Students from the School of Communication, Cinematic, and Creative Arts host a talk with Kalasha - award winning director, Nick Wambugu

By Wangui Githinji

Last week, students from the Department of Cinematic Arts hosted Nick Wambugu, an award-winning Director, Producer and Drone Operator at Folklore Ltd. In his talk to the JRN 1100 students, he spoke of his journey producing and directing his documentary, titled Street Dreams. He shared key highlights of his experience making the documentary, which was focused on the lives of street dancers in Nairobi.

“The documentary making process was both challenging and exciting, and I have overcome many hurdles, including the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, trying to finish the documentary which I started in 2018. One of the main challenges I faced was how to finance the filmmaking process, but I was able to partner with BBC, who gave me enough funding to finish the project,” he said.

The students listened intently as he spoke of his passion project and he emphasized on importance of knowing your subject when telling a story.
“I spent almost every day with the street dancers and became one of them. I enjoyed the stories they gave and captured them on video as he had already gained the trust of the street dancers. As much as I did the story, the documentary has created more opportunities for the dancers,” he added.

Born and raised in Nairobi, Nick won a Kalasha Award in 2015 for Best Director Diaspora category for a Short Film. Previously he has also been nominated at the Cinemadamare Film Festival 2018 for Best Short Documentary for DEMLA which was produced and directed in Sicily, Italy. DEMLA explores the human perseverance of migrants who travel through the rugged unforgiving sea from the shores of Africa to Europe.

He also served as the Drone Operator for the Student Academy Award Winner and Academy Nominated Film “Watu Wote” in 2017. He has also worked as the Drone Pilot for the Sundance 2020 Documentary, Softie, which won the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Best Editing. He has also worked in 3 films with the BBC Africa Eye Series including his latest release Street Dreams.

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