Applicants for the project, which is supported by the
To kick off the challenge, the institute has funded five pilot films that are being shown at a free screening at the 02 Centre in
Batra, who has recently returned to
Food – or rather its lack – is a prominent theme in most of the films. Tod Lending's Vezo, a mix of animation and video, tells the story of a village in
Narrated by a 14-year-old girl, the film aims to give people an idea of the problems facing the community. "They're not going to gain an in-depth knowledge of the subject by looking at this four-and-a-half minute piece," Lending said. "But they are hopefully going to be catalysed to learn more about it and maybe be sensitised to yet another issue that's out there that's important and worth looking at."
For her film, After My Garden Grows,
"Monika's gourds are just gourds; they're not silver bullets – her life is not all wrapped up in a bow at the end of the movie," Mylan said. "But I do think you see the empowerment and I hope you feel a shift in her father's perception of her role in the family."
"They're taking this place that's been so poverty-stricken for so long and just doing simple things to not only make themselves healthier, but also to make it more beautiful," Reichert said. "It's obviously not a solution to all the ills of CitÉ Soleil, but it does make things better."
The most experimental of all the films is Am I Going Too Fast? by
According to Myers, the popular western image of poverty is as stale as it is wrong. "It's static: it's this image of the idle poor and the child standing in the midst of rubble, and we really wanted to challenge that flatness and give a more nuanced and layered idea of what poverty is," he said. "Poverty is a lot of people working very hard; poverty is endless amounts of ingenuity, poverty is structural problems that haven't been addressed, and we wanted to reflect all of that."
The five films will be available to view on the Global development site next week.
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