The Great Apes Film Initiative (GAFI), set up by Madelaine Westwood in 2005, uses the power of film and other media in the service of conservation. They have three target audiences: Presidents and Government Ministers, National Television Audiences and Local Communities (including schools, universities, karaoke bars, river boats, wildlife management centres, army & national park rangers). They currently work in 17 of the 23 great apes range states across Africa and SE Asia and approximately 300 million people have seen, through GAFI screenings, donated films made by the BBC, National Geographic and many independent producers. To measure the impact of these films, they do questionnaires at community screenings and then support the local solutions requested. As a result, projects alongside the screenings take place… Things like tree planting, training NGO’s to make their own films in local languages, alternative income revenue support (e.g. bee keeping!) and educational talks.
They have also created, alongside technical partners, the first pedal powered cinema for the field which allows them to take the films to remote communities where there is no power… 2010 saw the first pedal power project in Uganda being so successful, they’ve had many requests from other NGOs and organisations to provide one for their projects too!
GAFI & Madelaine Westwood, utilising films that would not necessarily have otherwise affected change, are making innovative and engaging use of them at grass-roots level to make a difference by inspiring huge numbers of people to take action, find sustainable solutions to their problems and preserve Great Apes along with their environments… An example of films that are truly making a difference!
GAFI Website: www.gafi4apes.org
YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/GAFIforApes
The Bike That Helps Save Gorillas – GAFI in Uganda: http://youtu.be/mkFeFJ16CgA
Director of GAFI: Madelaine Westwood
Tel: +44 1491 575 017″ Fax: +44 1491 579 335″ Mobile: +44 7770 577 549
For information on volunteering, please contact Madelaine: email@example.com
By Jason Peters