IN THE WAKE OF THE RECENT EBOLA CRISIS we believe there is a clear opportunity to foster positive change out of this devastating health disaster, by providing forums for self expression and peaceful debate through the medium of documentary film. In 2016 we launched the WeOwnTV Filmmaker Fellowship a regional film fund a regional film fund and professional development program supporting the production of independent documentaries directed by Guinean, Sierra Leonean and Liberian filmmakers.
Sierra Leone and the subregion are experiencing an historic outbreak of the Ebola virus. The disease has no known treatment nor cure, and can be fatal within days or weeks. Sierra Leone recently announced disease containment, but it's neighbors are still struggling to get the crisis under control. Liberia had been Ebola free since September, but recently (November 2015) had three new cases.
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 for the 2018 fellowship.
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.