The film lab forms an integral part of SFF festivities.  It provides a solid platform to empower the next generation of filmmakers by supporting them to take their skills to the next level.  This is achieved through making connections and introductions to mentorship by film professionals who can advise on both the craft and business of filmmaking.

25 participants will be selected from a pool of young talented filmmakers who already have basic knowledge about the profession and are seeking opportunities to specialize in the art and business of film production.

Partnership will also be sought with Kenyan renowned documentary producers as well as Docubox, a Kenya organisation whose mission is ‘To enable talented, driven, and focused East African filmmakers, with important and unique stories to tell, to produce high impact independent documentary films that unearth new realities about worlds, identities, and people for audiences in East Africa and around the world.’


This year’s master class will focus on documentary making.  Nothing summarizes the importance of documentary film making than the following 2 quotes,

A country without documentary is like a family without a photo albumPatricio Guzmán
Good documentaries are intimate observations of the world’s identities and people captured by talented, driven, creative filmmakers: films able to uncover new realities because they are authored by authentic local voices; films that offer viewers new perspectives of society DOCUBOX

In view of Slum Film Festival interest of providing a platform for stories from the slums, documentaries are a powerful tool for social change that should be promoted by enhancing skills and techniques.


This year’s master classes will cover every aspect of film production step by step:  from the pre-production basics, to the final stages of editing and marketing.  Each specific stage will be discussed by recognized professionals.  The film lab will last two weeks.  Needs assessment will be conducted prior to the beginning of the lab to identify critical gaps to be addressed throughout the master class. 

Filmmakers will work intensively with mentors in a spirit of experimentation to develop their projects, creative and practical skills in a supportive and nurturing environment. 

The program of the lab will consists of screenings, seminar discussions and debates, critiques, readings and assignments and one-on-one sessions with lead trainer and other mentors.


As a festival we believe that by using artists who are a success in the industry to mentor the young film makers will provide solid inspiration.  Our intention is to bring on board mentors from the Kenya film sector (and across the globe) that have achieved tremendous success.  Success stories from the likes of Edi Gathigi, and Lupita Nyongo can go a long way in spurring the local film industry.

A panel of mentors who will facilitate the lab will be selected from the very best in the industry.  Among them will be a Lead Trainer/Instructor who will provide the overall guidance to the lab and production project.

SFF will this year introduce virtual sessions with international filmmakers.  The Writer’s guild and the Ghetto film project (New York) will be considered among partner organisations.


A Maximum of 15 participants will be selected.  Experienced and first-time film makers are welcome to apply.

  1. Strength of submitted film idea, script or proposal
  2. Demonstrate talent, passion and commitment to art of film making
  3. At least 50% of the participants will be film makers from the slums
  4. Participants should be able to stay in Nairobi for the three-week duration of the Lab
  5. Participants will be chosen will comprise actors, directors, script writers, editors, cinematographers…

In order to put the concepts and the skills learned into practice, the participants will have the opportunity to develop short film (not more than 10 mins in length).  The participants will be encouraged to pursue a collaborative effort among themselves (preferably in groups of 5 to make the production.  The best short film will receive an award.

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