In 2006 a film training initiative was set up in rural Zambia. It trained 23 young women to tell their stories through film and speak out about the issues that affected them. This initiative changed the lives of these women, it became the subject of our award-winning documentary 'Where the Water Meets the Sky' and it also provided the impetus to start See Change Films.
In Zambia we saw how film training could change lives. How, through the creative process, the women learned not only how to shoot and produce a film, but also how to communicate complex social issues and how to work as a team; they became friends, colleagues and activists.
The women went on to show their film to thousands of people across their community. And by doing so they were able to open up the dialogue on issues that are rarely discussed in the open and especially not by women. Film provided the bridge to share stories and to find solutions. One of outcomes of the film screenings was that the local clinic reported a 65% increase in the number of young people going to be tested for HIV/AIDS.
Since the training, these women have gone on to gain educations, start businesses and make more films. This change is something we foster in all the training we do, enabling the participants to share their experiences, build their skills and confidence and ultimately champion change in their communities.
“The film training programme is the most powerful direct piece of work that I have come across in my career”
Letitia Bradley, Manager Early Help Service and Families Forward, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.
We provide film and photography training so our participants can produce work that makes a difference in their own lives and in their communities. Our courses are designed to build skills, creativity and confidence.
We have worked with a wide range of people including individuals who are at imminent risk of family breakdown, young people involved in gangs, offending or exploitation, and women who have experienced domestic violence.
We champion our trainees, creating the space for them to tell their stories. The culmination of each training course is a premiere when an audience of family, friends, community leaders and supporters can celebrate the achievements of every individual.
We have created an effective method that begins by creating the optimum environment for the participants based on trust and respect.
The film training empowers participants with new skills and the confidence to share their views, so that they can become part of the dialogue for change.
“What I got out of this course was my confidence and being able to speak to other people.”
Linda Charles, film participant and Chair of the Alumni Network
We have created the Alumni Network to support our trainees after their course has finished. This peer support group creates opportunities for individuals to develop their confidence and skills further.
Our Alumni Network provides the opportunity for members to take on leadership roles through our mentorship programme. We train past participants to become mentors who can progress to assistant film trainers, eventually working alongside the See Change team as paid film trainers. We want our organisation to grow and we want to bring the alumni with us.
The Alumni Network has been set up so that the change that begins in the courses can continue. Through this personal development programme, we will help our alumni find the right platforms and audiences so that they can champion the change they want see.
The establishment of the network recognises the needs of participants to stay connected to a supportive organisation and group. It works as a source of inspiration to people new to our programme, a support network for people facing similar issues, and a group from which creative ideas can be shared, explored and put in motion.
“We've seen 12,000 cyclists since our first Exchanging Places event in 2007. With this film, it took ten days to get 12,000 views on YouTube! We are all ecstatic at the success and I'm absolutely delighted with the reaction.”
Sgt. Simon Castle, Cycle Task Force, Metropolitan Police Service
We understand the power of a story well told. We have worked with a range of organisations on fundraising and public awareness campaigns. We can help with everything from idea generation to messaging, from production to distribution.
We recognise the sensitivities of working with vulnerable people. Our team works with upmost care and respect in order to create the optimum filmmaking environment, one built on trust that is beneficial to the subjects – helping to build their confidence and ability to communicate with a wide audience. To this end, we work with filmmakers who share our values such as Academy Award-winning director, Ross Kauffman (Born into Brothels), Emmy-nominated, Jeremiah Zagar (In a Dream), and The Broadcast Digital Awards-winner, Bahareh Hosseini (Women, Weddings, Wars and Me).
To date our films have been have been shown in 81 countries, broadcast all over the world, screened at international film festivals, shown to hundreds of schools and universities, and screened to many prestigious organisations. Our films raise awareness, stir compassion, and prompt lasting change.