Maisha Foundation on 5th August 2021 donated an assortment of film training resources to the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS), Makerere University. The donation comprises of the Maisha film database in form of DVDs, VCRs and cinematic books.
Located in Buziga, Kampala, Maisha is a film school in East Africa that has trained over 1,000 filmmakers from Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania for the last 16 years. The School has provided hands-on intensive training programmes in various sectors of film-screenwriting, directing, producing, cinematography, sound recording and editing, and has produced a number of notable filmmakers in the region.
Handing over the donation to representatives from CHUSS, led by the Principal, Dr Josephine Ahikire, Maisha Founder, Ms. Mira Nair briefed the team about the rich heritage of Maisha. Describing film as a powerful medium for transmission of ideas in a free society, Ms. Nair highlighted the need to strengthen film training in the region. “Our rich oral tradition of story-telling has great potential to transform the film industry. We should be in position to tell our own stories. We hope this donation will strengthen film training at Makerere University, but also carry forward the legacy of the Maisha Film Lab that is closing shop after 16 years of excellent service,” she explained. In a bid to further improve film training at Makerere University, Ms. Nair linked up the CHUSS team with one of their best alumni, also Founder of Film Possible, Mr. Ali Musoke, to support film training programmes at the College.
The donation will be used for training students in the Departments of Performing Arts and Film; Journalism and Communication; and Literature.
In their remarks, the representatives from CHUSS, including, Dr Julius Kikooma, Deputy Principal; Dr Patrick Mangeni, Dean, School of Liberal and Performing Arts; Prof. Sr. Dominica Dipio from the Department of Literature; Dr Sylvia A. Nannyonga – Tamusuza, Head, Department of Performing Arts and Film; and Dr Aisha Nakiwala Sembatya, Head, Department of Journalism and Communication conveyed messages of appreciation, noting that the materials would greatly improve hands-on training.
The Principal of CHUSS, Dr Josephine Ahikire commended Maisha Foundation for the great contribution towards the development of the film industry in East Africa. “Training our own filmmakers and directors will largely boost the decolonization efforts and strengthen our identity,” she noted.
The handover event was witnessed by a couple of Maisha Film Lab alumni.
Some of the key achievements registered by Maisha Film Lab
-Films made by Maisha Film Lab alumni have screened in more than 20 major international film festivals including; the Berlin Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Zanzibar International Film Festival and Durban International Film Festival.
-1,000 Maisha alumni
-Produced 80 short films
-28 Maisha alumni are now feature film directors
-66 African feature films screened over five and a half years