Great Lakes Creative Producers Lab 2021


The Great Lakes Creative Producers Lab is structured as a week-long hands-on project accelerator. The Lab aims at broadening the professional networks and producing expertise of participants through a series of hands-on workshops and one-on-one sessions with local and international industry mentors.

There will be 10 mentees drawn from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi. Each country will be represented by two mentees who will be recruited via a call for projects. Participants emerge from the program equipped with new skills as well as well as best practices which enhance the quality of their projects.

All are invited to join us.

When: Week long [Monday, October 25 - Friday, October 29, 2021]
Time: Daily from 9.00am to 6.00pm (East African Time)
Venue: USIU-Africa

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The Mentors:


Moussa Sene Absa is an artist, writer, and musician, as well as a film director. He made his debut as an actor before moving to directing with the production of his own stage play, La Légende de Ruba. He then made his debut in cinema by writing the screenplay for Les Enfants de Dieu, which was awarded at the Francophone film festival. Later on, his directorial debut, the short film Le Prix du Mensonge, earned him the Silver Tanit at the Carthage Film Festival in 1988. His film Tableau Ferraille won the award for best photography at FESPACO 1997. His next work, Madame Brouette won the Silver Bear at Berlin Film Festival 2003.

He has also produced a popular daily comedy skit for Senegalese television and has mentored hundreds of young filmmakers through programs such as the Ouaga Film Lab. He has also been invited as a Visiting Professor in various American universities.

French producer with 15 years of experience in film production and a specialization in international production with Southern and East Africa as a focus. After an MBA in TV / FILM production, he worked as a junior producer for the Content Department of the Orange Group while pursuing a doctorate on the impact of democratization on the cultural sector: the case of the cinema and television sector in South Africa after apartheid. This thesis was punctuated by the production of a 52-minutes documentary entitled Voices on new perspectives on South African cinema. The film has traveled to several festivals around the world.

Joachim then became Managing Director and Producer at Empreinte Digitale and has been able to develop a fine repertoire: From the first French science fiction TV series (Missions, available on OCS) to the first French horror TV series on Netflix (Marianne), the company mainly develops genre programs (action, war, teenage comedy, fantasy, thriller, etc.) and now has a solid portfolio of more than 20 projects, ranging from quality documentaries to hard-hitting television series, including feature films, entrusted to great filmmakers and creators from South Africa and Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Ethiopia.

After graduating from the Superior National Institute of Performing Arts (INSAS), Aurélien obtained a Master’s in Fine Arts in Films at the University of New Orleans. He then taught film for over two years at the same university before becoming an entertainment financial consultant for Arthur Andersen in California.In 2002, he created an independent production company: Neon Rouge Production. Aurélien Bodinaux develops, produces and directs documentaries, fiction films. He focuses on world cinema. His films have been shown all over the world in festivals such as Locarno, FESPACO, Berlin, Fipa, Amiens, Kiev, IDFA etc.

He is an EAVE, EURODOC, Ties That Bind and AFRICADOC member. He is also on the board of the Selection Committee for the Film Commission of Belgium and he is part of the Belgian feature film producer association (UPFF). Aurélien also frequently works as an expert and tutor for different international training programs such as APEFE, CIRTEF, Africalia, the FIFF, Africadoc, INSAS, ISIS, Ouaga Film Lab, Brussels University, etc.

Toni Kamau is a News Emmy, PGA and Peabody nominated producer and founder of the production company "We are not the machine", where we tell stories of outsiders, rebels and changemakers. Recent feature projects include the Emmy nominated, Oscar qualifying, multiple award winning "Softie", directed by Sam Soko, which premiered at Sundance 2020 and "I am Samuel", directed by Pete Murimi, which screened at BFI London Film Festival 2020 and is set to premiere across Africa on Afridocs in October.

Toni is currently working on a feature on climate change as well as two limited documentary series, including "Post-Colonial" a satirical series about the legacy of colonialism in Africa. She is committed to representation of the Kenyan film industry, at the global stage and does this through membership at the Academy for Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the International Documentary Association and the IADAS (Webby awards).

Constanza Arena is Executive Director of CinemaChile. In these years, the institution has been behind the successful positioning of Chile in the world as an exceptional cinematography, creating an innovative working model and methodology for the promotion of its cinema. For Constanza "to promote is also to train" the sector to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the international market to the maximum, in each of the phases of the production chain. CinemaChile has been involved in multiple successful cases in recent years, being A FANTASTIC WOMAN by Sebastián Lelio, the first Chilean film to win an Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 2018, the most successful case.

Taylor Olson (he/ him) is a Canadian Screen Award nominated filmmaker, and actor in Mi’kma’ki/ Nova Scotia. His first feature film - Bone Cage - has been released to critical acclaim; sweeping the awards at the FIN Atlantic International Film Festival and earning over twenty other accolades at numerous other festivals. Bone Cage was recently nominated for two Canadian Screen Awards in 2021 for Adapted Screenplay & Supporting Actress.

More details on the Great Lakes Creative Producers Lab can be found here.

Event Documents and Presentations


  •   Oct 25, 2021 9:00 AM - 6:30 PM
  •   Oct 26, 2021 9:00 AM - 6:30 PM
  •   Oct 27, 2021 9:00 AM - 6:30 PM
  •   Oct 28, 2021 9:00 AM - 6:30 PM
  •   Oct 29, 2021 9:00 AM - 6:30 PM


  •   USIU-Africa