Capturing Everyday Stories: Call for Participation

The U.S. Embassy in South Africa and Sunshine Cinema are partnering to provide an intensive, five-day virtual workshop that trains aspiring storytellers to develop the ability to capture local engaging short films made on their mobile smartphones. The workshop is open to journalists, activists, media professionals, local leaders and others who want to tell truthful and valuable stories about their communities and learn more about how to use those stories for impact.

Participants will learn from Sunshine Cinema’s media educators and U.S. filmmaker Denali Tiller ( whose documentary film, Tre Maison Dasan, will be featured in our virtual screening calendar on October 5th 2021.

Tre Maison Dasan is an intimate portrait of three boys growing up, each with a parent in prison. Directly told through the child’s perspective, the film is an exploration of relationships and separation, masculinity, and coming of age in America when a parent is behind bars.

Denali Tiller is an artist and filmmaker, named one of 110 “filmmakers to watch” by Variety Magazine in 2015 for her short film, Sons and Daughters of the Incarcerated — which grew into her feature documentary, Tres Maison Dasan. She has worked with the U.S. Agency for International Development, and has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design. Through her work, Denali is interested in empowering artists in systemic thinking, social justice and activism. She is most passionate about children and youth advocacy, and boys are raised in America.


– Virtual film screening of Tre Maison Dasan: 5 October 2021 (attendance compulsory)

– Workshop: 6, 7, 8, 11 and 12 October 2021 (participation in the full workshop is required by selected participants).

– Specifically, the workshop addresses the following themes in 3 hour slots per day from 2pm-5pm SAST:






Upon completion of the workshop, participants would have each completed a short video portrait about a strong character of their choice and learned about impact producing and socially engaging distribution strategies. The course will help those that already have experience improve their storytelling and technical skills.

The workshop will be limited to a maximum of 30 participants. Participants will be selected based on responses to the application form. More detailed responses will accordingly be more competitive. Feel free to share the link to this survey if you have a colleague who may be interested in participating.

  • Participants must attend all five days of the virtual workshop (three hours each day 2pm – 5pm on Zoom).
  • Participants must have a notebook and pen, laptop with an up-to-date operating system, a good quality smartphone with a camera, enough available memory to shoot a video, with full battery charger and cable to connect the device to a computer, and headphones.
  • Open to participants between the ages of 21-35 who reside in the Free State and Mpumalanga provinces.

between the ages of 21-35 who reside in the Free State and Mpumalanga provinces.

Application form must be completed by 15 September 2021