In 2005 Mira Nair founded Maisha Film Lab, a training and resources centre for East African and South Asian film-makers. Based in Uganda, Maisha organises regular workshops. Among those on its advisory committee are Sofia Coppola and Spike Lee.
An extract from Maisha’s mission statement:
MAISHA (meaning “life” in Kiswahili) provides new screenwriters and film directors from East Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda) and South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) with access to the professional training and production resources necessary to articulate their visions. Maisha aims to preserve, cultivate and unleash local voices from these regions, and to become one of the first targeted programs to offer structured and accessible resources to these emerging filmmakers. MAISHA is motivated by the belief that a film which explores the truths and idiosyncrasies of the specifically local often has the power to cross over and become significantly universal.