Associate Producer Colin Stevens has just returned from 3 weeks in Western Senegal where he was working with Kambeiŋ Community Group who are keen to learn how to create their own educational films after discovering the Purple Field Productions film – Trees & Stoves- in 2014. We supported the young team to dub the original film from Malawi into their own regional dialect, Mandinka, and the group have since explored how to make films themselves.
Working with a new camera and professional equipment, Colin introduced the group to new potential skills and photographic composition and how important planning and creative thinking were to making films with impact. Working in French and Mandinka the challenges were high but the group were given plenty of encouragement and succeeded in becoming proficient in camera skills, boom techniques and sound recording.
Interview techniques were explored and they interviewed members of their own community to research the issues they could address with film and screening activities. Because of Colin’s experience with Drama the group were keen to explore creative drama as they already know that documentary, whilst very worthwhile, is less attractive to local audiences than a good story with characters that people can relate to. Kouyate, a leading member of the group told Colin “Last year we showed a documentary and we had to tell villagers to stop talking at the important bits. They like drama and stories better.”
Colin will be giving a full report soon but he is impressed with the talent in Kambeiŋ and hopes they can overcome the substantial obstacles – very little phone reception, no internet, lots of dust – to build their dream of building a strong community film group who will not only be able to help their communities but also provide some future source of employment and income working with other partners such as the National Park, NGOs and government services.