💥 We're live! Take a look around + let us know what you think. And, GO GOLD!

Programs

Solutions Storytelling Project

A Regional Filmmaker Initiative from the Video Consortium: East Africa Edition

About the Solutions Storytelling Project

The Solutions Storytelling Project, supported by the Skoll Foundation, is a collaborative new initiative from the Video Consortium that connects local filmmakers with social innovators to produce solutions-focused short documentaries that catalyze positive social change. The Project’s East Africa edition is presented in collaboration with Docubox.


How to Apply
If you are a social innovator, represent a nonprofit, or are a filmmaker based in East Africa, click the buttons below to review our FAQs and complete an application.

Not in East Africa but interested in participating in the program?
A second application round in other geographic areas will open in late 2022; in the meantime, sign up to receive information about future programs.

Program Support

Made possible by Skoll

This program was built as a collaborative effort between the Skoll Foundation and the Video Consortium, and is guided by one of the Foundation’s guiding principles: “We trust those closest to the challenge to lead the change. We aim to support those most proximate to the problems, those crafting solutions in close partnership with the communities most impacted."
Program Support

In Partnership with Docubox

Docubox is the East African Documentary Film Fund that exists to enable talented, driven, focused and accountable East African artists to produce unique films that unearth new realities and cross trans-national boundaries.

Application Information for Filmmakers

East African filmmakers who wish to expand their professional repertoire and put their skills to work for a well-respected local change-making organization are encouraged to apply. For more details and eligibility requirements, please read the details below and apply.

Program Details for Filmmakers

East African filmmakers who wish to expand their professional repertoire and put their skills to work for a well-respected local change-making organization are encouraged to apply.

Selected filmmakers with receive:

  • $1,500 stipend for participation in the the cohort of other filmmakers, offering and receiving support in a highly collaborative learning environment. Time commitment is approximately five hours per week of community feedback with your fellow filmmakers and production work, for a six-month period.
  • $4,500 budget for production and editing of a short documentary
  • You will be paired with a local nonprofit client and produce your film from start to finish. Under client’s guidance create a brief, budget, shot lists, lead production and editing in deep collaboration with the client and the cohort of other filmmakers.
  • You will do all of the above with tailored support, guided by program personnel, a range of master classes and resources, editing help, gear support, and more.
  • In being part of the program, you’ll also join an international nonfiction media pipeline and be uniquely supported to connect with media organizations and professionals from around the world for future work and collaborations.

Eligibility Requirements for Filmmakers

To be considered for the program, you must be:

  • From and living in East Africa
  • Experienced in filming and editing (ideally in nonfiction video storytelling)
  • Ability to receive funds from US based clients (ex: Paypal, bank wire transfer, Venmo, Zelle, Western Union.)
  • Access to and be experienced with editing equipment and software (ex: Premiere Pro, Final Cut, DaVinci.)
  • Access to camera equipment
  • Be passionate about making an impact with your craft, and open to sharing knowledge and community with fellow nonfiction filmmaking professionals.

FAQs for Filmmakers

Information for East African filmmakers applying for SSP.
How will filmmakers be selected?

Any filmmaker living and working in East Africa may apply. Your reel, past projects, ability to meet the above requirements will be considered during our decision-making process, which will be led by VC in consultation with Skoll.

Could you provide some examples of what the films would look like?

Yes, here is a list of some great examples of the films we’ll be using as inspiration!

What is the project budget?

Each filmmaker will receive a $1,500 stipend for participation and a $4,500 budget per film, paid directly to you. This budget will translate to approximately 1 or 2 days of on-location filming (with your partner organization) and a few weeks of of editing. You’ll be supported throughout this process with production guidance and mentorship to ensure you create a successful film — that clearly speaks to your partner organization’s mission and that you can use to generate new, future work.

If chosen, what is my responsibility for the duration of the program and production process?

Please see above “program details.” Please note that this is a six-month-long program: when you’re not in production, you will be helping fellow filmmakers with guidance and offering notes, and also learning new techniques and production techniques through the professional development aspect of the program. Expect approximately 5 hours/per week (or more, if you desire) to be allotted to the the collaboration / support / learning community beyond the time on the video being produced.

I want to apply, but would like to produce my film with a partner/colleague. Should I apply for both of us?

Yes! You can both apply to the program, and mention each other’s names in your applications. Or, you can also apply alone and mention their name, if you’d like to hire them for a specific role and use part of your production budget for them to help you bring your film to life. Each film will have one lead and a total budget of $4500. So if you want to partner on producing a film, you can split that however you decide.

How will I be paired with my organization?

Pairs will be created based on alignment of your skillset and interests and the organization’s mission, as well as your proximity to your organization’s desired filming location(s).

How involved will Skoll and VC be in this process?

VC will help oversee the entire process: your direct contact will be the VC program’s manager and we will have additional team members help with finishing the film and launching it into the world. Skoll and VC will provide notes on drafts (in addition to the featured orgs) and will showcase all finished films on their respective platforms.

When will applicants be notified of their status?

We will notify you with final decisions before November, 2022.

I’m very interested in participating in this program but I’m not based in East Africa. Will there be another opportunity for my region?

We hope to expand this offering to more regions in the Global South in 2023. Please fill this form out to express your interest in participating!

I have additional questions. Who should I ask?

Please email ssp@videoconsortium.org and we’ll direct your questions to the right people!

Ready to Apply?
...and expand your professional repertoire and work with well-respected local change-making organization? Submit below.

Details for Nonprofits and Social Innovators

Any Skoll-supported, East Africa-based organization is encouraged to apply for this opportunity to have a film made about their work to further their impact. For more details and eligibility requirements, please read this FAQ and apply below.

FAQs for Nonprofits

Information for social innovators and nonprofits applying for SSP.
How will films/organizations be selected?

Any organization working in East Africa that has received Skoll funding can apply. Diversity of organizations and issue areas will drive our decision-making process, which will be led by VC in consultation with Skoll. Stories should touch on at least one of Skoll Foundation’s five strategic priorities (health, effective governance, inclusive economies, environment, racial justice). Our reviewers will consider:

  • Potential impact – how valuable will this film be in furthering your work?
  • Viability of project – can this film be completed on time and within budget?
  • Location of organization & filming (must be based in East Africa for this first round)
  • Compelling nature of the story - is there a powerful character being featured, or inspiring story of transformation?
What kinds of stories qualify for this program?

We’re looking for stories that highlight a solution or that show how your model works in the field. Example formats could include:

  • Day in the life of a _____ (person served by your work, or carrying out the work)
  • Before and after (story of impact)
  • About Us – brief overview of organization/initiative
  • Profile of a leader, beneficiary, implementer, community
  • Addressing a misconception
  • Event highlights/summary
  • Education/training film
Could you provide some examples of what the films would look like?

Yes, here is a list of some great examples of the films we’ll be using as inspiration.

What is the project budget?

$4500 per film, paid directly to your filmmaker-partner, which includes access to gear for filmmakers, and a limited additional stipend for necessary filmmaker travel. For reference, this means there will be approximately 1 or 2 days of on-location filming (with your organization/partners), 1-3 featured characters/interviews and several days of off-site editing — during this period, you will be consulted regularly to give feedback on video briefs, shot lists, and video drafts.

If chosen, what is my organization’s responsibility for the duration of the program and production process?

Your organization will be responsible for providing guidance to the filmmaker on the scope and direction of the project, and access to subjects and locations. You will be asked to provide clear, actionable feedback on project briefs and in-progress drafts. (One main point of contact from your organization who can gather all stakeholder’s notes typically works best so the filmmaker receives clear direction.) For some projects we may also work with you to create a release plan for the film (social media, website, live events, etc.). And if you have never made a film before, that is ok! Our team is here to help.

I just want an animated film for my organization. Does this program do that?

No, this program will only fund the production of films in documentary/nonfiction format, which means that no animations, graphic/text driven stories, or narrative projects will be considered.

We have a local filmmaker we would like to work with. Can we nominate them to apply for this program?

Absolutely. Please ask them to apply here.

How would a filmmaker be chosen and paired with my organization?

Filmmakers will be chosen based on the strength and alignment of their past work and proximity to your organization and filming location(s).

How involved will Skoll and VC be in this process?

You will have support through the entire process. The program manager for the Solutions Storytelling Project will be your direct contact for questions or needs, and additional team members from SSP will help you finish the film and launch it in the world.

When will you decide if our film(s) are chosen?

We will notify you with final decisions before November, 2022.

I am not sure how to answer all the questions in this application, I just know I want to take advantage of this opportunity. Can you help us propose a project that will be a good fit?

Absolutely. Please email ssp@videoconsortium.org and we will work with you to create a focused application.

We have two or more films we would like to have produced. Can we apply for more than one?

Sure. Three applications/project proposals max per organization.

We have a film that was made about us already, but we think a better/more updated one can be made. Can we still apply?

Definitely. Please add a link to the film in your application as a reference example.

How long are the films?

Most films will be between one and four minutes.

Our work is not based in East Africa. Will there be another opportunity for my region?

We hope to expand this offering to more regions in the Global South in 2023. Please apply here if interested in participating in future programs.

Is this opportunity only available to Skoll Foundation Awardees and Grantees?

If the story or work involves a partner or beneficiary of a Skoll awardee/grantee, they may apply as well.

We previously received funding from the Skoll Foundation but are not a current grantee. Are we still eligible to apply?

Yes! If you are a current or past grantee, your organization is eligible to apply.

Ready to Apply?
Ready to have a film made about your nonprofit organization's work to further your impact?

Film Screening photo by Docubox.
Cover photo by Thomas Bennie.