Mobile Cinema Sierra Leone On The MEND

All Night Prayers On Mobile Cinema

In early April 2016, SLADEA and Culture Radio organised a Mobile Cinema tour all over Sierra Leone to introduce a film project called “Sierra Leone on the MEND” to the people.

The main purpose of the film project was to let the people know and see how serious Sierra Leone was affected by a deadly disease, Ebola and how people handled the situation in different ways. These eight (8) short films also make many people learn how to overcome their traumas.

The premiere took place in Freetown at the National Museum and was well visited. While Culture Radio organised the screenings in the North of the country, SLADEA toured the East and the South to show the movies in Bo, Kenema, Kono, Kailahun and Bonthe. Each location was visited by a large number of audiences, between 200 – 400, people.

People were highly impressed by the movies as serious arguments occurred among them on the basis of Ebola sickness and its causes. Most people blamed the government and the people themselves, as the sickness rapidly spread due to denied that ‘’ Ebola is not real and is not a killer disease”. The corrupt police was criticised as well which was portrayed by the film “Ebola Checkpoint”.

One of the favourite movies is “All Night Service”, which shows a woman who goes in search of her boyfriend all in the name of all night prayers got and herself quarantined. The film shows in the form of a comedy how serious quarantined places were. Some blamed women that they were the main cause of spreading the Ebola disease. This show that a discussion after the screening is important in order to avoid misunderstandings.

In Each town and village where the films were introduced, a questionnaire was given to every participant that viewed the movies. The people participated throughout the programme.

This successful programme was conducted in collaboration with WELTFILME, XChange Perspectives, Culture Radio and SLADEA with financial support by BMZ and BftW.

Background information on the project

The outbreak of Ebola in 2014 not only caused numerous deaths within the population, but had multiple effects straining society and reverberating until today. The film project SIERRA LEONE ON THE MEND aims at dealing with those events, assessing the current state and also having a glimpse into what might lie ahead.

At a 10-day workshop in November 2015 in Freetown, eight (8) film-makers and sixteen (16) laymen were trained in film production and in media’s role for peace, reconciliation and social change. The participants produced four (4) fictional and four (4) documentary short films on Ebola issues.

The finished films are exploited nationally and internationally in order to spread facts, to raise awareness and to instigate dialogue among the viewers. Four of these films were also screened at the Black International Cinema Festival in Berlin, Germany. The films “Healing the Wounds” and “Health Workers” got awarded in the category “Best film documentary production” and “Jattu” and “Ray of Lights” got the special acknowledgement award.

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