Student filmmaker Christine Njeri working in Nairobi, Kenya.

CCM’s Second Annual 48-Hour Film Festival Welcomes Guest Filmmakers and Actors from Kenya

UC students are invited to spend a whirlwind weekend writing, shooting and editing short films during the second annual 48-Hour Film Festival. Co-hosted by CCM’s Department of Drama and Division of Electronic Media, the movie-making marathon begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6, and culminates with a public screening of the student-created films at UC’s MainStreet Cinema at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 8.

Based on the innovative “48 Hour Film Project” competition and festival, which launched in 2001, CCM’s 48-Hour Film Festival will challenge teams of students to bring their short films from conception to completion within a brisk 48-hour window.

Student filmmaker Eric Mwangi working in Nairobi, Kenya.

Student filmmaker Eric Mwangi working in Nairobi, Kenya.

This year’s student participants will be joined by six guest filmmakers and actors from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya. These students will spend the entire week of the film festival in Cincinnati, attending classes at UC and experiencing the culture of the area.

Richard Hess, the A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Chair of Dramatic Performance at CCM, orchestrated this cultural exchange.

In 2011, Hess brought eight current and former CCM Drama students to Kenya to take part in the Dadaab Theatre Project on World Refugee Day. He returned to Kenya in 2014 as a Fulbright Scholar and spent a semester teaching and conducting research at Kenyatta University’s Department of Theatre Arts and Film Technology. You can learn more about his time in Kenya here.

For the second installment of CCM’s 48-Hour Film Festival, Hess wanted to expose students to these same kinds of life-changing creative experiences. “The integration of our cultures and artistic viewpoints will challenge prejudices and assumptions, enlarging the world-views and possibilities of each participant,” says Hess. “Adding a Kenyan artist to each creative team is a meaningful way to affect every student in the CCM Film Festival.”

Any UC student interested in participating in the CCM 48-Hour Film Festival is invited to apply online at Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2, 2015.

Every applicant will be assigned to a team. Team assignments will be announced at the festival’s kick-off event in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6. Participant will need to be available for the entire 48 hours from 7 p.m. on Nov. 6 through 7 p.m. on Nov. 8.

Below, watch 165 West McMillan, one of last year’s festival films.

Teams will be assigned a common prop, a common line of dialogue and a common theme, all of which must be included in each film. Teams will then have 48 hours to brainstorm, create job assignments, research, story-board, write, cast, film, score and edit a roughly five to seven minute-long film.

“The best way to fight prejudice is through exposure,” says Hess. “Six different teams of artists, made of Kenyan and American students, will be tasked with creating original short films over a 48-hour period. Working under the exquisite pressure of time, they will be forced to ask large questions, to listen and to leap into the void of creativity where the impossible becomes possible.”

The general public is invited to the festival’s screening party at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 8. Films will be screened in UC’s MainStreet Cinema in the Tangeman University Center.

Dates and Times

  • Festival: 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, through 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8
  • Public Screening: 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8


  • Festival Kick-Off: Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
  • Public Screening: MainStreet Cinema, Tangeman University Center

Admissions to Screening
The 48-Hour Film Festival’s screening party is free and open to the general public. Reservations are not required.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit Additional parking is available off-campus at the new U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

The Kenyatta University 2015 Exchange Program has been made possible by the A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Family Foundation, and Neil R. Artman and Margaret L. Straub.

CCM News Faculty Fanfare

CCM Chair of Drama Richard E. Hess Receives Fulbright Scholar Award

Drama professor Richard Hess (right) led a contingent of students to Kenya in 2011 where they met refugees such as Abdi Rashid, a writer (left), who translated Hess' words to Somali.

Drama professor Richard Hess (right) led a contingent of students to Kenya in 2011 where they met refugees such as Abdi Rashid, a writer (left), who translated Hess’ words to Somali.

Richard E. Hess, the A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Chair of Drama at CCM, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach and research at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya during the 2013-­14 academic year, the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced recently.

Hess’ research project, The Collapsible Space Between Us: Creating Artistic Identity through Theatre-­Making in Kenya, will allow him to work with actors as an acting teacher, on original devised theatre as a director and in educating theatre-­makers: actors who are story­tellers with strong identities interested in creating exciting physical theatre.

Hess is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2013-­14.

Hess first traveled to Nairobi in June of 2011 to create an original theatre piece with refugees from the Dadaab Refugee Camp and CCM Drama students. The Dadaab Theatre Project performed at World Refugee Day with support from the United Nations and the Great Globe Foundation.

“In Kenya I met a group of multi-cultural, international, multi-language strangers who used the currency of theatre to open hearts, share identities, and give voice to the unspoken,” Hess explains. “I encountered heroic bravery and tangible hope, and was surprised by the intense trust and humbling respect given to me so easily. The Africans made me feel valued as a teacher in a way I have never felt. I am eager to return.”

CCM News Faculty Fanfare

The CCM Drama Dadaab Theater Project and the Great Globe Foundation Host Symposium on Jan. 17

DadaabTheaterProjectIn June of 2011, six current and former students from CCM Drama traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, for five intense days of theatre-making with refugees from the Dadaab Refugee Camp. The outcome of that trip will be explored in a special symposium hosted by the CCM Drama Dadaab Theater Project and the Great Globe Foundation from 3-6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17, in UC’s Cohen Family Studio Theater.

Titled “How the Hurt Helped and How the Help Hurt and Why Go Through It All Again,” the afternoon discussion will explore the successes and challenges faced by artists who engage in international outreach and exchange. The symposium is free and open to the public. CCM Professor of Drama Michael Burnham will moderate.

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