Training East African Filmmakers: An Evaluation of Maisha through the Lens of its Participants

Client: Maisha Film Lab
Faculty: Carol Bellamy
Team: Sarah Bittenbender, Yael Gottlieb, So Yeon Kang, Karen Phillips
Year: 2010
Maisha Film Lab empowers East African filmmakers to articulate their visions by providing them with access to world-class film training. Over the past five years, more than 250 East African filmmakers have participated in Maisha's intensive film labs, taught by prominent international filmmakers. Looking to the future, Maisha feels confident in its ability to train filmmakers, but wonders if it is meeting its broader goal to plant the seeds of a self-sustaining film industry. To help Maisha evaluate its relevance, the Capstone team interviewed nearly 100 Maisha alumni and studied the impact of Maisha's programs on each participant's career. Interviews with Maisha lab mentors, leaders of the East African film industry, and Maisha staff - including its founder, Mira Nair - provided context for the evaluation. By comparing organizational goals to actual outcomes, the Capstone report shed light on Maisha's strengths and weaknesses, and provided recommendations as to how Maisha can better meet the needs of the East African film industry.