Apply for Film Fupi Academy Program for young aspiring filmmakers by US Embassy Nairobi & Youth Film Platform

Film Fupi Academy program for young aspiring filmmakers


US Embassy Nairobi has partnered with Youth Film Platform to launch the Inaugural Film Fupi Academy program for young aspiring filmmakers. The Program will empower 30 aspiring filmmakers drawn from Eastlands-Nairobi County with practical and professional skills in filmmaking for income generation and social self-expression. Film Fupi Academy program will provide a hands-on film-making learning experience that builds participants’ exposure to the wide variety of technical and professional skills they will need to write, produce, shoot, and edit quality short films featuring effects makeup. This will expand Kenya’s creative economic development, foster inclusive societies, and provide financial security to Kenyans. The program is expected to run for 12 months from November 2023 – November 2024

The rapidly growing film industry is a great trigger for job creation and medium for economic gain worldwide. The African film industry has great potential that can further be tapped for social economic development. Africa boasts of successful creative industries in some countries including: Nigeria, South Africa and Morocco. Kenya in particular has a small film industry by global standards, but the country has been a filming location since early 1950s. The films made in the country propel Kenyan culture and stories on the global platform. The government has made conscious efforts to develop Kenya creative industry. There however been few film making capacity development programs. There is need therefore, to unveil the talent especially in youth by building their capacity through hands-on and talent based training and giving them a platform for social-self-expression; telling the Kenyan Story and most importantly for income generation.

According to the Kenya 2019 population census report, over a half of Kenya’s population comprises of youth below 20 years. Few of them are involved in making decisions that affect their lives, desires, interests and future. Similarly, to excel in today’s fast-moving world, takes special skills to rise above the rest. This requires ability to concentrate, conceptualize, connect and synthesize information to arrive at an innovation.

This is best realized through creative arts, besides other initiatives, where youth, among other people can be molded and actively involved. This will ensure that their opinions are heard and respected through filmmaking.

Film Fupi Academy is an initiative that works towards ameliorating skills deficiency in the film industry. This intensive twelve (12) months hands-on Program is designed to familiarize participants with: cinematic language and filmmaking techniques through a series of collaborative assignments including exploration of a variety of film production specialisms; writing and directing to cinematography; composing, production design and editing. The program will also conduct a specialized film make up classes facilitated by one of Kenya’s finest make-up artist. In order to take the quality of Kenyan Films to the next level, there is also a need for specialized make up skills that contribute greatly to artistic look of the characters in a film. Each of the program beneficiaries will take a compulsory module of make up for film.

The program will provide participants with an opportunity to benchmark with some of the best film makers locally, regionally and globally. The intense and hands on Program will provide a platform to identify and nurture creative talents; and to promote film creation in Eastlands- Nairobi County as a means of job creation for the youth. The Program will also provide intense training in various film making and production techniques to ensure participants acquire requisite skills and a range of cinematic practices. The Program is intended to enhance competencies, innovativeness and creativity; and to address technical skills development in film production. This will be done by incorporating technology to meet the demands of the current film job market and anticipated continued influence of the digital age in the film industry. Participants will get the opportunity to tap their creative art talents, gain practical experience in film production and popularize the industry for job creation especially for the youth currently left out of film training programs that are academic based.

The Film Industry encompasses many other arts including Writing, Design, Photography, Make-up, Hairstyling, Drawing, performing arts, sound recording and design , editing just to name but a few. A variety of ancillary services are also provided in the process including Catering, location scouting, casting agencies, film festival and markets among others. The Program will expose learners to all these facets of Film Production and the wide range of opportunities available in the creative arts Industry.


The Film Fupi Academy program will support our impact goal of contributing to a more sustainable film industry specifically Kenya by: 

  • Identifying, empowering, and investing in diverse young aspiring Kenyan filmmakers within the ages of 16-35 years and with a demonstrated interest in storytelling and filmmaking with a submission of previous works in either one of the following areas: scripting, character development, treatment/scriptwriting, wardrobe, camera work, sound, lighting and editing, and effects makeup.
  • Developing  and piloting  a holistic approach to film training  that combines technical and entrepreneurship skills in filmmaking and makeup for film
  • Identifying crucial elements that will help solve the stumbling blocks that filmmakers face while trying to enterprise their skills in the film industry
  • Providing training, coaching, professional networking and exposure to the most promising young filmmakers in Kenya.

Project Activities

  • Call for Application: Outreach and submission of applications from the select areas.
  • Selection Process:  Review and identify up to thirty young aspiring filmmakers from across Eastlands – Nairobi County
  • Training: Selected participants  will take part in a 6-month hybrid course to gain practical  and Proffessional skills needed to thrive in the film industry, including how to pitch and mobilize resources necessary in making and distributing their films.   
  • Training (Blended Mode)- Learners will acquire knowledge in filmmaking and Specialized Make up which help them better understand all film techniques and business skills required to make a high quality film, they will be able to distinguish the techniques and Proffessional  processes of filmmaking. They will participate in 16 master classes in film techniques and business which will propel them to a market ready position. The Curriculum will be delivered by Industry professionals creating an opportunity networking and exposure in the process of learning. A total 432 guided learning hours are allocated towards the master classes within the 12 months.
  •  Practical’s -From the very first week of their training, learners will begin their development stage of filmmaking where they will develop their ideas and start working towards pitching and finally a panel of industry professionals will pick the best script from each of the group for production.
  • Development -Writing a Proffessional screen play for each of the 3 films, Applying for Appropriate filming licenses, Copywriting treatment and script, Script Breakdown, Story and Business pitch writing, Budgeting
  • Pre- Production- Develop Production design plan, mood board, storyboard, shot list, equipment checklist, cast and crew contracts, ancillary service contracts, shooting schedules and call sheets. Also carry out proper pre-production work such as casting, rehearsals, location scouting.
  • Production -Every learner will participate in shooting at least 2 of the 3 short films getting different title credits and different experiences. Each Learner will specialize in a practical crew or cast role during production under the coaching of an Industry Proffessional. Some the  departments that will be involved in the production include; Writing department, Sound Department, Cinematography Department, Production Design Department, Directing Department, Editing Department and Production Department.
  • Post Production- Each Film Crew will appoint editors and sound designers to edit and present their film, the editors will cut, composite the film with effects, add motion graphics and color grade their work. Each Sound design team will compose a score for their film, add Foley sounds, dialogues or monologues and sound effects and sync it with the film.
  • Distribution- The learners will organize a theatrical film premiere for the 3 short films in terms of creating a trailer, marketing the premiere on media and other platforms.
  • Mentorship-Each student will get 12 mentorship session with an Industry Mentor in their area of specialization. The sessions will give a platform for bonding with industry proffessionals and most importantly every learner getting guidance in process of kickstarting their career. Select participating filmmakers to receive expert script reviews and one-on-one mentoring through platforms such as Craft Services
  • Graduation- All learners will get to participate in a 2 day Screening Premiere and Graduation Ceremony at the tail end of it. During the graduation we will strive to invite industry professionals for networking purposes
  • Post-Graduation- Youth Film Platform will add the learners into the Alumni Database, introduce all learners to the Kenya Film Industry so that they can get industry related opportunities, plug into networking opportunities, and support the alumni in the festival circuit with their films. Share job opportunities and recommendation letters where necessary.
  • Non-financial support:  Technical assistance, mentoring, and networking opportunities will be available to all participants for the duration of the program.    
  • Research, Evaluation, and Learning:  Document lessons learned, incorporate participant feedback, follow up to monitor and assess participants progress, engagement with cohort, and application of key skills.  


Round 1 Application Deadline: Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Round 2:  Applicants invited to Round 2 will be required to participate in a virtual interview on 20th November 2023.

Selection Notification:  25th November 2023 finalists will be announced and notified and thereafter invited to an Orientation into the program

Application Instructions

Applications for the Film Fupi Academy Program are now open. Applications should be submitted by November 15, 2023. Please read the application information carefully before you submit. 

Application Instructions  

  • Fill in the Application form online and attach the necessary documents and links
  • Check program terms and conditions to see whether you qualify to apply
  • Questions? Email 

Quick Facts

  • Film Fupi program will provide holistic support to young aspiring filmmakers to help identify and mitigate common barriers they encounter in bringing their talent to productivity. 
  • The program is open to young aspiring filmmakers and make-up artists
  • Participants will be selected through a competitive, merit-based, and intentionally inclusive application process.  
  • Participants will present a Showreel of their previous projects 
  • Participants should be between 16-35 years, and they must be citizens of Kenya and currently Living in Eastlands or in a position to attend classes in Eastlands at their own costs
  • The program  will work with an initial cohort of 30 young aspiring filmmakers

The project will provide a 6-month tailored course, 3 months of producing short films, 3 months of mentorship and professional networking

Ready to apply?  APPLY NOW

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