I really believe that film has the power to communicate messages to large audiences and empower it’s viewers by embedding images and stories into their conscious which they can draw upon to inform their own actions.
As we can see with the recent Kony 2012 film, video can be powerful, controversial and make an impact; sometimes globally. Some of the most memorable films I have ever seen such as Bowling for Columbine and Favela Rising have been documentaries. These can have a powerful effect because they expose truths from images and stories of real people and experiences which can’t be learned from a book or newspaper article. A person becomes so much more real to you when you see their face and hear their voice telling their own story.
We need to make our film different from documentaries or news reports which people normally see on the subject of poverty. It needs to be either; entertaining, shocking, funny, memorable or inspiring……preferably it will be all of these things and more. We need our film to have high production values; as high as we can manage (this is often something that takes time and money) and somehow we need to come up with strategies to create a buzz around it. We can do this through many means such as social networking and utilising the people power which I believe our special group of VAP participants’ posses.
Just imagine if each one of our 20 or so international members shows the film to five friends and asks them to do the same, alongside this our sending and host organisations could share the message amongst their network of stakeholders. Already we are talking about hundreds of people and these are people spread all across the world. We could also use public screenings, local television networks, blogging, and even flash mobbing and other ‘out-of-the-box’ and creative means to get our documentary seen by as many people as possible and make the kind of impact which I know we’re capable of!