The U.S. Department of State selected Nathan Collett, a U.S. alumnus of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) Fulbright Student Program, as State Alumni Member of the Month. In 2006, he was awarded a Fulbright grant to research African storytelling in Nairobi, Kenya. The Fulbright program inspired his commitment to promote social transformation by telling stories from other cultures through film.
As a result of his exchange experience, Nathan created opportunities for youth living in informal urban communities of Nairobi, particularly from the Kibera neighborhood. His work opened a window of awareness into these community slums. He started the production company, Hot Sun Films Ltd, and, later, established the nonprofit Hot Sun Foundation. In 2009, he started the Kibera Film School. At the school, youth from Nairobi’s urban areas learn how to tell their stories through film and gain the skills to work in the East African film and television industries. Nathan also brings together Kenyan and international film professionals to share their skills and experiences with the film students.
Nathan developed the untapped resources of human creativity and storytelling in settlements such as Kibera. Engaging with youth in Nairobi, Nathan improves understanding and collaboration among people of different backgrounds. Through the use of various social media platforms, he encourages people from every corner of the globe to learn about Kibera and support its young talent. Short films by Kibera Film School youth have been featured in film festivals and educational programs worldwide.
In addition to his work with youth and storytelling, Nathan continues to support the Kenyan exchange program community. He attends local alumni events and mentors youth interested in applying for Fulbright grants. His achievements have been featured by the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi on its monthly alumni newsletter, the Ameri-Ken Connection.
For more information, visit the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ website at http://exchanges.state.gov/alumni/alumnus.html. Media Contact: Carla Coolman, CoolmanCH@state.gov , phone (202) 632-3356.