In the early 2000s, a Kenyan based filmmaker and at the time founder of production company “Seven Productions”, Judy Kibinge, noticed a clear gap in the film industry and embarked on a journey to bridge it. This was the lack of a documentary film fund
for East African filmmakers.

In 2010, Ford Foundation’s “Just Films” initiative was launched. Joyce Nyairo, a Program Officer at Ford reached out to her and in partnership with Judy’s “Seven Productions” set out on a year long research journey to find out how viable the idea of a documentary film fund in East Africa would be. Over forty emerging and established filmmakers from across the country were interviewed and several key issues identified: film financing, access to award winning  documentary films, and skill-building training through labs and workshops.  In addition, the research detected a lack of trust between filmmakers and established that a sense of community was deeply essential to build a functional industry.



The birth of the East African Film Fund,  better known as “Docubox” was underway. By April of 2012, Docubox’s vision and strategy was formulated by Judy and Josh Mwamunga who  determined an appropriate legal structure, registering it as  a Company Limited by Guarantee. In 2013 the first documentary film lab was held at Shalom House, which was then chosen as the most suitable office space for Docubox due to its convenience and versatility as a physical home for the organization. Peter Mudamba had already joined the Docubox team as the inaugural Project Manager, bringing his film and theater expertise and experience to further strengthen the team that was being led by Judy and Josh Mwamunga.

Since its inception to this day, Docubox has been able to fund over 100 films which include feature documentaries, short-form documentaries, and short fiction films.

Over 1.2 million dollars has been given in grants, over 70 workshops and masterclasses also held while over 200 film screenings have been organized, collectively attracting over 55,000 attendees in person and 160,000 attendees online.

Docubox now stands as a decade old testament to the resilience of African documentary filmmakers, while painting a clear picture of what role these character driven films play in African storytelling and the film industry as a whole.



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