Sundance Edit lab and WeOwnTV Filmmaker Fellowship

Hello to all of our wonderful supporters!

We sincerely appreciate your continued support for Survivors and the filmmakers at the WeOwnTV Freetown Media Center. Our team just returned from one week at the Sundance edit lab. It was an amazing experience that was also made bittersweet as our Sierra Leonean colleagues, Arthur and Barmmy, were not able to get US VISAs to join us. We have however hatched a new plan to be together for our edit. Survivors was also selected to participate in GoodPitch Kenya in Nairobi in October and Anna and I plan to join them there and stay for an extra month to edit together.

In an effort to continue our mission of supporting independent filmmakers, improving media literacy and promoting civic engagement, we recently launched our first annual documentary Story Challenge and Filmmaker Fellowship. We had an open call for documentary submissions from filmmakers in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. We awarded funding to an impressive group of 9 filmmakers.

Ten finalists from the open challenge were selected to participate in our inaugural WeOwnTV Fellowship, which provides workshops and mentoring support for selected filmmakers for a year. A production workshop was held in the first week of May at our Freetown Media Center, where the fellows presented their work and received training and mentorship from industry leaders. The second workshop will also be held in Freetown, Sierra Leone in November of 2016 and will focus on editorial of the fellows’ films. We will explore distribution opportunities for these films in early 2017.

From the impressive group of ten finalists, we selected 3 winners and 4 runners up who will share $48,000 in cash assistance and distribution opportunities.

THE FELLOWSHIP

Ten finalists from the open challenge were selected to participate in our inaugural WeOwnTV Fellowship, which provides workshops and mentoring support for selected filmmakers for a year. A production workshop was held in the first week of May at our Freetown Media Center, where the fellows presented their work and received training and mentorship from industry leaders. The second workshop will also be held in Freetown, Sierra Leone in November of 2016 and will focus on editorial of the fellows films. We will explore distribution opportunities for these films in early 2017.

From the impressive group of ten finalists, we selected 3 winners and 4 runners up who will share $48,000 in cash assistance and distribution opportunities.

OUR 2016 FELLOWS

Winners

John Solo_1

John Solo

“Life after the Army” focuses on the daily activities and stories of five ex-service men who left the army through the Voluntary Retirement Programme. The difficult lives of these men and the stories they tell echo the sentiment of thousands of their comrades who are scattered across Sierra Leone having gone through the same retirement programme.

George Lewis_1

George Lewis

“Holes in my Backyard” is a documentary that looks at some of the secret activities around coastal settlements in Sierra Leone. Kroo Bay slum settlement is in the very heart of the city. This settlement is notorious for many illegal activities such as prostitution, drug dealing and gambling. Notably the settlement is now a key smuggling port for people bringing in and taking out illegal goods.

Michael Kargbo_1

Michael Kargbo

“Bridging Communities After Ebola” Even after Ebola had been declared over; Ebola survivors are still perceived as those who brought death to their communities. The main story would focus on a particular journalist, who tries to break the chain of discrimination or stigmatization for a peaceful coexistence, through the media and other peace building mechanisms.

Runners Up
 Amara Lugbou Kamara, Risk Life
 Michaella Sallu, The Journey
 Mohamed Sheriff, Okada

Tyson Conteh, An’Bondo Beyky
 Aminata, Da Bode Ose

We are excited to encourage and support more independent journalism and filmmaking in West Africa and we hope you are too. Please help us support these filmmakers and encourage a culture of creativity and intellectual freedom in West Africa by donating what you can and spreading the word by sharing our GlobalGiving campaign with your network.

With gratitude,
 Banker White and the team at WeOwnTV

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