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NZ Film Raises $50,000 For African Grandmothers

New Zealand Documentary Film, ‘A Grandmother’s Tribe’, raises CA $50,000 for African grandmothers

Auckland, New Zealand –

New Zealand Company, Borderless Productions’, latest film, ‘A Grandmother’s Tribe’ has already raised CA$50,000 for African grandmothers.

The film, which tells the story of two grandmothers in Kenya – one rural and one urban – caught in the riptide of HIV/AIDS and left to raise their orphaned grandchildren, premiered a few weeks ago in a black-tie Gala Screening in Vancouver, Canada. After the film had been seen, a man in the audience raised his hand, and asked what it would cost to build a house for one of these grannies. The answer was $3,000. The man said he wanted to write a cheque. Another person raised their hand, and said they would like to build a house too. Within minutes, 10 houses had been pledged!

Developed as a model for “media and social enterprise”, proceeds from ‘A Grandmother’s Tribe’ special screenings, fund-raising & film distribution will be directed, through the ‘A Grandmothers Tribe Fund - held in trust by Borderless Foundation NZ’. This Trust will work with community-based projects in Africa that support grandmother initiatives.

“This is just the beginning of our global campaign to raise support for these grandmothers. This initial $50,000 raised will now go towards the building of eleven two-bedroom homes for grandmothers featuring in the film, a fellowship for Felix Masi, the Kenyan photojournalist who, through his grass-roots organisation has been helping the grandmothers of Funyula Village, Kenya, and school fees for the orphaned grandchildren”, says co-Director / Executive Producer, Qiujing Wong.

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‘A Grandmother’s Tribe’ was financed through sponsorships from organisations and individuals around the world beginning with AMP Financial Services who, in 2006 awarded Qiujing Wong a $5,000 scholarship to “kick-start” the film. Since then, all costs have been covered through sponsorship.

This unique model of filmmaking has subsequently enabled a vibrant grass-roots campaign. The vision for the campaign is to mobilise support for all grandmothers in Sub-Saharan Africa raising their orphaned grandchildren. The campaign will initially target “relevant and interested groups” in North America, special screenings and conferences and educational events. Each organisation will be able to hold “special screenings” whereby friends and colleagues may attend, watch the film, and make donations to the grandmothers.

The filmmakers recently hosted an online film and social enterprise dialogue on the “Social Edge”, a website dedicated to social entrepreneurship, spearheaded by Jeff Skoll, of eBay fame, and his Skoll Foundation initiative.

The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education honoured the film in Canada by becoming the presenting sponsor of the evening, marking the first time the Center has embarked on film exhibition. The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education has aligned eight Nobel Peace Laureates in its mission to “educate the heart”.

In February 2008, the filmmakers will take the film back to the grandmothers in Kenya and for the first time, they will see their story being told.

From here, the film will journey to film festivals around the world where it will garner interest and support, growing the grass-roots initiative and further support for the grandmothers.

‘A Grandmother’s Tribe’ can be seen next in New Zealand on 1 December 2007, in a special WORLD AIDS DAY screening at the Academy Cinema. This event is hosted for the public by Oxfam New Zealand, World Vision, Child Fund New Zealand, YWCA Auckland and Positive Women.

About the Documentary –

A GRANDMOTHER’S TRIBE (2007) - Documentary Film Synopsis
Duration: 54 minutes incl. credits
Directed by: Dean Easterbrook & Qiujing Wong
Production Company: Borderless Productions Limited (NZ)

“When Grandmothers speak, peace will return to the Earth.” (Hopi Prophecy)

Set between a tiny village and the largest slum in Africa, comes a story of two remarkable grandmothers.

A Grandmother’s Tribe is a 54-minute documentary that reveals the lives of countless grandmothers of Africa, left behind after the loss of their own children, who, with determination and tenderness are now responsible for the rearing of more than 16 million orphaned children in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Directors, Dean Easterbrook and Qiujing Wong, of Borderless Productions Limited (NZ) bring audiences an unobstructed story of Emmanuel Makokha and Silas Odhiambo and the grandmothers who have selflessly stepped forward to raise, educate and prepare them for a better future.

Their story begins seven days before, and leads up to Christmas Day as we witness the struggle, survival and reality of these grandmother-headed homes.

‘A Grandmother’s Tribe’ first premiered in New Zealand at the 2007 DOCNZ International Documentary Film Festival at the end of September and won the Special Mention Award in the category of ‘Best Medium New Zealand Documentary’.

About Borderless Productions –

Dean Easterbrook and Qiujing Wong, founders of Borderless Productions are New Zealanders with a big dream; to build an international screen production company that delivers world-class cinematic-quality, humanitarian films to the world to watch. Their mantra – “Films that Change Lives”.


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