Local initiation is the ideal approach from CSFilm’s perspective as it creates better opportunity for local-ownership and sustainability. In Afghanistan and Haiti, CSFilm initiated the project concept, found local collaborators and secured the funding to implement the projects. We are still working to sustain project work and impact in those countries.
I’m hopeful that young activists in Nigeria will be the first to fully initiate and define how CSFilm could contribute to the local growth and impact of documentary filmmaking in their communities. Nigeria is interesting to CSFilm because of the need to strengthen local reporting on worsening economic and social challenges and to combat the expanding influence of the extremist group Boko Haram.
In Myanmar the long conflict, dictatorial repression and current opening to democracy and economic development make it an ideal environment to strengthen the critical work of local video journalism and documentary filmmaking.
An organization working in Myanmar for 30 years is developing a new traditional performance and arts center in Mandalay. Together we are researching current activities and whether there is a relevant role for CSFilm’s model. If so, there might be an opportunity to integrate the program into the arts center.
In Bosnia Herzegovina, the initiation for a project is coming from a filmmaker born in country and now residing and working in the US.
The horrific Bosnian War in the mid 1990s pitted the region’s ethnic and religious factions against each other. Local governmental and non-governmental leadership have worked to restore trust and peaceful cohabitation. There are signs, however, of rising tensions exacerbated by the world’s worst youth unemployment at 60.4%. While mainstream local and international media heighten fears of renewed conflict, we hope to reinforce existing narratives about the many entrepreneurial and social initiatives that have been implemented and are contributing to stability.
With our Bosnian collaborator’s local knowledge and connections to community media and development organizations, we are researching potential partners and funders to develop a training and production process that will document best practices in social, economic and political development.