Jackson Wild Virtual Summit Kenya

The vision for this initiative was to create a platform where opportunities were given to local filmmakers with an interest in wildlife and conservation storytelling, to create, showcase and celebrate their films through workshops, networking and mentorship sessions from leading natural history filmmakers from around the world.

Kenya is arguably the wildlife hub in Africa receiving numerous best travel awards and pinging at the top when it comes to the best safari destination. We have mountains, savannah, bushland, beach, forests and deserts all under one blue sky and enjoy great weather all year round thanks to our position right on the equator. It’s therefore prudent that our local filmmakers are engaged in telling our wild tales. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the case as we see film crews/productions flying in their producers/ DOPs, researchers into the continent to tell our stories.

As one of the recipients of Jackson Wild’s inaugural emerging filmmakers’ scholarship in 2019, Fiona Tande teamed up with Vulcan Production’s Visiting World Filmmakers recipient, Faith Musembi to create an opportunity for fellow Kenyan wildlife filmmakers who seldom get similar chances. Together with the generous support of Angama Mara, Jackson Wild, Vulcan Productions and HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, they were able to select promising filmmakers at different stages in their careers; from early, mid to advanced level, and in tandem with Jackson Wild Virtual Summit 2020, created 3 films over the course of 5 days. The shorts created were proof that the talent is rife in Kenya and with adequate investment, we too can make impactful films that not only matched the international standards but also represented our people, the interactions they have with wildlife which in turn would resonate more with communities on the ground.

Going forward, the plan is to build on what they started by inviting more filmmakers into the fold, bridging the gap between their needs and what the international community is able to provide through collaboration and partnership i.e., access to decision makers such as commissioners/production companies, equipment manufacturers, mentorship/training from leading wildlife filmmaking experts and overall employment that will help sustain filmmaking ambitions. With more local storytellers, our wild African tales have the ability to reach a broader audience and engage, inspire and impact the change we want to see in our natural world.


Release Date: December 30, 2020