Since 2016, we have challenged East Africa’s filmmakers to propose and produce quality documentaries on the region’s most critical environmental issues. Filmmakers from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Congo took the leap with our support. The results speak for themselves: 24 compelling half hour programs that aired on Kenya’s NTV, with 13 more currently on air until November 4, 2018. You can see many of them on our Youtube channel and dedicated web site, www.givingnatureavoice.org.

East African filmmakers should submit their proposals by October 11, 2018. The films can be as varied as the continent, but shouldn’t repeat ground already covered. The key is to identify and research actual stories with compelling characters and a gripping action. It’s not enough to describe a topic and attach a budget. We need to know how you will tell the story in a compelling 25-minute film.

So … research your story before putting words on paper. Search the web for background on the issue.  Talk to your main characters, if not in person, then by phone.  Find out when they will be most actively involved in their story and try to build your shooting plan on real events.  Think visually and describe how you can evoke the scene’s majesty.  Outline a plan to capture both the triumph and pathos of your subjects.

We can help you with equipment and training, but it’s up to you to find and develop a story you really care about. Winners will have the option to use our equipment or from a rental house. Everyone will benefit from a two-day seminar on documentary story-telling given by experienced film-makers  and journalists associated with the Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media.

Your proposal should include:

A one page synopsis outlining the issue, the characters and narrative of your film.

Separate from the one-page story description, please include a timeline : when you will research, film and edit your work.

Bios and links to clips produced by your team: director, camera, editor, sound.

A proposed budget: the grants are modest but enough to produce the first round.

Please submit all proposal to contact@givingnatureavoice.org.  If you have any questions beforehand please email marietta.musyoka@aku.edu or   andrew.tkach@aku.edu  or call +254 719 231 530.

Giving voice to the truly voiceless, East Africa’s threatened biosphere and the people who call it home, is the goal of Aga Khan University’s Environmental Reporting Programme.  And our goal is made possible by giving a voice to young African filmmakers  producing compelling, illuminating, and impactful environmental films.

Website by Appropriate. Photo by Andrew Tkach