Survivors among 2016 MacArthur documentary Award recipients

February 5, 2016    

Nurse Margaret Sesay

Nurse Margaret Sesay

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that our team has been awarded a 2016 MacArthur Foundation grant in support of our film Survivors. We are feeling honored to be awarded among so many other great projects and especially proud of the contributions of our Sierra Leoenan team members. It has been a difficult year and a half for Sierra Leone (and the sub-region), but this is wonderful acknowledgement of the brave and important filmmaking of our incredible team at the WeOwnTV Freetown Media center; Arthur PrattBarmmy Boy MansarayM J Sessy Kamara and many many more.

Here is a link to full press release if you are interested in reading more:

https://www.macfound.org/press/press-releases/macarthur-awards-19-documentary-film-grants/

This support is a giant step towards achieving our goal to create a multilayered, humanistic feature documentary film that explores the personal as well as the political turmoil that the Ebola outbreak has exposed in Sierra Leone. During the Ebola outbreak, Sierra Leone received international press attention perhaps more so than ever before. However, the media frenzy failed to create a nuanced or complex understanding of this place or its people. In this context, we feel that it is more urgent than ever to provide a forum for Sierra Leoneans to tell their own stories on their own terms and are very proud of our approach to this story.

Over the last six years, we have developed deep and lasting relationships with the collective of young African filmmakers at the WeOwnTV Freetown Media Center and are thus in a very unique position to make this film.  Working closely alongside Arthur Pratt and others at the center, our work takes a step towards the urgent need to transform the perception of Sierra Leone. In this way, our perspective challenges the dominant models of how Ebola has been reported on and told for international audiences.

Sincerely,

Banker White

 

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