of what I’m doing.

I want to try to change the mentality of people in this country. I don’t like it. Everything is just about money. It’s sometimes a very selfish society.

I’d like to hit topics with my films that manage to open people’s eyes. That’s why I am mostly interested in scriptwriting and editing. Scriptwriting gives me control about the theme, the idea and the words that are used in the movie. And editing gives me the opportunity to put the idea I had in mind into vision.

Your support makes it possible for youth like Denis to learn filmmaking at the only hands-on filmmaking training centre for youth who have the talent but not the funds to learn filmmaking. 

 Over 75 youth have learned filmmaking at Hot Sun Foundation and are working in the Kenya media industry.

 Our major grant ends this year.  We need your support to keep our doors open. 

*  *   *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Don’t Miss This Special Opportunity:

 All recurring donations made by 10 September WEDNESDAY will be DOUBLED.

Sign up to make a donation of any amount, once a month for at least four months, and it will be DOUBLED.

 For example, if you donate $25 for four months (or $100), Hot Sun Foundation will receive $200!

Donate today at    http://www.goto.gg/3632

THANKS for all you do!

Denis with filmmaker Wilfred a former graduate
Denis with filmmaker Wilfred a former graduate
Hot Sun Film trainees with Heinz Hermanns, Berlin
Hot Sun Film trainees with Heinz Hermanns, Berlin

Links:

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $25
    give
  • $40
    give
  • $70
    give
  • $125
    give
  • $250
    give
  • $400
    give
  • $600
    give
  • $2,000
    give
  • $25
    each month
    give
  • $40
    each month
    give
  • $70
    each month
    give
  • $125
    each month
    give
  • $250
    each month
    give
  • $400
    each month
    give
  • $600
    each month
    give
  • $2,000
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?