The WeOwnTV Filmmaker Fellowship is a regional film fund and professional development program supporting the production of independent documentaries directed by Guinean, Sierra Leonean and Liberian filmmakers. The program was founded in the wake of the West African Ebola outbreak (2014-2016). Today, now faced with a global pandemic, social unrest, and economic uncertainty, we believe it is critical to provide forums for self-expression and peaceful debate through the medium of documentary film.
Sierra Leone and the subregion experienced a historic outbreak of the Ebola virus (2014-2016). And today, across the globe, we are now faced with the devastating effects of climate change, widespread social unrest and growing economic uncertainty. We have also seen a drastic rise in the suppression of media freedoms in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Now more than ever, we need to foster trust in institutions that can deliver reliable information and provide forums for healthy debate.
The goal of the Fellowship is to help amplify and support important voices within the West African indigenous media sector. The work created by the fellows not only enriches the local filmmaking community, but also promotes important ideas and perspectives that support the political right to free speech, and reinforces a culture of creativity and intellectual freedom. We are currently raising funds to support the professional development of current and past fellows.
This project will help establish trust between the community with health and government officials to avoid future health issues. Because of the attention the country received, local journalists have an opportunity to share stories about their country that celebrate the heroic acts of local medical staff and volunteer. They can create a portrait of the region that celebrates resilience and creativity and writes a history that moves beyond being singularly defined by tragedy.