WHO WE ARE
At Viewfinders Kenya, we value the benefits that come with utilising local talent and experience.
Born and raised in Kenya, Sajid studied Tour Guiding & Management followed by Wildlife Management before working as a Camp Manager in the Masai Mara. He is also a trained professional Wildlife Guide.
He wanted to play a part in conservation and chose media as the means to do so. He believes that the best way to spread awareness is through film.
After he teamed up with Jean Hartley, she groomed him to continue her legacy at Viewfinders.
Sajid’s love for wildlife and nature conservation drives his professionalism and enthusiasm during each project.
JEAN HARTLEY (1943 – 2017)
Founder and Director till 2017
In 1985, Jean made history as the first person to formalise fixing as a sector in filmmaking within East Africa. Jean put her heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears into Viewfinders for over 30 years. Some of the major productions which she supervised in Kenya include: Ivory Wars, Warlords of Ivory and Big Cat Diaries. Viewfinders is her baby and over the years, she watched the company engage in new diverse projects and watched her trusted team grow too. Jean’s ‘baby’ is now Kenya’s oldest fixing agency. Her legacy will be carried on by Sajid and the team who intend to go the full distance to maintain it.
ALAN ROOT (1937 – 2017)
Alan was a true pioneer in the world of wildlife documentary filmmaking. He was one of Jean’s closest friends and they worked on many productions together over the years. Alan was a member of the Viewfinders board until 2016.
He was best known for his contributions to Anglia Television’s long-running series Survival.
His 1978 film, Mysterious Castles of Clay which is about the hidden life of a termite mound was nominated for an Academy Award. In 2008 he was appointed Order of the British Empire (OBE), and during his career he received more than 60 other awards, including two Emmys and a Bafta.
Production Manager (2007 – 2013)
Born in Kenya, Mia has a passion for wildlife and particularly elephants. She completed her education (Major in Anthropology) in the United Kingdom. After working for seven years with Jean Hartley, Mia was tapped as production manager on two IMAX 3D features, namely: Born To Be Wild and Island of Lemurs: Madagascar. As a prominent professional photographer based out of Nairobi, Mia's latest body of work includes a celebrated coffee table book: The Unsung Heroes with Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Benta is an actress, fixer and former presenter with a background in film production. She loves to travel for scenic and wildlife admiration and enjoys meeting different people from different cultural backgrounds. As an actress and presenter, she has been involved in both local and international productions. As a fixer, Benta has over 10 years of experience on both local and international films and documentaries.
Camera Car Driver, Camera Assistant
Sammy has been a part of the viewfinders team since the very beginning. His jolly personality deems him as great company while on safari. Over the years he has worked as an assistant camera man in Kenya, Congo and other countries across the continent. Sammy has a wealth of experience including night filming and driving with a cineflex rigged to the car, amongst other contraptions.
Jamie is a camera operator experienced in long lens wildlife behaviour, ronin/gimbal, drone (CAA license), motion-controlled time-lapse, custom equipment and presenter led.
Jamie's passion for filming is fuelled by his dedication to conservation. His conservation projects have received awards from the Scientific Exploration Society, the Explorers Club and National Geographic Society.
Also born and raised in Kenya, Ross has over 30 years of in-country experience in media and film production, security, logistics, camp management, site management, operations, guiding, wildlife expertise, and client support in East Africa. Having worked in the industry for several years, Ross has a myriad of networks within the film and other supporting industries.
BARNEY TREVELYAN JOHNSON
Commonly known as Kenya's leading drone pilot, Barney has worked on countless natural history documentaries and amassed a wealth of experience.