Barbara Karuana


  • Program Year
  • 2017-19
  • Country of Current Residence
  • Canada
  • City/Town of Current Residence
  • Montreal
  • Current Position
  • Sauvé Fellow
  • Organization
  • Jeanne Sauvé Foundation
  • Profession(s)
  • Film Production Manager, Film Director

  • Sector(s)
  • Communications (including media), Filmmaking, Public Relations
  • Language(s)
  • English, Kiswahili
  • Interest(s) / Expertise
  • civil rights, communications, film, Gender Rights, storytelling
Scholar Twitter profile Scholar email address
Impact Statement

Barbara uses film as a medium to foster deeper understanding by showcasing multiple perspectives and stories on the same issues. She believes in “the danger of a single story” and is committed to breaking this trend, especially with regards to the way the world views Africa.


Barbara is the director of several short films and documentaries. The most recent of these, Homecoming, is a 24-minute drama which revolves around the challenges of family reconciliation. In tandem with the production of these films, Barbara has been a part of larger film productions such as SENSE8 (Netflix series) and the award-winning KATIKATI from Kenya that is currently making its film festival circuit. An experienced film Production Manager, Barbara is also the CEO of Look & Feel Media, whose core work is in the facilitation of filming for international film crews wishing to shoot on location in Kenya.

Barbara holds an Honours degree in Directing and Screenwriting from the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance (AFDA) as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya. She was also a participant in the 2015 Maisha Film Lab Screenwriters Workshop, a masterclass designed for experienced Kenyan filmmakers.

Barbara is a recipient of the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship (Class of 2016) which facilitated her year of study at AFDA and her eventual receipt of multiple awards for her graduation film including: Best Film, Audience Choice Award, Best Screenplay and Outstanding Achievement in Directing. Barbara is also the winner of the 2014 Nairobi edition of the 48 Hour Film Project, an international film-making competition.