The One World Media Fellowship is aimed at aspiring journalists and filmmakers, supporting new talent from around the world to produce engaging and creative media in the global south.
Working in film, print, audio or multimedia, our Fellows’ projects bring integrity and creativity to underreported stories that break down stereotypes and build cross-cultural connections.
Reporting from India
Alison Lemeri Francis
Reporting from Uganda
Reporting from India
Ceren Özkanlı Samlı
Reporting from Turkey
Reporting from Ecuador
Reporting from the Philippines
Ibrahim S Miles Kamara
Reporting from Sierra Leone
Reporting from Lebanon
Reporting from South Africa
Reporting from Mexico
Reporting from India
Reporting from India
The One World Media Fellowship is supported by
Monica Garnsey is an Executive Producer in TV Current Affairs, specialising in international and hostile environment projects, currently working on films for October Films, BBC Current Affairs and PBS Frontline. She has directed numerous observational documentaries and current affairs films for the BBC and Channel 4 in the UK, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza and elsewhere. She was awarded an Emmy for BBC’s Death in Tehran, an Amnesty International Media Award for Execution of a Teenage Girl (BBC) and a RTS Award for Help Me Love My Baby for C4.
Amalia is a London-based journalist, who previously worked as an advertising copywriter for almost 10 years. She had always longed to be a journalist like her hero Joan Didion, so she left her job, studied an MA in journalism at Goldsmiths University and has never looked back. Currently Amalia writes about culture, food, design and technology for a range of publications including 1843 (the Economist’s bi-monthly magazine about ideas), The New Scientist, and The Guardian. Amalia was adopted as a baby from Colombia, by a German father and Trinidadian mother and grew up in Sydney.
THE STORY: The 2016 landmark peace agreement between the FARC and the Colombian government brought an end to more than half a century of armed conflict. However, one of the biggest threats to a lasting peace is if the thousands of demobilised combatants fail to find employment. Data shows that around one quarter of ex-combatants from rural areas are interested in using their in-depth knowledge of Colombia’s landscape to become tour guides.
This story follows a former combatant who, with the help of local NGOs, has retrained as a tour guide. Amalia will travel to “La Trocha Ganadera”, a spectacular trail with natural pools, waterfalls, and birdlife, which was previously considered unsafe to visit because it was a favoured corridor by the FARC to transport narcotics.
AMBITION: To spend more time in Colombia and bring its incredibly diverse voices and rich stories to a wider audience – and improve her terrible Spanish.
Aran is a London based documentary filmmaker with a keen eye for unearthing obscure stories. He started making films whilst coaching football for Arsenal F.C. in a variety of countries including Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Barbados, Thailand and Australia. During these placements, he was immersed within local communities and wanted to share their stories through short documentary films. Aran now works as a camera operator/editor at the Arsenal F.C. This year he was a successful participant on the Grierson Trust Doclab Scheme and also completed the Roundhouse Bloomberg Production Scheme.
THE STORY: In a small town called Manica in the heart of Mozambique, there is a gifted football player who dreams of making it big. They have all of the qualities to be the next Maradona – the only problem is that there is no women’s football team. Through looking at the politics of who can play on the pitch, Aran hopes to shed light on the effect of entrenched gender roles on young women in Mozambique.
AMBITION: To create thought-provoking documentaries that engage a diverse audience and impact change.
Carlotta is a freelance journalist based in London, who has written for The Times, The Guardian, La Repubblica, Vogue UK, New Internationalist. She has previously worked for the Times and Sunday Times’ data team, focused on data-led investigations covering issues surrounding social justice. She is interested in using digital tools to carry out in-depth investigations and to keep exploring new narrative formats. She graduated from the MA Digital Journalism program at Goldsmiths last year.
THE STORY: Carlotta will travel to the rural Senegal River Valley area, to cover the story of a group of women that is using new technologies and renewable energies to fight the migrant crisis and climate change – and that is reversing the traditional female role in the area.
AMBITION: To produce original, public interest stories that will make a difference.
Mattha is a freelance journalist and reporter at the Guardian. He has also written for Private Eye, Vice and the Independent. He is interested in society, the media, travel and inequality. He graduated from the MA Journalism course at Goldsmiths, University of London in 2017.
THE STORY: Women in south-eastern Nigeria can be disinherited, dispossessed and banished from their in-law’s family upon the death of their spouse. Mattha and Carlotta will travel to the states of Enugu and Imo to explore this injustice and report on how NGOs, lawyers and communities are working to ensure widows are able to exercise their constitutional rights.
AMBITION: To continue to grow as a journalist, develop multimedia skills and write stories that make a difference.
Hanan Bihi is a freelance multimedia journalist who has an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London. She’s interested in narrating human-interest stories and challenging misconceptions. And always keen to explore and discover new ways of storytelling through digital platforms.
THE STORY: The Republic of Somaliland – a self-declared, semi-autonomous region of Somalia – is one of the poorest countries on earth and an unlikely refuge for war-fleeing Syrians and Yemenis. As a fledgling democracy, the country enjoys peace and stability and is giving opportunities to skilled refugees to set-up businesses and have a second chance at life. But what’s stopping the young population of Somaliland from accessing similar opportunities? What is driving them to pursue a better life elsewhere at a time when doors are shut on both refugees and economic migrants alike?
AMBITION: To connect with those on the margin of different social spheres and to tell their stories in a just, simple and humane way, using various forms of media.
Hazel is a UK-based producer currently working with Doc Society on their education programme, Doc Academy. Following a Journalism degree from London College of Communication, Hazel worked as a copywriter and then a producer with Just So. She has made films in east Africa and Palestine and her work has increasingly focused on social justice, as well as the rights and experiences of young people.
THE STORY: Hazel will travel to the Amhara region of Ethiopia to make a film with girls and young women who are planning to migrate to Saudi Arabia to find work. The project will take a closer look at how and why girls embark on the journey and their experiences on returning home.
AMBITION: To keep learning, to make more films, and to meet more inspiring people.
Larissa is a London-based Brazilian producer and filmmaker who has an MA in Visual Arts. She has 12 years experience working in all stages of TV production within soap operas, documentaries and corporate videos. She previously worked for companies in Brazil, Argentina and Columbia, including TV Globo, Caracol TV and Discovery Latin America. Larissa now works on her own projects. In August 2017 she produced the documentary competition “Projeto Doc 36” in Rio along with Movement in Media and London Documentary Network. Recently she founded the site Bramedia Connection to setup co-productions between Brazil and the rest of the world.
THE STORY: In the last few years Brazil has suffered a number of crises, including the impeachment of President Dilma. Larissa will travel to Rio to make a short film about the fight for survival of a professor and researcher at UERJ University. His laboratory of Leshmaniasis research, a tropical disease that affects 1 million people from developing countries, is now in terrible condition. Without pay or classes to attend, many professionals and students are taking loans and suffering from mental health problems, with some becoming suicidal.
AMBITION: To make films that give people a voice and to keep making co-productions between the UK and other countries.
Mei Leng is a British-born Malaysian Chinese documentary filmmaker whose work focuses on the immigrant experience, intersectional feminism and social inequality. Her recent documentary ‘You Can’t Do Nothing, Can You?’ was funded by the BFI/We The People’s Tweetapitch Award 2016. Filmed over nine months, it follows two asylum seekers in the UK who are left homeless and destitute as a direct result of an inefficient and unsympathetic immigration system. Mei Leng currently works as a researcher at the BBC across a range of factual programmmes and is an alumni of the Grierson Doc Lab.
THE STORY: A new crisis has emerged almost a year after devastating floods in the capital of Sri Lanka. With half a million people displaced and homes devastated, families have found themselves unable to support their own children and have been forced to abandon them at orphanages. This film follows some teenagers at one orphanage in Colombo as they make a rare trip to visit their parents for the Tamil New Year, traditionally a time of family reunion. This film will examine the Sri Lankan government’s response to a major environmental crisis, through the lens of a family’s sacrifice.
AMBITION: To make documentaries which inspire positive social change, and to tell stories from around the globe.
Ravi is a curious multimedia storyteller from Anguilla, British West Indies. He recently developed online video content deconstructing urban violence with the support of Doc Society, and has made a short documentary on the housing crisis in London with Film Roundhouse. Ravi holds an MA Degree in Documentary Filmmaking from University College London and works extensively shooting and editing content in the Caribbean region, the United States and the United Kingdom. His projects include nonfiction and fiction film, sound and visual installations as well as collaborating with brands and artists to produce visual content.
SYNOPSIS: The Riomar is an access-led project that will give voice and visibility to the small collective of residents of a unique building in Cuba. Today, six families still live in the central block of the Riomar – which is now an endangered structure at the brink of total collapse. After decades of utter indifference, the government has initiated talks with the families in order to relocate them as soon as possible. The coastal area of Miramar has regained its forgotten value since the normalisation of US-Cuba relationships and American corporations are looking to buy land and build hotels on the island once again. Has gentrification caught-up with socialist Cuba, or vice-versa?
AMBITION: To tell stories from the Caribbean region with a local perspective for global audiences.
Dan grew up in London, UK. He has a BA Hons degree in Philosophy and English from the University of Bristol (2015) and has just completed an MA in Ethnographic and Documentary Film at University College London. He lived and taught for a year in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and has travelled extensively throughout Latin America. He speaks fluent Spanish and has worked on a number of film and photographic projects in both South America and the UK.
THE STORY: Panama is currently in a state of national euphoria, having qualified for the 2018 football World Cup for the first time in its history. Panama City has football academies that offer life-changing scholarships to children from the roughest barrios, giving them an opportunity for real social mobility. This film is a portrait of the lives of some of those children. It examines the role of football in society as providing both hope for the children and a convenient distraction for those in power in a country where the wealth divide between rich and poor is among the sharpest in the world.
AMBITION: To work as a documentary filmmaker, with a particular focus on social issues in Latin America.
Adrian graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a First Class Masters in Social Anthropology and won a university-wide prize for ‘most outstanding undergraduate dissertation’. His research is currently pending publication in the Journal of Southern African Studies. After graduating, Adrian worked at anti-corruption NGO Global Witness for two years, developing written and visual communications for some of the organisation’s most high-profile campaigns. Having completed film commissions for the Single Homelessness Project and the Australian Institute for Infant Mental Health, Adrian was taken on a Muslim pilgrimage in Senegal which has become the focus of this documentary. Alongside this film, Adrian has a grant pending with the Arts and Humanities Research Council to conduct an in-depth anthropological research project on the pilgrimage and its followers.
For many in the west, the subject of Islam in Africa conjures up images of kidnapped schoolgirls by Boko Haram in Nigeria or the violent suppression of unbelievers by Al-Qaeda in Mali. Largely unreported though is one of the biggest religious spectacles on the planet, when every year in Senegal, over four million Muslims journey from across the globe to the holy city of Touba, on a pilgrimage bigger than Mecca.
Seen through the lenses of relatable characters with everyday struggles at their hearts, this is a film which will reveal a kaleidoscopic new world of colour, spirituality and devotion, shining a light on a mystical and peaceful Islam that is all too often ignored.
To innovatively use film and other media to tell anthropological stories from the African continent that have the power to shift global perspectives on the region.
Lydia Matata is a Kenyan filmmaker and independent journalist. She is currently directing her first feature film, a documentary called Better Sundays. In 2015, the project was selected for a grant and mentorship program by Docubox. In 2017, she received an opportunity to pitch her project at the Durban Filmmart in South Africa. Lydia is a 2018 Hot Docs Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund fellow and grant recipient. As a journalist, her work has received recognition from the Media Council of Kenya which awarded her the Gender Reporting Award in 2015. She also received the Young Journalist of The Year Award in 2014.
THE STORY: The Grieving Circle is about the impact of stigma and silence surrounding Pregnancy and Infant Child Loss (PAIL) in Kenya. Roughly 10 – 20 percent of pregnancies will end in miscarriage according to global statistics. In Kenya, a Demographic Health Survey carried out in 2014, estimates that 1 in 20 children will die before their fifth birthday. A lack of social support means that many Kenyan parents do not get the opportunity to go through the grieving process and heal from their loss, but are instead encouraged to quickly have another child. The pressure to ‘replace’ dead children is compounded by the fact that in many communities, childless couples are not viewed as a real family unit. Those courageous enough to openly seek help are met with a shortage of mental health care services and a community that also stigmatizes mental illness.
The film follows different storylines of women sparked by their own struggle with child loss, to break the wall of silence and stigma that traps parents inside their pain. Their initiatives include support groups, mountain climbing, blogging and bringing together grieving parents to openly acknowledge their loss.
AMBITION: To tell stories that explore the unique and creative ways youth, women and other groups on the margins of Kenyan society are amplifying their voices and becoming agents of change within their communities.
Simona is a freelance journalist based in London, currently on the MA Radio course at Goldsmiths University. She is passionate about connecting with people and finding the best way to tell their stories through sound. Simona has co-produced two podcasts for the Radio Academy, volunteered for the media team and press office of Amnesty International and reported for local news.
THE STORY: ‘Caminele de ne-familisti’ or the ‘homes for those without families’, as translated from Romanian, are a forgotten legacy of communism. They are the modern-day, Eastern European ghettos that nobody writes about. Simona will travel to Bucharest in search of answers from the public, the press and the authorities on whose responsibility it is to cease the social injustice and human rights infringements these Communist cement blocks represent.
AMBITION: To continue producing documentaries and features for radio. To have a positive impact on disadvantaged communities and individuals, and to hold power to account.
Roxy is a freelance filmmaker with a strong track record in developing and producing ground-breaking stories for independent documentaries and factual television. She was recognised by The Dots as one of their 200 Creative Trailblazers of 2018, and selected in 2017 by Sheffield International Doc/Fest as a ‘Future Producer’. She worked on both seasons of the two-time Emmy award-nominated series about LGBT+ rights, Gaycation, and the winner of the New York Newswomen’s Club Front Page Award for TV Special Reporting, States of Undress. Her debut film Little Pyongyang premiered in competition for the Next: Wave award at CPH: Dox 2018.
THE STORY: ‘Marium the Wondergirl’ defied Pakistan’s gender norms to become a champion hula-hooper. Her aim was to be a beacon for young girls, encouraging them to pursue their dreams in spite of the restrictions. From a young age Marium was taught by her father, who wanted to demonstrate that his daughter could be capable of anything. Everything changed dramatically when Marium left her family to elope and live with her new husband and his family. According to HRW’s 2017 report on Pakistan, 21% of girls marry before they are 18. However, rather than the usual reports of pressure from family – it appeared in this case that Marium chose to leave her family for the marriage. The film explores Marium’s story as a window to open up a bigger discussion about women’s rights in Pakistan, and the varying hurdles on the road to female empowerment.
AMBITION: To combine both narrative storytelling and investigative journalism in documentary filmmaking, to practice fair filming and ethical methods as a journalist and filmmaker, and to find ways of sustaining a stable career as a freelance filmmaker whilst still telling the stories that she believes should be told.
Charanpreet is a Documentary and International Development student at the University of Sussex. Her first film, Grandmother, documented the stories of three migrant grandmothers (including her own) to the UK, in an effort to shift negative media stereotypes around migration. From October, Charanpreet will be a trainee broadcast journalist with ITV.
THE STORY: Lola/Yaya is an intimate portrayal of the human reality of economic migration from the Philippines to the West. Filipinos are the gold-standard of workers in the care industries across Europe and Italy’s ageing population, which means that the demand for caregivers for the elderly is immense. Often, the Filipino carers may be older than their Italian employers. Lola/Yaya is just such an example: a caregiver in one continent and a grandmother in the other. This film will depict the trials and triumphs of these elderly Filipino carers in Italy, while also highlighting the impact on their families back in the Philippines, documenting the extreme reality of the international division of labour that defines our world.
AMBITION: To tell stories that empower marginalised communities, giving them a global platform and prioritising their agency.
Gabriella is a multimedia storyteller with a BA in Culture and Communication from Roskilde University in Denmark. She is particularly interested in stories from Copenhagen and Nairobi, and is currently studying MA Media Practice for Development and Social Change at the University of Sussex. She has a passion for examining topics related to gender, race and migration from a decolonial perspective. Gabriella recently made a multimedia project concerning black masculinity and barbershop culture in the UK.
THE STORY: A shift is happening – a breaking point has emerged. Kenya’s youth have decided to challenge old power dynamics to secure the freedom of the next generations. The criminalisation and violence against LGBT+ groups (enforced by the British colonial rule and upheld after Kenya’s independence) is now being challenged in a historical high court-case. In Nairobi we meet a poet who is taking the front lead in the struggle for freedom – both on the streets where she uses her poetry as a healing tool, and her role in the Kenyan activist community. We follow her journey as she sets out to publish her poetry, and claim her space and voice.
AMBITION: To continue questioning, learning, and connecting cultures in order to tell strong educational multimedia stories.
Flaminia Giambalvo is a journalist and producer. She has produced several documentaries for VICE on topics including migration to Europe, female Islamic terrorism and organised crime in Italy. She has filmed and directed shoots across Italy, the UK, Southern Turkey and Bosnia and her articles have been published across several UK national and international news outlets including VICE News, Al Jazeera English and La Repubblica. Her first film The Ceremony was shown at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017. Most recently she was Assistant Producer on Channel 5’s Gangland 2.
THE STORY: Nearly 3,000 Haitians are living in the Mexican border town of Tijuana, since the 2016 Obama administration began a crackdown on Haitian refugees in the US – leaving thousands stranded. The local government in Tijuana gave Haitians temporary humanitarian visas to work in the town’s rapidly growing economy, but the arrival of a new administration in Tijuana with a tough stance on migration is now threatening their newly found “Mexican dream”.
The film follows the work of Evangelic Pastor Gustavo Banda , a 45 year old native, and his wife Valeria who for the past two years have dedicated their lives to supporting refugees in Tijuana and are now in the process of building a “Haitian Colony” with houses, job training and medical facilities. Through the eyes of Padre Gustavo we witness the frustrations caused by capricious immigration policy changes, but also the defiance of refugees who often find themselves at the sharp end of these policies in search of a place to call home.
AMBITION: To continue to grow as a producer and develop skills as a filmmaker. To tell underreported international stories on crime and migration.
Faye is a freelance filmmaker and journalist who has been working in Latin America for the past two years for outlets including NBC, Vice, Al Jazeera and the BBC. She has made videos and written articles on post-conflict issues, land rights, indigenous rights and the economy, with a particular focus on Colombia. Her ambition is to always bring out compelling personal narratives from contributors and tell their stories as creatively as possible.
THE STORY: In Colombia, the saying goes that you can build a church from empanadas. This isn’t just a phrase – it is actually true. When money needs to be made fast, they are the go-to street snack that can be easily made and sold in order to pay rent, feed families, and even build a church for your community.
This film will tell the story of one of Medellin’s poorest neighbourhoods through the women who sold empanadas to build the church. It is a way to explore the recent history of Medellin, informal economies in Colombia and, above all, the self-sufficiency of these women during decades of sustained violence.
AMBITION: To create innovative, insightful films that are a pleasure to make and a pleasure to watch.
Iman is currently studying for her MA in Sports Journalism and NCTJ diploma at St Mary’s University in London. She previously spent a year abroad in Paris studying Photojournalism, and has a degree in English from the University of Copenhagen. She is multilingual, speaking Arabic, Danish, English and French. Iman writes for the Sports Gazette and has recently undergone a two-week placement at Sky Sports News, working in Production and Multi-platform Media. She is interested in football, travel and creative storytelling.
THE STORY: Egypt has qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 28 years. Football has long reflected the country’s politics, from its anti-imperialist origin to the Arab Spring revolution in 2011. The documentary will explore how a sport that unites a nation for 90 minutes can also be used as a hidden political weapon. It will shed light on football in the Arab world, and tell the success story of Egyptian football during times of political instability. Mohamed Salah in particular, has taken the footballing world by storm, as he continues to cement his status as the “Egyptian King”.
AMBITION: To become a well-rounded sports journalist who tells stories that leave a lasting impression on people.
Lisa Clifford is a freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker who has reported from Europe, North America and Africa. Her career has taken her from daily newspapers in Canada to the Financial Times in London and New York. Her Masters degree in documentary filmmaking from the University of Sussex inspired Lisa to make her first feature documentary Militia Man.
When the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided that 23-year-old Germain Katanga was the person most responsible for years of carnage in northeastern Congo, a complex 10-year legal process unfolded with a budget in the millions. Militia Man explores a flawed ICC war crimes trial, seen through the eyes of Katanga, his lawyers and a family that lost everything in a terrible massacre. It reveals a court that remains well funded and largely unchallenged despite failing to deliver justice and adequate reparations to restart shattered lives. Katanga, after serving eight years in The Hague, eventually returns home to a shock.
To tell interesting and provocative stories that inspire change and debate.
Ali Maeve Sargent is a filmmaker from London. She is interested stories that deal with major political themes at intersections of culture, memory, technology and resistance. Her short films have been shown at the Tate Modern (Mozilla Festival 2016), the ICA and the South London Gallery. She is currently working as a researcher on a feature documentary for HBO and as a freelance translator.
Over the past ten years she has made several trips to Brazil, including a semester studying Latin American History in Rio de Janeiro. She has an MA in Screen Documentary from Goldsmiths.
In March 2018 Brazil’s black, LGBT politician Marielle Franco was gunned down in a Rio street. The assassination shocked the world for its total brazenness. Local commentators called it Brazil’s Martin Luther King moment; for many it seems to have foreshadowed the return of Brazil’s authoritarian past in the form of recently elected President Jair Bolsonaro. Following the most contested and violent election period in the country’s post-dictatorship history, where Marielle’s murder continues to be central to the political scenario, my film is about life and politics over death. I will follow the fight to continue her legacy, taking a long-term look at aftermath and attempts to build a meaningful future for residents in neighbourhoods like the one Marielle grew up in.
To keep making films, and to tell stories that help us imagine a more collective future.
Arwa Aburawa is a freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker with an interest in social and environmental issues. She has covered issues such as the water crisis in Iran, the life of sugarcane workers in El Salvador and farming communities in Burkina Faso. Previously a producer for Al Jazeera English’s environmental and medical shows, her work has been published in The Guardian, HuffPost, AdBusters and DW, amongst others. Arwa graduated from The University of Manchester and has a master’s in international journalism. She is also an IWMF fellow.
Lake Atitlán is one of the main tourist destinations in Guatemala, but few visitors understand the huge challenges the lake is facing. Historically prized for its clear waters, in the last 10 years growing pollution has led to toxic cyanobacteria blooms across the lake, infecting fish and posing a health risk to its users. Everyone is agreed that something needs to be done. But what? The battle to protect the lake tells the story of a divided society and asks whether these differences can be put aside in the interest of Lake Atitlan. Or whether the state of the lake simply reflects the state of Guatemalan society – broken.
To keep on learning and to tell stories which are able to capture the complex ways our past interacts with our present.
Aurora Herrera is currently reading for her doctorate in journalism at City, University of London. Aurora began her career in media as a columnist for the Trinidad Guardian at the age of 14. Her perpetual interest in people and their stories of everyday life led her to a Specialist in Journalism at the University of Toronto with an MA internship with the CBC. Aurora has worked as a producer, journalist, publicist, blogger, assistant director, writer, digital strategist and First AD of the award-winning film Trafficked. She is based in London, UK.
Hyperinflation of the Venezuelan economy has led to a major economic and socio-political crisis in the country. Millions of Venezuelans have fled their home to evade starvation and risks to their health caused by shortages of food and medicine. In the early stages of the crisis when nationals had not yet begun mass migration they would utilize their age old trading relationships with the boat runners from Trinidad and Tobago, a twin island republic less than seven miles off of the North Eastern coast of the continent. With families to feed but having no money, they would trade guns for food.
As a person who believes that media is the best platform to effect positive change in the world, I aim to produce meaningful work of high quality that holds power to account, gives a voice to the voiceless and represents the truth of the world.
Chloe Abrahams is a British Sri Lankan filmmaker and moving image artist based in London. Five of her works were shortlisted for the Bloomberg New Contemporaries in 2018 in her graduating year from BA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins. Her work seamlessly fluctuates between fiction and non-fiction genres, using actors and non-actors alike to document real life, posing questions about authenticity in storytelling. Chloe had her first solo exhibition, Connect at OVADA at the age of 19, and has since shown work in London, Paris and Kyoto. As well as being a practicing artist and filmmaker, Chloe also programs short documentaries for Cheap Cuts Film Festival and works in theatrical distribution for Dogwoof.
Rozana, a British woman who moved to London from Sri Lanka in her early 20s, receives a letter out of the blue from her estranged mother, Jean; a woman who enabled years of abuse by a man she still calls her husband. Not yet ready to take the leap herself, Rozana sends her daughter with a camera to Sri Lanka to speak to Jean face to face, hoping that she will open up for the first time about her past.
To make documentary cinema more accessible to a wider audience
Erica is an American documentary filmmaker pursuing her MFA in film directing at the University of Edinburgh. Her lifelong love of storytelling has led her to creative writing, radio production, magazine editing and video journalism. With documentary filmmaking, Erica hopes to combine poetry and journalism to tell stories that span cultures. Previously, Erica worked on the feature-length documentary Time for Ilhan, which is about Minnesota politician Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American woman to be elected to the US Congress.
A Moroccan woman named Radia has established an outdoor leadership and adventure camp for children, which will culminate in a hike up Mount Toubkal, Morocco’s tallest mountain, in June 2019. In preparing for the climb, Radia must face the stigmas associated with being an adventurous Moroccan woman, including accusations from her neighbors that she is “wild” and neglectful of her family. Erica’s film will explore the literal and figurative weight that Radia must carry as she undertakes this journey.
To practice participatory filmmaking and promote female empowerment.
Faye Yan Zhang is a visual artist and filmmaker, working primarily in comics art and documentary video. She was born in a mining town in China and grew up in the American Midwest before continuing her education on the East Coast. Currently, she is based in the United Kingdom, studying visual anthropology at the University of Manchester. Her works have appeared in the Harvard Advocate, the Lampoon, Plain China, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, and is forthcoming in Harpur Palate, American Chordata, and Black Warrior Review. She has held fellowships at the Smithsonian Institution and Yaddo in Saratoga Springs.
After the Chinese Communist Revolution, healthcare reform was implemented across the countryside; the “Barefoot Doctor” program trained men and women from peasant backgrounds to provide medical care within rural communities. By the 1980s, the rural cooperative healthcare system was phased out, whereupon many barefoot doctors returned to agriculture, became village doctors, or (a few) attended medical school. Now, former barefoot doctors are elderly and rely on state pensions for their livelihoods. Apart from their propagandistic image as revolutionary icons, the history and testimony of barefoot doctors is neglected by discourse, media, and art.
Faye will create a graphic novel as well as a website incorporating documentary video, text, visual art, photography, and testimonies based on the lives of barefoot doctors. Part of the work will be based on an unpublished memoir written by her grandmother, who was a barefoot doctor as a young woman.
Faye plans to continue creating work in comics and documentary video, while working as an educator and researcher in the field of anthropology with a focus on China.
Meera Darji is an ambitious filmmaker with a passion for telling stories of voiceless communities and people living on the margins of society. She aims to create an impact on society by portraying communities through the lens of cinema vérité and combining this with an ethno-sensory approach to capture the pure truth. Her documentary projects have been awarded and selected at international Film Festivals including Transindia which won the Royal Television Society Award for Best Student Documentary, Best short Doc at the Kashish Mumbai Film Festival and a nomination for the Grierson Awards. Meera continues to develop films that challenge conventions. She is currently a full-time practitioner and part-time lecturer at Coventry University.
In Gujarat, India, a movement is happening where the civilians of society are taking their own initiative and guts to revolt against animal violence, illegal slaughter and catching criminals along the way. Under The Bombay Animal Preservation Act 1954 (applied to Gujarat) the slaughter of cows, calves, bulls or bullocks are totally prohibited and anyone violating this law could be punished. Gaurakshas: The Cow Protectors documentary follows Neha Patel, the leader of the group and her journey in taking action in the form of rescues to protect the animals by all means including risking her life.
To capture pure truth in documentary cinema by telling stories of invisible communities and creating change in society.
Nadya Gorodetskaya is a freelance filmmaker from Novosibirsk, Russia, currently working and living in the UK since 2012. She worked as a photojournalist in her teens and early twenties in various newspapers in Russia and studied cinematography at the St Petersburg University of Film and TV (still trying to complete it – the course is 6 years long!) Nadya owns and manages a production company called Motiohead that specialises in 3D, animation and motion graphics.
For almost 70 years, the Russian economy and that of the rest of the Soviet Union operated on the basis of a centrally planned economy, with a state control over virtually all means of production and over investment, production, and consumption decisions throughout the economy. Since the collapse of Communism in the early 1990s, Russia has experienced difficulties in making the transition from a centrally planned economy to a market based economy. I’m planning to cover the history of the Electromechanical factory in the small Siberian city where I grew up. It was built in the 60s as a secret Soviet facility, deep in the middle of the Siberian forests. It served the Soviet military and space industries. It still provides parts for the Russian military air force and the space agency today.
Phoebe is a camera operator, photographer and editor working in documentary, music videos and commercials. Her work ranges in topic, from shooting stories about the refugee crisis in Sicily and Calais, documenting research into Zika in Brazil, and filming with community groups across the UK as part of a branded documentary series for the Co-op.
‘Continental Drift’, her graduate film from the Arts University Bournemouth, that covered the Italian response to the refugee crisis in 2015, was screened in competition at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2016 and won a Student RTS award. She is an alumni of the Grierson Trust Doc/Lab scheme 2017, and has recently been working on ‘Conspiracies: The Flat Earth’ one of the first ever LAD Bible Originals, and as an AP and stills photographer for a feature length documentary about the history of the Paralympics.
For the last 25 years all the world has heard about Sierra Leone is of civil war, Ebola and devastating floods. In 2015 it was ranked as the most dangerous place in the world to be a young person, with the mortality rate of 15-29 year olds higher than that of Syria (Guardian, 2017). Despite the ongoing challenges, a group of young women across the country are engaging in leadership and mentoring workshops to try and change the pathway for many young girls. Alice, a 20 year old singer and beauty pageant winner is based five miles out of Makeni, in an area populated by only 400-500 citizens, where 97 died of Ebola. She works directly with the community to give confidence and stability to young girls, particularly those orphaned by Ebola.
To use different forms of media to tell honest and thought provoking stories from across the globe; to be shared with both the international community and those at the heart of where the story takes place.
Kendra McLaughlin is a visual artist and researcher with a background in film, political science and human rights. Canadian, raised in Thailand, she is currently based in Paris.
As the European Union toughens its borders, the annual “Garden of Europe” landscaping festival in Bosnia and Herzegovina takes on inspirational and ironic undertones. Set against the current Balkan Route bottleneck, this short film explores how communal land redevelopment can cultivate solidarity and refuge in a time of divisive politics.
Through art, Kendra wishes to research and reveal how we conceive of ourselves within life’s bigger pictures.
Rhys is a filmmaker, anthropologist and graduate of the Visual Anthropology masters from the University of Manchester. He has worked in TV as a researcher on various factual entertainment programmes for the BBC and Channel 4. As a filmmaker he has produced several films related to immigration and identity in the UK and the USA, most recently co-directing a documentary about young undocumented Mexican immigrants living in Chicago, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Tixinda is a collaborative project created by Chiara Vannucchi and supported by Huatulco National Park, Mexico. For centuries a group of men known as tintoreros would travel 300 km from the mountainous town of Pinotepa de Don Luis to the coast of Huatulco, Oaxaca where they would dye bundles of cotton using the ink of a rare sea snail. Once exposed to oxygen the ink turns a beautiful shade of purple and the cloth is returned to the town of Pinotepa where a group of women known as tejedoras weave the material into traditional clothes. This is currently the only place in the world where this type of dyeing is carried out in a sustainable way. However due to climate change and increasing development in the region, this ancient tradition is under threat. Rhys will travel to Huatulco with collaborator Valeria Luongo to document the history of this tradition and its importance to the community.
To continue to document stories of diverse communities around the world and to move into feature length documentary and fiction films that introduce new stories and perspectives.
Elizabeth is a freelance photojournalist based out of Beirut, Lebanon. Her work is published with various media including the Guardian, Sunday Times, Forbes, Foreign Policy and the New Scientist. Previously a product development consultant, as a career-change photojournalist she began in Iraq in 2017, during the conflict with ISIS in Mosul. She prefers human interest stories and her key focuses are climate issues, conservation and the human impact of conflict.
The western societies have an expectation that new humans be brought into the world with a plethora of medical technology and assistance. Elizabeth will travel to Borneo in Southeast Asia, to tell a story in stark contrast to this, of birth without access to medical care in a stateless community living on remote islands in the Celebes Sea.
Never stop learning, tell stories that engage, inspire and promote understanding, and some day stay in the same place for long enough to have a veggie patch.
Shiori is a journalist and award-winning documentary filmmaker from Japan. Her book, Black Box (2017), won the Japan Freedom of the Press Award in 2018, and at the 2018 New York Festivals, she won a silver award in the Social Issues category for her film ‘Lonely Death’. Together with fellow filmmaker, Hanna Aqvilin, she founded production company, Hanashi Films. They also worked together on the BBC 2 documentary ‘Japan’s Secret Shame’, following Shiori’s battle for justice after speaking up about rape, produced by True Vision Productions.
Ajaie is a teenager in Sierra Leone who is considered by her peers as an ‘incomplete woman’ because she was never ‘cut’ in a traditional female genital mutilation (FGM) ceremony. Ajaie is an anti-FGM activist in Freetown. Ajaie’s best friend is Fatmata who is also fighting FGM, but as a survivor. Fatmata was “cut” at the age of 5 and pregnant at 13 – she now wants to protect her daughter from the same destiny.
This film follows these two friends and the challenges of standing up against a widely practised tradition tied to womanhood, marriagability, and acceptance within Sierra Leonean society.
To share unreported human interest stories to a broad audience and at the same time create positive change at a grassroots level for our contributors and their communities.
Nahla is a freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker who has worked for international outlets including France 24, BBC, Reuters, AP, and Zenith Germany. Using video and written formats, she is mainly reporting on refugees, immigration stories, and post-revolutions in the Arab world. Documentaries she has created independently received great views online, theatre screenings and festivals awards. Acquiring a Masters in Documentary Journalism from Nottingham Trent University in the UK is a step that has contributed to evolving her practical experience.
In the past few years, people in Europe and in the Middle East got used to hearing about the issue of illegal immigration between these regions from the side of immigrants or officials. This documentary shows the other sides of the story. It depicts the life of fishermen working in human trafficking through the Mediterranean and explores the difficulties imposed on their original job making them an easy catch for businessmen who employ them in smuggling. Furthermore, the film introduces new details about the world of smuggling, such as how a trip in the sea is planned and who are involved. By drawing a realistic image of the world of smuggling, the documentary helps in figuring out effective actions to deal with human trafficking activities.
Delivering the voice of those on the margins to a wider audience, connecting views and thoughts between both Middle Eastern and Western worlds, creating more films that can engage a diverse audience, and making the best out of digital performance to impact humanity.
José Luis is a Colombian journalist, editor, and digital researcher who works with media and civil society organizations worldwide to explore the intersection between science and technology, power and culture. His work has been published in the BBC, NPR and several Latin American media outlets.
José Luis will research the aftermath of a 2014 health scare in a Colombian small town, where some 500 girls allegedly fell ill after they were vaccinated against the human papilloma virus vaccine and some of them say they still maintain long-term effects. While health authorities maintain the vaccination is safe, the episode has caused a stark decline in vaccination in Colombia, and profound long-term consequences in the country’s public health.
To collaborate with top media organizations worldwide to explore and tell stories about the social and political consequences of technology and science in long-form text, audio and video formats.
Caleb is a Nigerian journalist working out of Kampala, Uganda. He has written and produced features from across sub-Saharan Africa for Aljazeera, African Arguments and Catapult. Caleb was selected as the Best Technology Reporter at the 2018 Media Challenge Awards. He is a student at Cavendish University Uganda where he is undergoing a Bachelors in Journalism and Communications, a Bahati Books UK author, and a 2019 MCI fellow.
At a mental health facility in Uganda, dance classes are reconnecting patients with the public and aiding to combat the stigma surrounding mental illnesses. Over 35% of Ugandans suffer from a form of mental illness, yet 90% believe that mental illness is linked to curses or demons. Owing to this narrative, mentally ill people in rural Uganda are taken to traditional healers or churches where they are chained and subjected to prayers. These dance sessions, however, are a means of social inclusion for Uganda’s mentally ill, creating a space in which they can exist without fear or judgement.
To tell primarily solution stories that represent minorities through my reporting and to grow minorityafrica.org, a platform I founded that employs data, immersive and mobile journalism to tell the stories of African minorities.
Yzza is a Moroccan documentary filmmaker and photographer based in London. She is a self-shooter and her work focuses essentially on social issues, women and underrepresented voices. She recently completed an MA in Ethnography and Documentary film-making at UCL, and over the last 6 months she gained international filmmaking experience working with Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy in Pakistan.
Rotten Strawberry is a short documentary that tells the story of three Moroccan seasonal workers – Aicha, Khadija and Hanane – and the obstacles they face picking strawberries in the Andalusian farmland. Since 2011, Spain and Morocco set up an economic-migratory system through which, every year, thousands of Moroccan women were granted a 5-month working visa for Spain – enough to cover the strawberry season.
Through storytelling, to help marginalised communities connect with policymakers.
Taif is an Iraqi-British activist and legal officer at the NGO MENA Rights Group, where she works on documenting cases of enforced disappearance, extrajudicial killing, arbitrary detention and torture in Iraq and the Gulf before the United Nations. She has previously appeared live on Al Jazeera Arabic to discuss women’s rights in Saudi Arabia and her writing has been featured in Al Jazeera English, Internazionale, Galdem and Skin Deep, amongst others. Taif holds a BA in Art History from UCL and an MSc in Human Rights from the LSE.
Wissam chronicles the story of Iraqi human rights activist Salam Al Hashimi. In 2007, Salam set up Al Wissam Humanitarian Assembly – a charitable organisation to assist many of the families of the one million missing persons in Iraq to find their loved ones. The organisation’s namesake is Salam’s son – Wissam – a 21-year-old airport worker, who was abducted by U.S. soldiers in 2005. Through telling this individual story, Wissam brings to the fore the multi-faceted and heart-wrenching stories of countless other missing persons in Iraq, as well as those of the activists fighting to ensure that they get due recognition and accountability.
To tell stories that might otherwise be lost, and in so doing, affirm their value.
Daire is an Irish documentary filmmaker and freelance journalist based in London. He has worked for Channel 4 News and was the Director of Photography on Huffpost UK’s Reports series. He has worked across Europe and West Africa as a self-shooter and PD, working on a mixture of documentary and commercial projects. He is currently working on his first feature documentary, Phoenix, about the greatest rockband in Ceausescu’s Romania.
When the winning lottery ticket is at the bottom of the icy Baltic Sea, would you take the risk? For Kaliningrad’s bravest and poorest men, diving for amber has become a ticket to riches, but at what cost?
Kaliningrad is home to 90% of the world’s amber reserve, but it’s one of the poorest areas in Eastern Europe. The price of amber has increased tenfold in the last decade, causing a modern gold rush and thousands of locals to leave their jobs and take part in illegal amber mining. With recent state crackdowns, the illegal miners have abandoned their mines and taken to diving for the precious gemstone in the Baltic Sea.
To create documentaries which draw an audience into a world they knew little about, highlighting some of the lesser known inequalities around the world.
Erica is a freelance documentary producer and director. She has made films for the BBC, Channel 4 and The Economist, covering a range of topics from the Fukushima nuclear disaster to the migrant crisis in Calais, France. In 2018, Erica directed her first film, Japan’s Secret Shame, a documentary about sexual violence in Japan, which was broadcast on BBC2 and nominated for a Royal Television Society Journalism Award for Best International Current Affairs.
South Africa has one of the highest rates of gender-based violence in the world. Despite a year on year increase in crimes against women, help from the police and the state is often limited. This film tells the story of one citizen group that is fighting back. Operating from a small farm on the outskirts of Johannesburg, they act as a safe haven for women in sexually or physically abusive relationships who have nowhere else to turn. They receive calls for help on a daily basis, often assisting women in getting to safety and, where needed, helping them take legal action. Their work has not gone unnoticed, and in two short years they have accrued 37 000 followers on Facebook. Following the group as they take on a handful of new cases, this film will shine a light on the harsh realities faced by many women in South Africa and those seeking to protect them.
To tell multi-faceted stories from underreported countries which spark debate and reflect the complex world we live in.
Amira is an Anthropologist and International Development professional who has worked in Occupied Palestine and Cambodia, with short stints in Egypt and Kenya. She currently works at Amnesty International raising awareness of human rights through digital storytelling. Recently she trained as an investigative journalist with The Ferret in Scotland. She grew up in India and now lives in London.
Recently, there have been news reports of nuns in the southern state of Kerala, India dying by suicide. Many claim that the reason behind this is the lack of financial security and pensions in their old age.
This report will explore the financial health of nuns in convents in Kerala, specifically looking at the ongoing appeal for state pensions. The story will be set against the backdrop of modern India, where more jobs and a growing economy has meant that less young women are choosing religion as a viable career choice.
To do multi-media storytelling on foreign affairs and help people in the developing world be able to tell their own stories.
Polen is self-taught filmmaker with a particular interest in social issues. His first documentary Daughter & The Palmae Blossoms, marked as one of the first LGBT-related documentaries made in Cambodia, was selected for Freedom Film Fest in Malaysia, and his short film Colourful Knots won the first prize at Tropfest SEA (Malaysia). In 2018, Polen was selected as a director fellow at the Asian Film Academy, Busan, Korea. The same year, his short film Daily Ink won first prize at Script Pitching at Interfilm International Film Festival, Berlin.
An indigenous community in Cambodia has been living in fear of the rapid development of Cambodian land that threatens the future of their birth territory. For almost ten years, the people of this community have been fighting against the illegal tree-loggers cutting down their ancestral forest, enduring countless risks and violence in the process.
Without help from local authorities, how can this community defend their land, and stand up to the illegal logging? This documentary will explore the answer to this question, following their journey of solidarity, strength and determination.
To make more films, give workshops to young filmmakers, organise a community to protect the nature, and to strengthen the freedom of expression through solidarity of other storytellers in my country.
Hanna is a Swedish documentary filmmaker and journalist. Her short doc ‘Fay Presto: Queen of Close-up’, screened at festivals including Underwire, a BAFTA-Recognised film festival; the film also earned a commendation at BFI South Bank and won at Fastnet Film Festival. She is also a credited producer for productions at the BBC and Al Jazeera, covering themes such as sexual violence, mental health, and transgender rights. Together with journalist and filmmaker Shiori Ito, she founded Hanashi Films, a production company, having previously worked together with True Vision Productions on the BBC2 doc ‘Japan’s Secret Shame’, focusing on issues of sexual violence and criminal justice in Japan.
Ajaie is a teenager in Sierra Leone who is considered by her peers as an ‘incomplete woman’ because she was never ‘cut’ in a traditional female genital mutilation (FGM) ceremony. Ajaie is an anti-FGM activist in Freetown. Ajaie’s best friend is Fatmata who is also fighting FGM, but as a survivor. Fatmata was “cut” at the age of 5 and pregnant at 13 – she now wants to protect her daughter from the same destiny.
This film follows these two friends and the challenges of standing up against a widely practised tradition tied to womanhood, marriagability, and acceptance within Sierra Leonean society.
To share unreported human interest stories to a broad audience and at the same time create positive change at a grassroots level for our contributors and their communities.
Janine Gibson is an assistant editor at the Financial Times. Previously she was Editor-in-Chief of BuzzFeed UK, running the news team in London and overseeing all editorial content from September 2015 to January 2019. Under her editorship the team won News Website of the Year at the 2017 UK Press Awards. Prior to BuzzFeed, she was deputy editor of the Guardian, most notably launching The Guardian US in 2013 and overseeing its Pulitzer Prize–winning reporting of the Edward Snowden leaks. Her other roles at The Guardian included Media Editor and Editor of theguardian.com.
Shanida is an award-winning commissioning editor and Executive Producer, working across documentary film, podcasts and audio. Her work spans Asst. Multimedia Editor at The Guardian, commissioning and acquiring short documentary films and audio series for one of the world’s most read and trusted English language news sources. Prior, Shanida was part of the STORYVILLE team, the BBC’s flagship feature documentary strand. Shanida developed and produced AFTERWORDS, an audio series that puts the ideas of great writers in dialogue with contemporary writers, academics and activists, for Falling Tree Productions and BBC radio.
Judy Kibinge is a writer and filmmaker who began her career in advertising. She walks a fine line between fiction and documentary. In 2013, she founded DOCUBOX, East Africa’s first homegrown film fund which supports a growing community of talented, independent filmmakers with funding, workshops, screenings, community space and hugs.
Solomon Mugera is the BBC’s Head of Journalism for Africa. He oversees the managerial and editorial direction of 12 BBC Africa language services, Digital and TV programmes with a combined weekly audience of nearly 100 million. He leads an award winning team that’s spread across various locations in Africa and London. Solomon has been instrumental in transforming BBC Africa from being a heavily radio focussed broadcaster to a multimedia operation. Over the past three years, he led the expansion of BBC Africa following new funding by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The expansion, the biggest since the 1940s, has delivered six new language services, enhanced digital development, investment in seven new TV programmes and the establishment of two multimedia production studios in Kenya and Nigeria. Solomon is a Kenyan journalist with more than 25 years of experience in broadcasting. He holds a MA in Media Management.
Arthur Pratt is a Sierra Leonean filmmaker and community leader based in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Arthur is a co-founder of the Sierra Leone Film Council, the country’s first media-makers’ union. He has started and leads multiple community film and theater groups, collaboratively writing and performing films and plays. He is a co-founder and manager of the WeOwnTv program in Sierra Leone with numerous credits and awards for the films and plays he has produced. Film credits include; SURVIVORS (2018, Co-Director) which was broadcast on the PBS award winning series POV and was nominated for Peabody and Emmy awards in 2019, Charity (2010, Writer, Director), which revived festival awards at the Pan African Film Festival Los Angeles, Cinema by the Bay San Francisco, Semana del Cine Experimental de Madrid, Black Sugar (2011, Director, Writer, Camera), They Resisted (2011, Director, Writer), Hustler (2011, Director, Writer, Camera), Gift of My Eyes (2012, Filmmaker, Editor), M’Pora (2012, Camera, Editor).
Rawya Rageh is an Amnesty International Senior Crisis Advisor tasked with investigating and documenting war crimes and human rights abuses in crises. Prior to that, Rageh was a journalist for 15 years, covering the Middle East and Africa for the Associated Press and Al Jazeera English. Her work included covering the aftermath of 9/11 in the Middle East, the Iraq War, the conflict in Darfur, the Arab Uprisings and their aftermath, as well as the impact of the violence by the African armed groups, Boko Haram and AlShabaab.
Adriano is an Uruguayan-Swedish journalist and documentary filmmaker. Coming from a family of refugees shaped his international outlook. Published in English, Swedish, and Spanish, Adriano is a specialist in Latin America. Before moving into film in 2019, he also reported from Europe and the Middle East, covering migration and human rights. With an MA in Global Political Economy from Sussex University, and a MA in TV journalism from City University of London, Adriano combines analysis with self-shooting skills. He freelances with Associated Press and Ronachan films, having previously worked on the BBC’s Sunday Politics London; Channel 4’s Unreported World; and ITV’s On Assignment.
STORY By day, Marián is a doctor in the poor slums of west Caracas. By night, she runs one of the few sex shops left. A story about Venezuela’s economic polarization, juxtaposed in Marián’s life.
AMBITION To further the world’s understanding of Latin America’s most sensitive and intimate issues. To go into directing feature-length documentaries.
Alizeh is an independent journalist who divides her time between Karachi and Mexico City. She reports on communities on the margins. For four years, she was a staffer at Herald, Pakistan’s oldest news-magazine. She has also worked for Reuters in Mexico City and the BBC in London.
STORY 600,000 enslaved fishermen in Pakistan suddenly found themselves free. What happens next? A community of indigenous fishermen in the heart of Pakistan, indentured for generations, grapple with their sudden—and ultimately short-lived—freedom.
AMBITION To tell stories about people in all their messy complexity and, ultimately, to facilitate a media environment where underrepresented communities can tell their own stories.
Ankita is a Delhi-based independent journalist. She has been awarded the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize for Development Reporting, Statesman Award for Rural Reporting, Orange Flower Award for Creative Writing, Ministry of Women and Child Development award for using social media for gender equality, Sampad – South Asian Arts Prize, and Singapore Poetry Prize. Her work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Pulitzer Center, Journalismfund.eu, Clean Energy Wire, Hostwriter, Climate Tracker, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Centre for Media Studies, GIZ, New Economy Coalition, The Rules, Tactical Tech Collective, Centre for World Indigenous Studies and India Friends’ Association.
STORY This story is about women who work on the streets of India: tea/vegetable/fruit/flower sellers, labourers, sanitation workers, and many more. It’s about their safety, the right to earn a livelihood with dignity, and the ease not only accessing but inhabiting physical public spaces.
AMBITION To do away with binaries and encourage curiosity and understanding, while facilitating dialogue between the public and the policymakers.
Costa is a filmmaker and a photographer, passionate about storytelling. He runs a film production company based in Harare, focused on corporate work and short documentaries. He believes in the ability of a well told story to shift mindsets and inspire action that will lead people and communities to lead better lives. He is motivated to tell inspiring stories that make people’s lives better.
STORY This documentary will chronicle the journeys of empowered Zimbabwean women who break economic, social and cultural barriers to put food on the table, who are moving their families forward through business and community projects.
AMBITION To produce well told stories internationally for both documentary and commercial purposes. To create stories that captivate and capture the audience, inducing desired results, and be able to make a good living out of it.
Edem is a documentary filmmaker. He produced the documentary ‘Poverty of the Golden Towns’ under a 100Reporters Fellowship programme sponsored by Natural Resource Governance Institute. It was nominated for the Sixth African Fact Checking Awards, South Africa 2019. ‘Trading Ghana’s water for Gold’ won first African Fact Checking Awards in 2014 Nairobi, Kenya, and 2014 Ghana Journalists Association’s GJA Awards Best Report, Environment and Sanitation. Galamsey; The Other Side and Atewa Forest: a Critical Water Tower in Danger all won the Ghana Mining Industries Awards for 2016 and 2017 respectively.
STORY Ghana has a huge deposit of bauxite. This documentary will look at the environmental impact of a bauxite mine planned in the Atewa Forest.
AMBITION To become a household name when it comes to social journalistic documentary film making in Ghana and Africa, using all available techniques possible to make life easy for the marginalised in our societies.
Faustin is a young Rwandan filmmaker and professional freelance video-journalist based in Kigali. His 2016 short documentary won the best documentary award in Slum Film Festival in Kenya and was nominated in a number of film festivals in California, London, Washington DC, Scotland among others while his 2015 film won the best documentary and feature award during Rwanda Development Journalism Awards. His skills in videography storytelling came public when he was recruited by the Rwanda’s Leading Newspaper, The New Times, to start and run their YouTube channel from 2014 up to 2019. Since 2012 to 2014; he was a writer for Izuba Rirashe Newspaper covering justice, investigation, politics and human rights. His work focuses on human interest stories. He is also a YouTuber, drone pilot, video editor, web and info-graphic designer.
STORY The untold story of children (now adults) who were separated from their parents during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. 26 years after the genocide, their identity remains unknown.
AMBITION Smart entrepreneurship, filmmaking and humanitarianism.
Hallie is a South African creative who cares about media, the future and you. Currently based in Johannesburg, Hallie is interested in cultural production that creates opportunity, fosters community and examines how we may live more meaningful lives. She has written a multitude of unpublished pieces, received hundreds of rejection letters, invested unwisely in passion projects and lost it all for love – more than once. For love and money, she is a writer, director and creative strategist.
STORY South Africans and forced migrants living in South Africa share a narrative of intergenerational trauma, as a result of apartheid and forced migration. This multimedia project explores manifestations of this trauma, which can be transferred between generations.
AMBITION To keep evolving the practice of reshaping culture and value through content and community. In the long term, to build sustainable, co-creating communities who engage in a way that adds meaning to our lives. The hope of producing joy is what motivates me to keep exploring the intersection of art and technology.
Hermine is a multimedia journalist who graduated from the faculty of journalism at Yerevan State University and has been working in the field since 2013. She specializes in visual images: photos and videos. The main topics of her interest include human rights, social issues, and justice. Hermine’s work has been published in local and international media outlets. Her photos also were exhibited and printed in a photo book. In the last few years, she started creating short documentary films. From 2018 to 2019, Hermine did a Vaclav Havel Fellowship in RFE/RL in Prague and directed a 50 minutes documentary about Franz Kafka.
STORY Yezidi teenagers are getting married in Armenia mostly at 15-16 age because of their parents’ wishes. The state laws should protect young people so they graduate from school at least after 12 years, but in reality, they do not work.
AMBITION To give a voice to people who are out of line, who need to be heard. To bring changes in society and in the lives of people who suffer because of ignorance and oblivion.
Karanja subscribes to a “make them laugh, make them cry” approach to filmmaking. He wants the audience to have an emotional reaction to the stories he tells. His debut short film Misfit has been selected for over a dozen festivals worldwide and won numerous accolades, most notably the Silver Dhow Award at Zanzibar International Film Festival and the Carthage Ciné-Promesse at the Carthage Film Festival, Tunisia. He has recently completed his second short film Naisula which is set in the Masai Land in Kenya. His short film on mental health scooped a special recognition award the 7 day film challenge in Kenya. He has been part of local and international productions such as Coke Studio Africa and created content for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International and The Flip Flopi Project (UN Environmental Department) among many others. He was part of the Inaugural Class of the Multichoice Talent Factory program and attended a film Residency International Class at the FilmAkademie Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany.
STORY On the morning of March 24th, students of Kyanguli Secondary School in Kenya were woken up by screams and fire from the dormitory. This documentary follows this tragedy where 67 pupils were killed, and the ongoing impact 19 year later.
AMBITION To continue making stories that move the masses and have an impact while creating awareness and highlighting change.
Ketevani started her career as a documentary filmmaker in 2018. In 2019 she graduated from the Film Study program at Shota Rustaveli Theater and Film, Georgia State University. Since 2016, she has worked for different film festivals, most recently as the Head of Program Department at CineDoc-Tbilisi. She is currently working on the post-production of her first feature length documentary, with the financial support of Georgian National Film Center, US Embassy, Heinrich Boell Foundation, Women’s Fund In Georgia and The Equality Movement.
STORY A billionaire plans to restore Tskaltubo, a small town in Georgia, to its previous glory. After the reconstruction, the old conductor will finally have passengers, but the fisherman will be unable to fish in the lake, as they plan to build a café around it.
AMBITION To produce creative films with a broad scope of subjects, related to the transition period, collective memories and daily life journeys, that come exposed within small but significant stories of local heroes and phantoms, seen through the essayistic and observational approach. Transcendental and partially experimental storytelling form an explicit world, peculiar on the one hand and universal on the other.
Kondwani is media practitioner and social entrepreneur of Zambian nationality. As an ardent storyteller, she finds satisfaction in harnessing the power of quality reporting to change the African narrative through intricate, daring pieces. Kondwani is the founder of an emerging journalistic platform set to speak out for the often overlooked people within society and the issues affecting them — one embodying social justice. The platform came in wake of a digital magazine she co-founded at age 17 and ran for four years. A publication that saw her receive the Anzisha Prize; Africa’s most prestigious award for her youngest entrepreneurs. Kondwani has contributed to various publications, including The StartUp Journal, an African centred business publication she led as publication coordinator.
STORY At age 66, Charity stands before a panel of investors pitching her new biomass energy solution. It’s been 26 years since she was widowed and left to fend for her family of four, whilst dealing with the reality of her HIV health status.
AMBITION To go against Pac Journalism which is currently rampant in my country, by bringing to light social issues, and content alike that mainstream media often shies away from.
Leslie is a German documentary filmmaker and new media designer based in London. She recently graduated from the MA in Documentary Film at LCC, where she completed her first self-shot documentary. “Whose Future? OUR FUTURE“ has been put forward for several awards and festivals. She has previously worked on various fiction and non-fiction productions, dealing with themes such as youth, conflict, trauma and the global environmental crisis. She created portraits about the international scout and youth movement and reported from SOS children’s villages in Israel and Germany, working closely with children and young people towards overcoming boundaries and prejudices through art, music and dance.
STORY Eli and Anita is a story about a long distance friendship from London to the Xingu valley in the Amazon, about coming of age and two young climate activists teaming up to save their planet.
AMBITION Using film, photography and cross-media approaches to enable young people and unheard voices and communities to bring their stories to the top of global agendas, change global perspectives and to encourage discussions about how a global world can sustainably thrive within healthy and diverse ecosystems.
Mariam is an international filmmaker who has worked across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East regions as a film director/producer/writer, investigative reporter, TV & multimedia producer, educator, and media consultant. Previously, she worked for the United Nations. She is known for her creative fiction-style documentaries and prefers human interest stories with the main focus on global migration, human trafficking, psycho-social issues, and human rights. Her work was featured on international outlets like MBC, Al-Jazeera, TRT, OSN, UN IOM, and on educational platforms. Her films received awards and theatre screenings, and she is a Fellow Alumni for DW Berlin, Goethe Institute, and recently for RNTC Netherlands. She volunteers as a storytelling trainer for migrants and as a cross-cultural dialogue facilitator promoting cultures.
STORY With the rise of the Covid19 global pandemic, the project brings powerful stories of migrant doctors working on the frontline in Turkey and challenging stereotypes.
AMBITION To keep on delivering genuine non-fiction storytelling through creative filmmaking and multimedia projects that have the ability to trigger real empathy for social change. I aspire for ethical journalism and media without fear or favour.
Mark is a documentary filmmaker and journalist from London. He has made films for Channel 4, VICE, The Guardian and The Huffington Post. He works as a freelance desk producer on the BBC’s Newsnight, winner of the Royal Television Society’s Daily News Programme of the Year. He has an academic background in Philosophy and Sociology, with a Master’s degree in Gender, Media & Communication from Goldsmiths.
STORY There are no human rights at sea, and when shipping firms collapse, their crews are abandoned in international water. Abandoned at Sea is about the consequences for an Indian sailor, left without pay, or the means to dock, as he seeks to reunite with his family.
AMBITION To tell human stories that people can’t help but watch. Stories from underreported countries, that reveal bigger truths and help viewers better understand the complex world we live in.
Pochi is a graduate of New York Film Academy and an easy to talk to journalist, with 15 years of experience in reporting and presenting news stories on different media platforms in her home country Cameroon, including with the nationwide CRTV – Cameroon Radio Television. She is a good communicator and team leader, whose recent job was Head of Programming and Broadcast. She has a heart for stories that put humans at the forefront, as seen in her documentaries: Nationhood, Identity and Belonging, a film that questions identity in ongoing conflicts in Cameroon with leading political figures. She is versatile, with a high sense of analysis and critique, and not shy to hold an opinion. She has published two fictional books Best Friends (2010) and True Love Waits (2010).
STORY While the age old trade of fishing is gradually dying due to illegal sea activities, youths in the area come together around canoe racing.
AMBITION To tell amazing stories of Africa from diverse perspectives. To train young African storytellers and produce non-fiction stories about Africa and Africans.
Nebiat is an Ethiopian Freelance video journalist and documentary filmmaker. She has an MA from the University of California at Berkeley in Documentary Filmmaking, in 2018. Her recent short documentary “The Blue Devil” won the Knight Awards in Best Piece on Journalism on Science and Environment 2018. Previously she worked as a producer for TV and Radio programs at the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation. Nebiat is passionate about African stories and shedding light on under-reported issues.
STORY Women are suffering in silence with fistula in northern Ethiopia. One woman has become an activist to get women the advice and treatment they deserve.
AMBITION To document unbiased, authentic, and untold African stories that focus on environment and social justice issues, by opening my own documentary and filmmaking company.
Shanta is a documentary filmmaker, journalist, adventurer and human rights activist based in Kathmandu, Nepal. She has been working in this field for the past 11 years. After many years of working in the news sector, she’s now working in visual narratives. She has been producing & directing tv programs and documentaries focusing on adventure sports and human rights issues for different television channels and organizations. She is also an executive board member of Nepal Human Rights Film Center and has completed her masters degree in Rural Development, Bachelor’s degree in Business Management.
STORY This film is about a young woman’s fight against a landlord in Kathmandu, who forcibly evicts tenants who are considered of the “Lower Castes”.
AMBITION To make more films, raise more social issues. I want to change or improve society in some way with my films and to move into feature length documentary. I also want to support and promote emerging young Nepali Female filmmakers and create a platform & opportunity to grow their career.
Shari, a recent Fulbright Scholar, has worked on numerous film productions in her country and abroad. Her film Sorf Hair, which explores the natural hair experience in Trinidad and Tobago, has screened at several film festivals across the globe, including the Caribbean Tales International Film Festival in Canada, The Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival, The Pan African Film Festival and was nominated for and won several awards. She currently curates the platform “Scene” which produces contemporary Caribbean video content focused on youth culture.
STORY This is a docu-web series featuring the behind the scenes of traditional mas makers and what it takes for them to get ready for the Carnival season in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean.
AMBITION To produce documentaries, short and feature films, investigative journalism, and additional creative content from and about the Caribbean and the Diaspora at the level of larger platforms, as that is currently lacking in my country and many other Caribbean countries.
Twamsan is a Nigerian filmmaker who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Film Art for the National Film Institute, Jos an affiliate institute of the University of Jos, Plateau State. He has worked as a camera operator and director of photography on documentaries for GIZ, Save the Children and the British Council. He has also worked on feature length projects. He is currently taking a leap into producing and directing his first documentary project.
STORY Big Dreams is a story about Jerry Malo, a young Nigerian agricultural machines fabricator, who beyond all odds has used his inventive ability to fabricate agricultural machines to bring solutions to his struggling community.
AMBITION To make documentaries and feature films that impact society, telling stories that address social and political issues. Standing as a voice for the oppressed.
Valeria Luongo is a London based documentary photographer, filmmaker and anthropologist whose interest focuses on spiritual communities, women’s stories and the effects of globalisation in rural areas. As a documentary photographer, her work has been featured in the Guardian, BBC and Exibart.
STORY This is a photojournalism project about the role of indigenous women in a ceremonial dance – The Danza de los voladores (Dance of the flying Men) – that has been male dominated for centuries in the area of the Municipality of Cuetzalan, Mexico.
AMBITION To bring attention to important issues through visual storytelling.
Amanda is a roving multimedia journalist. She has reported for The Irish Times, The Guardian, Foreign Policy and POLITICO Europe. In 2020 she covered the war in Nagorno-Karabakh where she shot, produced and wrote reports on her own from the frontline. She interviewed Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad after the 2018 general election and most recently travelled to western Burkina Faso to report on the VDP. She was a producer at Channel 4 News for three years where her work on the coronavirus pandemic with correspondent Paraic O’Brien was awarded ‘Coronavirus journalism excellence’ by Press Gazette. She is a Milena Jesenská fellow at the IWM Vienna, a Pulitzer grantee and received a MHP International Affairs Reporting Award in 2021.
STORY Communities in Tajikistan are seeing not only their livelihoods but their traditions being washed away as the majestic Fedchenko Glacier melts.
AMBITION To tell deeply reported longform stories that focus on the intersection of culture, climate change and conflict.
Stella is a freelance writer and filmmaker based in Accra, Ghana. She reports on women and minority issues, health and development in Ghana. She has written for international and local media organizations and has produced and directed documentaries on her YouTube channel. Stella graduated with a degree in Communication Studies from the Ghana Institute of Journalism. She was selected for the British Council’s Future News Worldwide 2019, among 100 best young journalists selected worldwide. She is passionate about film and storytelling, and hopes to travel around the world, doing what she loves.
STORY A story of immigrant victims of child marriage in a rural community in Ghana, throwing light on the personal experiences of these girls.
AMBITION To travel around the world, reporting and telling stories of social justice, health, and development in Africa, with the focus on women and minority groups.
Kemi is a Nigerian writer, journalist and editor whose writing explores mental health, social justice, science & technology, and the intersections between private and public memory. Her work has been published in Al Jazeera, Catapult, The Guardian, Africa is a Country, The Republic, and several media outlets. In 2020, she co-started the POBIN Project to document stories of police brutality in Nigeria.
STORY A multi-media story on special education in Nigeria, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and inclusive education.
AMBITION I want to tell multimedia stories that make people feel seen and affirmed, stories that expand our humanity and contribute to policy implementation.
When not freelancing, Ion works as a creative producer and DoP. He builds up his skills in documentary filmmaking by going in the field. It’s the best classroom he found until now, where only by trying and failing and then trying again he feels that he evolves on his journey on becoming a better storyteller. He has taken part in various film workshops. In 2019 his views on how a documentary film can (and should!) impact, were changed after being part of ESoDoc and BDC Discoveries. The two, together with the IDFAcademy (2020) and EAVE (2021) are the game changers in terms of where he wants to be and what he wants to do in the next 20 years.
STORY A group of workers is afraid that soon the boiler room they are working in will be replaced with a modern station and their job will no longer be needed.
AMBITION To explore local stories and people and transpose them into documentary films that can reach and captivate global audiences. Films that either heal or make the viewers feel uncomfortable and push them to act, generating a slowly but surely process of growing a healthier society.
James is a Malawian journalist, photographer, and documentary filmmaker based in Namibia. A member of World Press Photo’s African Photojournalism Database (APJD). His work has been featured on Al Jazeera, The Namibian daily newspaper, OSISA and Doek literary magazine. He is a recipient of the Butler Media Institute Award for outstanding multimedia journalism at the Southern African Broadcasting Association Conference 2017 (SABA). He is a recipient of an Open Society Institute of Southern Africa grant in 2020. He also worked as a cinematographer for “Daughter of Molly: My Body Space As An Archive” — a short film screened at the Owela Festival in Recklinghausen, Germany, and at the National Art Gallery of Namibia.
STORY A gay couple with newborn surrogate children were displaced. Immigration officials in Namibia denied the entry of Phillip and his newborns in South Africa following the success of the birth. The birth and citizenship rights have been under immense scrutiny. The quest for justice hinges on the LGBT community and Namibian lawmakers poised with a daunting task to revise the order of things.
AMBITION To mirror the African millennial experience by exploring evolving sub cultures through thoughtful and compelling visual narratives.
Zeynep is a documentary filmmaker and researcher based in London. Born in Izmir, Turkey, she moved to Scotland to pursue her undergraduate degree at the University of St Andrews and completed her MA in Visual Anthropology at the Granada Center for Visual Anthropology, University of Manchester. She has done extensive research on experiences of gender inequality in Turkey. Her last documentary project Ocak was screened at numerous international film festivals. She has previously worked on projects in the UK, Turkey and Russia.
STORY As femicide rates are increasing at an alarming rate in Turkey, the women’s rights movement in the country is being reimagined. We follow a day in the lives of two ambitious women fighting tirelessly for Turkey to continue implementing the Istanbul Convention to combat gender-based violence and discrimination.
AMBITION To use film as a tool to generate conversations and build cross-cultural understanding, while making sure that ethical approaches to storytelling is always at the heart of my practice.
Kumchedwa is a multi-award winning journalist from Malawi. He holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Humanities from the University of Malawi majoring in Philosophy and Classics. He centres his reporting on social-accountability, corruption, human rights and health.
STORY People at a refugee camp in Malawi are bringing change by making software applications which are solving societal challenges. Interestingly, the app factory which is in the camp is also benefiting the host communities.
AMBITION Kumchedwa dreams of one day becoming Malawi’s BBC Correspondent.
Kateryna’s journalistic career started 7 years ago when the war erupted in her home city of Donetsk. Initially, she worked as a local producer for the BBC, Al Jazeera English and VICE, focusing on frontline reporting from eastern Ukraine. Later she has covered the ongoing fight with corruption, disinformation and propaganda, the consequences of the Chernobyl tragedy. In October 2020, she went to cover the war in Nagorno-Karabakh for Ukrainian and foreign media as a journalist, producer and videographer. She filmed the storming of the parliament in Yerevan after the signing of the peace treaty and the transfer of the territories to Azerbaijan. Kateryna has an academic background in History, with a Master’s degree in International Journalism from City University of London. She is interested in post-Soviet conflicts, war trauma and human rights abuses. She has a unique ability for meeting remarkable people in the most unexpected places.
STORY This is a story about people who survived two wars – in Ukraine and Azerbaijan, Syria and Armenia. It is about the perception of home, shattered dreams, double trauma and fortitude.
AMBITION To further the world’s understanding of the conflict in Donbas through the eyes of a native. To go into directing feature-length documentaries.
Eman is an investigative journalist from Egypt. She has been working independently since 2019, writing with websites inside and outside Egypt. Eman is keenly interested in scientific and environmental issues, as well as stories related to human rights. Eman received an award in New Media from the University of Bournemouth in the UK, and a specialist award in scientific journalism from the German Goethe Institute. She’s currently nominated for the True Story Prize in Switzerland, and previously nominated for Thomson Foundation’s Young Journalist Award. Eman is currently studying Data Journalism with a 6-month diploma offered by ICFJ and ARIJ Network for Investigative Journalism.
STORY Textile workers suddenly found themselves without work, income, or compensation, after their hands and feet had been amputated while working. This multimedia project explores the lives of five textile workers who struggle daily to find out why.
AMBITION To continue telling interactive investigative stories of marginalised people who are often forgotten by society, in an attempt to regain their rights once again.
Eilidh is a self-shooting documentary director specialising in environmental and human rights stories. She has worked in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest since 2017 and has experience leading challenging projects in remote environments. She recently directed an independent short, Voices on the Road, which explores the impacts of road building on indigenous communities within the Manu Biosphere Reserve, Peru. Eilidh is now developing the film’s Impact Campaign which aims to support the action needed to tackle the injustices taking place in this Amazon region. She is currently studying an MA in Documentary Film Directing at the Edinburgh College of Art.
STORY Across Bolivia, a network of indigenous women are fighting to defend their territories. Not only are they battling devastating environmental destruction, but they are doing so against deep-rooted sexism.
AMBITION To create short and feature length documentaries about the environment, social injustice and human rights that challenge people to think differently and inspire change.
Fredrick is a freelance filmmaker and photographer with a main focus on documentaries, events, portraiture and lifestyle. He started shooting at 10 years old, using his point and shoot camera. This meant he had to get so close for details, so his connection with people grew and he was motivated to tell stories around him that facilitated change. He loves to share his skills with other emerging filmmakers and photographers using a participatory approach where they learn by doing.
STORY Our world has been disrupted by the pandemic but compassionate heroes have emerged to give hope, and help their communities navigate through the crisis.
AMBITION To continue telling stories for change, to start a positive dialogue about the challenges we face in our daily lives and share it around the global community. To create a space where people can learn, create and connect.
Rahmah is an independent documentary filmmaker and digital content producer based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She holds an MA in News & Documentary from New York University, and her works have been published on Al Jazeera, Channel News Asia, PBS, and International Business Times. Most of her works revolve around themes of home, inequality, and war and immigration; including VR documentary “Return to Chernobyl,” (2016 OJA Nominee), “24” (Szczecin European Film Festival), “Not My Heaven” (Five College Film Festival), “Welcome to Malaysia,” and documentary performance “A Notional History” (TPAM Yokohama & LIFEs Jakarta, 2019). When not working in the media, she teaches school kids media literacy, trains nonprofits on content strategy, and researches for performance arts projects.
STORY Perimbun Secondary School educates Malaysia’s urban poor and typifies Malaysia’s digital and social divide. But as the pandemic pushes the under-resourced Perimbun to digitize, Perimbun’s most senior teacher Rosmaini must prepare her students for the 21st-century–amidst her worsening health, and months before her retirement.
AMBITION To build an empathetic, politically-conscious, and media-literate community through mentoring marginalized voices and telling compelling stories that empowers, encourages humility, speaks truth to power, and promotes a nuanced, non-binary understanding of the world.
Lucas is a Brazilian journalist, with experience in producing investigative reports on radio, print and digital media. In recent years he has been covering the case of the mining dam break in Brumadinho, which affects thousands of people in Minas Gerais, Brazil.
STORY The story of people who had their lives affected overnight, after the dam of a large mining company broke down on Brumadinho, killing 270 people and changing the trajectory of other thousands.
AMBITION I believe in the power of journalistic investigation to find stories and elucidate facts of public interest. I have specialised in data journalism to deepen this trajectory.
Romita is an independent journalist and writer in New Delhi, India. Her work explores the themes of gender violence, migration, human rights and issues at the intersection of politics and technology. Her stories have appeared in The Guardian, Washington Post, the BBC, Foreign Policy, South China Morning Post, Ms. Magazine, The Telegraph, and elsewhere. She is currently a journalism fellow at Population Reference Bureau, where she is studying and reporting on women’s land rights, and environmental justice in South Asia. She loves stories of resistance and women coming together to do wonderful things.
STORY In an Indian village, women were not allowed to enter farms as they menstruate and are hence, “impure”, which could result in crop destruction. But then some women rebelled.
AMBITION To explore the theme of confinement and the complexities of gender, identity, and human migration through narrative nonfiction pieces.
Maral is a journalist and documentary filmmaker based in London. After graduating from her bachelor’s degree in Law with French, she moved to Buenos Aires where she reported on the first ever women’s strike for gender justice and conducted ethnographic research in the informal settlements of the city. While writing her master’s thesis in International Development Studies, she discovered filmmaking after a group of grass-roots activists asked her to document their struggle to eradicate gender violence in their community. Since then, she’s directed short documentaries in Lesvos and London. In 2020 she was the recipient of the BAFTA Prince William Scholarship and now studies MA TV Journalism at Goldsmiths University.
STORY It’s been over 30 years, but those who lost their loved ones can never forget. A documentary film about human rights and the decades old struggle for justice for the Iranian people.
AMBITION To create thought-provoking, engaging documentary films that are grounded in journalism and help people understand the complexity of the bigger issues we face in a fresh way.
Zuha is a journalist based in Pakistan covering environment, technology and human rights. Her work has appeared in Foreign Policy, Slate, National Public Radio, BuzzFeed News and other publications. She holds an MA in Near Eastern Studies & Journalism from NYU, where she was also a Falak Sufi Scholar.
STORY An ethnographic account of climate change and climate induced migration in Keti Bandar, Pakistan – once a bustling port, and now, an arid wasteland. As roaring waves eat away at their land, the residents of Keti Bandar are taking matters into their own hands.
AMBITION To amplify voices of underrepresented communities and those living on the margins and to spur accountability and change.
Zanji is a multimedia investigative journalist from Zambia. She has freelanced for media organisations such as the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Transparency International, International Women’s Media Fund, JournAfrica but to mention a few. In 2017, she was nominated for the Zambian Women of the Year Award and in 2019, received the Princess Diana Award for producing courageous journalism. In the same year, she was named among the world’s 100 best young media makers by British Council Scotland at the Future News Worldwide Program and was trained by the best media houses in the UK. Today, she sits on the Future News Worldwide Advisory Board as an alumni board member.
STORY Choongo is a shoe maker living in Lusaka’s most polluted slums known for containing the majority of the city’s discarded waste items. His household are repeat victims of the urban floodings getting more frequent in Lusaka. To help his community, he crafts floaters from discarded plastic water bottles, tent material and ropes to ensure the survival of those in his community who cannot afford expensive swimming lessons or floaters.
AMBITION To learn the craft and eventually work as an expert on cyber security, focusing on the intersection of digital security, technology and investigative journalism.
Samuel is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who believes in a human-centred approach to storytelling. His debut film “Imara” (2017) catapulted his career having screened and won in major festivals including the Zanzibar International Film Festival, Kalasha Film & TV Awards and Montreal International Black Film Festival in Canada, just to mention a few. He has also worked with organisations such as Docubox East Africa Film Fund and most recently Cognizant, for commissioned work. He is a former fellow of Cinemadamare, a summer film school in Italy, and currently works with Capital FM Kenya as a Digital Creator. He recently co-founded Life Spark Studios, a film production house that focuses on humanist and branded short form documentaries.
STORY Illegally incarcerated for challenging the Kenyan government in 1982 in an attempted coup, Wahinya Wa Boore, now aged, is still relentlessly pursuing justice for his unlawful arrest and torture.
AMBITION To achieve a lasting positive impact in individuals’ lives, communities and cultural setups within the African continent, through the stories I tell.
Barend is an enthusiastic and charismatic young freelance documentary filmmaker from Eerste River, Cape Town. Barend started in the film industry by interning at the Encounters Documentary Festival and in 2020 was selected to participate in the Encounters South African International Documentary and Western Cape Government’s Project Development Workshop. He also works as a production manager for 1000 Hugs Films. Barend has always had a passion for telling stories about his community, hence why he dropped out of the University of the Western Cape in 2016 to pursue his dream of becoming a filmmaker.
STORY 91-year-old Aunty Roos seeks to find her long lost sister before she passes. She retraces her life from her birth, her upbringing, separation from her family and present day life. We get a look at the difficult life of a woman who has seen the history of South Africa and has been a victim of it.
AMBITION To tell interesting and enlightening stories about the overlooked people of history. To provide a voice to the voiceless through my work and ultimately tells stories that are not only visually beautiful but informative and fulfilling.
Hanan is an independent documentary film producer/director, a documentary filmmaking trainer, and a former university lecturer. She’s a Chevening alumna and holds an MA in Media Production: TV documentary production, with distinction, from University of Salford, UK. She has 9 years’ experience in teaching and training documentary filmmaking. She has produced and directed a number of documentary films, screened in Egypt and the UK. She’s the winner of BBC’s Short Documentary Film Award at BBC Arabic Festival 2018, for her film “The town the men left”. She has recently produced and directed her latest documentary film SOBEK for BBC (broadcast on BBC Arabic TV Channel).
STORY A young resilient Egyptian mother takes us on a journey into Egyptian women’s world, who are suffering from the discriminating personal status law that fosters patriarchy & gender inequality.
AMBITION To convey big pictures through personal stories in documentaries, to reinforce social sustainability in developing countries. Giving voice to the voiceless; spotting light on underrepresented groups with a special focus on women empowerment.
Abhishyant is a journalist, writer and video producer based in India whose work focuses on producing character-driven stories about climate change and health in South Asia. An engineer by training, Abhishyant started his career in journalism in 2014. Since then, he has worked with Indian television news channel CNN-News18 in Delhi and TIME magazine in New York and Hong Kong. He graduated from Columbia University’s Journalism School in 2017.
STORY What unites a community health worker, a comic and an entrepreneur? The fear of deadly diseases caused by drug-resistant microbes. This story delves into the lives and work of three individuals and organisations racing to spread awareness and find solutions to a looming public health crisis.
AMBITION To continue to find new and innovative ways to visually tell important global stories.
Geela is a freelance multimedia journalist and peasant advocate based in Manila, Philippines. Her photographic work, which documents stories of women, food sovereignty and the environment, aims to write history from the experience of its makers. Her writing and photography appear on the Thomson Reuters Foundation, South China Morning Post, and Philstar among others. She is a Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung Media Programme Asia fellow and is currently a student in the Diploma in Visual Journalism program at the Asian Center for Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University.
STORY Amid climate change, indigenous women and girls maintain their traditional farming and cultural practices on a remote island in the Philippines.
AMBITION To improve her image-making, contribute to more international news outlets, and teach media and visual literacy to grassroots communities.
Maho is an Argentinian documentary filmmaker and editor based in Mexico. She’s travelled through Latin America, Europe and Asia making short films for media outlets, NGOs and brands looking to tell inspiring stories about people creating change in their communities. She directs, shoots and edits documentaries with a focus on gender, the LGBTQ+ community, human rights, the environment and ancestral cultures, always with a gender lens. She believes in the potential of documentaries to move the audience to action and generate a positive impact.
STORY A group of rural women in the state of Jalisco (México) put on a play about their work as activists and land defenders, as we learn about the struggles they face in their non-confrontational approach of defending the land by sharing ecological techniques, traditional medicine and teaching at the school for land defenders.
AMBITION To create documentary films through a collaborative process in which the participants are an active part of telling their story.
Biswajit Das is a documentary filmmaker and animator based in Guwahati, India. Since 2011, he has directed short documentary films, short animation videos and a 13 episode documentary series for DD Arunprabha. His films and videos have been screened at various national and international film festivals like IDSFFK, KIFF, Signs Kerala, Punto Y Raya, Athens Digital Arts Festival. He teaches filmmaking in various workshops and institutions across the country. He also edits videos and films for other filmmakers.
STORY As man elephant conflict reaches its peak in Assam, India, resulting in the deaths of both humans and elephants, one couple thinks of an innovative idea to reduce the impact.
AMBITION To expand documentary filmmaking as an extended arts practice by incorporating hand drawn animation to tell human stories more effectively.
Lemma is a journalist covering international current affairs and culture. She loves to tackle new subjects, which in the past have included the reconstruction of heritage sites after the earthquake in Kathmandu and a rift in Syria’s presidential palace. In 2019, Lemma won the Rupert Cornwell Prize to write a series of features on the Yezidis, a religious minority living in the Caucasus and Iraq for The Independent. She has reported from Europe, the Middle East and South Asia for The Independent, BBC Radio 4, The Guardian, Al Arabiya English, and The National as well as contributed to art and design magazines such as Disegno, Icon and Craft.
STORY Following devastating wildfires in 2021, an ambitious reforestation programme could save the ancient forests of northern Lebanon. But locals from this marginalised region say the initiative is restricting access to their livelihood.
AMBITION To tell stories about people and places that reveal unusual crossovers between culture and politics.
Pawanjot is an independent journalist who specialises in video journalism, news production and film direction. She has worked with prominent news publications in India for over six years, delivering impactful stories in multiple formats including print, TV and film. She is one of Earth Journalism Network’s multimedia grantees from 2021, and one of the shortlists of the Mumbai Press Club’s Red Ink Awards 2021 for political reporting in the TV category.
STORY As the world is setting targets to switch to clean energy, what are the aspirations of India’s coal-dependent communities that are already struggling against deep unemployment? How can the global ambition of a green future be an equitable one?
AMBITION To keep informing the world on issues of human rights and public policy from society’s margins with her expertise in visual storytelling.
Ceren is a lawyer practicing in Istanbul, Turkey. She completed her Master’s degree in Law (LLM) at Liverpool John Moores University in 2010. After working for more than ten years in law, she started from scratch as a filmmaker. She produced Cake Mosque’s (a well-known drag queen in Turkey) music video in 2019. In addition to a few other short films and animations, Ceren is currently producing and directing her first documentary on drag queens.
“Queen’s Enchantment” is about drag performers in Istanbul. It will focus on the people behind the drag identities and witness drag performers’ preparations for flamboyant shows in Istanbul.
AMBITION To produce documentaries, films and other media visuals about important issues by telling people’s stories and elevating their voices.
Gabriela Barzallo aka GB is a bilingual journalist and documentary filmmaker who covers human rights, politics, the environment, immigration, women’s rights etc. She worked at Democracy Now and her work has been published in NPR, NACLA, Refinery 29, Latin America News Dispatch, etc. She was born and raised in Ecuador and moved to New York City in 2014 to pursue her higher education. She attended New York University where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Media, Culture & Communications. She currently works as a freelance journalist and she is creating her own independent digital media outlet.
STORY Afro-descendant peasants worked under inhumane conditions by the Japanese company Furukawa. Although the court ruled the company to take responsibility, this has not occurred. Survivors fight for justice.
AMBITION To become a filmmaker who creates more awareness and solid changes by telling stories of my country and the global south to people from across the world.
Ling is a South African writer and journalist. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Cape Town (UCT) as well as an honours degree. She has worked as a journalist and writer for South Africa’s youngest news portal, the Daily Vox. She is currently freelancing as a writer and scribe in the social restorative justice sector.
STORY Theatre in the Backyard is about bringing theatre to the townships of South Africa, and making arts accessible in overlooked parts of the South African society like the eKasis.
AMBITION To keep creating stories that show alternative narratives about Africa and to keep telling stories that are underreported, under-celebrated and unseen globally.
Ibrahim S (Miles) Kamara, is a D.O.P, video journalist, producer/director, editor, fixer and camera operator, with over 10 years of experience, that spans work for networks including CNN, Al Jazeera, DW, CBC News, CCTV (China), Reuters, The Guardian (UK), Netflix, Warner Bros, Tangle Banks Studio, and ITV as well as international organizations such as UNICEF, World Hope International, WaterAid, World Vision, IRC, Save the Children, Concern Worldwide, Amnesty International, Partners In Health and many others. Ibrahim Miles’ multimedia productions span radio, television, documentary, digital films, music videos and advocacy films and productions that have had immeasurable impact building positive narratives for Sierra Leone and/or exposing harsh truths that once told, have impacted policy and change in his home country.
STORY A young man in a small village designs and creates incredible new inventions, including his own language. Shunned by his community for his eccentricities, he spends his days creating things that will be useful to his community, such as solar panels or a bicycle.
AMBITION To create impactful stories that influence policy and society. To build and launch Sierra Leone’s first film training and production company, producing disenfranchised yet talented filmmakers the opportunity to tell local stories from an inclusive perspective.
Alison Lemeri Francis is a South Sudanese refugee journalist in Uganda. He is a journalism student at Morris Journalism Academy in Australia. Lemeri has experience in radio, print and online media and currently produces a community radio programme, ‘Soot Semee’, for refugees in the Omugo refugee settlement in Northern Uganda. He has previously worked as a reporter, presenter and news editor for Radio Easter 94FM, The Niles, Cross Border Network Uganda and several South Sudan newspapers. He covers stories relating to refugees, agriculture, environment, business, education, youth and women empowerment.
STORY In Uganda, refugees and locals focus on new approaches to combat climate change because forest depletion around their settlements is seen as a major source of fuel and income.
AMBITION To become a professional freelance journalist that uses data to uncover international stories and to become a media entrepreneur.
Sharanya is a writer and editor from New Delhi, India. She writes about food, language, the commodification of culture and is currently writing more essays. Her work has been published in VICE, Eater, Vittles London, Atlas Obscura, Wasafiri, Longreads, Roads and Kingdoms, FiftyTwo, The Believer and The Baffler, among others. She is also an editor at Mangal Media, a collective of writers and artists from outside of Western Europe and North America. In October 2020, she won the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize for her essay “Seamless” and is presently in the 2022 class of fellows at South Asia Speaks.
STORY Under the present BJP-led regime in India, the youth perish and persist under continuous assaults by the state.
AMBITION To write a book of essays and work on the longform stories I’ve been drumming up in my head for years.