Transform Lives of African Youth by Making Films

 
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David Weda at Slum Film Festival, Nairobi, Kenya
David Weda at Slum Film Festival, Nairobi, Kenya

 David Weda,  22 years old

What were you doing before  you joined Hot Sun Foundation?

I wasn't doing much, hustling, worked at a restaurant, getting by.  I was working in a hardware shop when I used to see Hot Sun Foundation people walking by with cameras.  Then by chance, Hot Sun Foundation was filming a short film and I was in it, playing myself in the hardware store. After that, I went to the  Kibera Film School graduation and learned more. My attraction to filmmaking grew and grew. 

Hot Sun Foundation meant more than filmmaking skills for me. It meant a new life.  My life had been rough. Guys I was hanging out with were picked up for robbery.  I was included because I was hanging out with them.  The case was dropped, but that incident made me think.  I was that close to going to jail for a long, long time.  My dad was the only one who stood by me. Now I tell other youth, be careful who you hang with.  

When I heard about the intake at Kibera Film School, I thought this is my chance. I must grab it.  I came here to change my life.  Hot Sun Foundation has transformed my life and given me filmmaking skills.

I am grateful to  Hot Sun Foundation. 

Thanks to all of you who support Hot Sun Foundation and young filmmakers like me.

VERY SPECIAL THANKS for everyone who makes a donation on Wed. October 9, Bonus Day. 

Hot Sun Foundation will get 30% more on Wed. October 9.

Mark your calendars. ONE WEEK FROM TODAY.  Global Giving BONUS DAY. Wed. October 9.

NOTE:  In July, 2013,  David's father died suddenly. David did not give up his vision of becoming a filmmaker.  His dad had been proud of David's decision  to go to Kibera Film School and transform his life.  David missed several filmmaking classes due to family commitments at the funeral as the eldest son, but he managed to complete all his projects. 

David with other Kibera Film School trainees
David with other Kibera Film School trainees

Links:

Charles Isaboke, Kibera Film School trainee on set
Charles Isaboke, Kibera Film School trainee on set

I am Charles Isaboke, age 19,  a resident of the Soweto area of Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya. 

Greeting to friends of Hot Sun Foundation!

I have been interested in filmmaking ever since 2006, when I was in primary school. I watched Nathan Collett, the founder of Hot Sun Foundation,  and his crew making the award-winning short film Kibera Kid.  Then in 2009, I was Nathan's personal assistant during the shooting in Kibera of the feature film Togetherness Supreme. 

Right out of high school, I knew what I wanted - to join Kibera Film School.  It is an ongoing struggle, but I'm here and working hard daily to learn filmmaking.

My journey of becoming a filmmaker started during the shoot of my first short film project, titled The Out Wash.  The description of my film is:  Three children avenge their stepmother’s cruelty.  I wrote the story based on what actually happened to me, my brother and sister.  While my father was away working, my stepmother refused to give us any breakfast before going to school.  In the film, Out Wash, the children find a clever way to expose the stepmother's cruelty to the entire community.

 If you are a youth, living in the slums in Nairobi, and you want to learn filmmaking,  the only place open for you is here at Kibera Film School .

All trainees are subsidised.  So please support  Hot Sun Foundation.

Without your support, I wouldn't be here.   

Goto.gg/3632  to make a donation.  Support young filmmakers in East Africa!

Thanks,

Charles Isaboke

Nathan, Wambui, Charles at Kibera Film School
Nathan, Wambui, Charles at Kibera Film School

Links:

Joseph Matu, Kibera Film School trainee
Joseph Matu, Kibera Film School trainee

From Robot to Filmmaker

by Joseph Matu

What were you doing before  you joined Hot Sun Foundation?

For seven years, I worked as a computer clerk in a warehouse, as a parts salesman  for buses and trucks

I always wanted to go film school. My  brother  (nine years older) did  nothing but talk about film.  He worked as a cameraman.  Whenever possible, I would go along with him on shoots. 

 I tried to enter a film school three years ago, but could not pay the fees. 

Why did you come to Kibera Film School?

I heard about  Kibera Film School  on Internet. I checked it out. People I know in the film industry looked at the curriculum, and said this was the best they had seen.

What have you learned here?

I always liked to write, but I never understood the skills involved to write a script, until I came here. 

I learned about  the importance of social networking, especially using twitter .

I have also learned  technical skills in photography and videography.

What surprised you about Hot Sun Foundation?

Like many people in Kenya, I had negative misconceptions about Kibera.  I am surprised by the energy and creativity of the people I am working with.  People here have a passion for filmmaking.

I am surprised by the equipment and the facilities, which are quite good.

Hot Sun Foundation was able to attract Bob Collymore,  the CEO of Safaricom, the largest telecom in East Africa to visit us.

What is unique about Hot Sun Foundation?

The way we do things.  We have space to air our ideas. Here we have the clash of ideas instead of personalities. 

What are the biggest challenges for Hot Sun Foundation?

Why aren't we better known?  We have a great film school, have made outstanding short films and yet we are not well known in Kenya.   We need to do more public relations and outreach.

What is your message to people interested in supporting Hot Sun Foundation?

Hot Sun Foundation transforms lives…including mine.  A lot has been invested in me, not just technical skills but becoming a whole human being. 

Working in a warehouse for seven years, for me was like a slow death.  I wasn't learning. I wasn't creative.  I walked through life like a robot.

I am grateful to have this opportunity to learn filmmaking.

Please help make it possible for more youths to have this opportunity.

Kibera Film School trainees
Kibera Film School trainees

Links:

Aida Achieng, Kibera Film School Coordinator
Aida Achieng, Kibera Film School Coordinator

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?

Two years ago, one of the trainees at Kibera Film School was preparing to shoot a short film.  The main actress didn't show up.   The trainee asked Aida to take the lead part. Aida Achieng, 28, graduated from Kibera Film School in 2010 . She is currently the coordinator of the Kibera Film School.

In the short  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

According to Kenyan tradition, after the death of the husband, the inlaws come and take all of the property from the widow, and sometimes even her children.

In real life, following the death of her husband nine years ago, Aida's inlaws came to her apartment and took  everything, leaving her with an empty house. 

Aida is pleased with the film: In Laws 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.

Thanks! 

Aida with son Effy
Aida with son Effy

Links:

Caroline Goodall & two Kibera Film School trainees
Caroline Goodall & two Kibera Film School trainees

Hot Sun Foundation attracts many international visitors. One of the most enthusiastic of our recent visitors was Caroline Goodall, internationally known as a leading actress who has starred in blockbusters including Schindler's List (1993), Hook (1991), Cliffhanger (1993), Disclosure (1994), White Squall (1996).

Kevin Kiarie, a KFS trainee wrote the following comments about Caroline Goodall's visit:

It was 11th May 2013 on a Saturday morning. Kibera Film School was a beehive of activities.  Everyone was excited to spend a day with Caroline Goodall.

 Caroline showed us some of her films. The films were really amazing. From her work in acting she advised us and said that filmmaking is not about moneymaking but passion is everything. That has been her driving force all along.

 Her seriousness and humor was coupled with her great personality.  I think that the video of her visit to Hot Sun Foundation would make a scene in a movie!

 Caroline promised to help connect Hot Sun Foundation to the outside world after seeing the amazing work done by Kibera TV.

 Caroline  was overjoyed with her visit and promised to come back again.

 Thank you Caroline for a memorable visit.  We will never forget you!

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Hot Sun Foundation  is opening up a whole new world of opportunities for youth in the urban slums in East Africa.

 Your support buys cameras and pays tuition fees so that we can offer filmmaking training to youth that changes their lives and their communities.

 Your donations of any amount are always most welcome.

 In June, Global Giving is offering a special opportunity on Wednesday 12 June. Your contribution will be matched 50%.

 Please mark Bonus Day Wed 12 June on your calendar.

 Thanks for all you do!

Caroline Goodall at Hot Sun Foundation
Caroline Goodall at Hot Sun Foundation

Links:

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Project Leader

Nathan Collett

Nairobi, Kenya

Where is this project located?

Map of Transform Lives of African Youth by Making Films