4 Nov 2010

When they grow up

I am sitting at the Filmmakers Lounge at Le Merigot Hotel in Santa Monica, open in front of me catalogs from film distributors, Entourage mailbox showing me I have 100+ unread emails, my diary next to me with meetings to make, confirm, get out of...and nothing matters right now than the video I have just watched.

A year ago, August 2009 to be precise, we opened the Kibera Film School. All the students needed to attend the school was a passion for film making and talent. It did not matter the background, educational or social. Open only to the youth of Kibera. The students from Class of 2009 graduated in March of this year. One of the programs that came out from that Class was Kibera TV. It was not an easy thing to get going. These young people were going to go out in their community, Kibera, collect stories, edit them and upload them to the internet. They had to figure out how to do stories that were captivating, interesting, moving... ans they had to do them frequently. And they have.

Less than 1 year of Kibera Tv being online, they have told stories that would have otherwise never seen the light of day. They have covered issues that matter to them, highlighted successes, failures, ambitions, dreams...and they have made it their own.

They uploaded a video on Facebook today and tagged me. They have told the story of Kibera TV, what they do, why they do it and how they do it. It made me cry. It was not sad...it was moving. For me, to have watched them come this far, to see the work they are doing right now tugged at my heart strings. It is liking watching your child grow, take the first steps, then run.

It is the knowing that I have had something to do with that, that my efforts have enabled someone be able to be all they can be and even way better. It is the knowing that from now on, you can take away everything from those youth but you can never take the knowledge, the passion and the talent that they have.

They are holding up the middle finger to the world and saying...You thought you forgot me? I'm here b*^ch!

Go Kibera TV!!

This is the video i am talking about: