CAMERA KIDS is GroundTruth Film’s newest commitment
to social justice through storytelling.
CAMERA KIDS is a feature film, multimedia, and impact project that is focused on photography and storytelling as a way to make a positive impact on the lives of vulnerable kids around the world. During the first year of this project, we aim to work and film with Syrian refugees in Lebanon, foster children in America and orphans in Haiti.
WHO ARE THE CAMERA KIDS?
The first children to be dubbed “camera kids” were child survivors of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. In the orphanage where they were raised, these children had an opportunity to learn photography. Today, nearly 25 years later, three of them – Gadi Habumugisha, Mussa Uwitonze, and Bizimana Jean – are professional photographers. They are also budding social entrepreneurs who share our vision for a different future – a future in which storytelling is the starting point for solving social, economic and human rights issues children face. We are working together to turn this vision into reality. For the past 5 years, they have been giving back by teaching photography to children in Rwanda, and for the past 2 years, GroundTruth Films has been mentoring them and filming their journey. Now, they are setting out on a global mission to teach photography to children who – like them – have suffered trauma and loss.
Bizimana Jean, Gadi Habumugisha and Mussa Uwitonze
HELP AMPLIFY THE SOCIAL IMPACT
Camera Kids combines filmmaking, multimedia journalism (photography, writing, podcasts, V.R.), multimedia training and scientific research. We have some strong partnerships already – particularly Through the Eyes of Children, the nonprofit that taught Gadi, Mussa and Bizimana photography as kids is now supporting them to hold these new workshops. Other partners include The Home for Little Wanderers and Worldwide Orphans with whom we are working to hold workshops. We are looking to expand our partnerships, fund the feature film and multimedia work, and launch scientific research that studies the role of storytelling in building resilience in children. With everything, the starting point is three young African leaders who have a story to share with the world. Their story of loss and love. Their story of healing through photography and of the power that comes from being the author of your own story. As we document their journey and help them realize their dreams, we will build a new generation of “camera kids” and show audiences what the world looks like through the eyes of children.
It should go without saying that kids should be enjoying the innocence of childhood. Instead, refugee, migrant, internally displaced, and orphaned children are at the heart of the world’s largest refugee crisis since World War II. They are also at the heart of the world’s most pressing problems: war and conflict, poverty, forced migration, educational and health disparities, religious persecution, and climate change. By many metrics, children are more at risk now than at any time in the last 20 years. Today, 357 million children – one in every six – are living in conflict zones. That’s a population bigger than the United States. But as beacons of the future, children also hold the greatest potential to inspire and harness change.
GroundTruth Films makes feature documentary films for festival, theatrical, broadcast and VOD distribution and builds long-term impact campaigns around them that strive to understand the human condition and address the most important social, political and human rights issues of our time. What unites all of our work is that we focus on social justice storytelling that can become a media engine for social change. We work closely with thought leaders and social entrepreneurs to define and implement impact campaigns that are aimed at education, action, and sustainability. We believe that our work can help to drive positive social change. And that it should. Our distribution partners include top-tier film festivals Tribeca and Hot Docs and broadcast outlets PBS/POV, FRONTLINE, ABC Nightline, New York Times, Sundance Channel, WGBH, PRI The World, PBS NewsHour, NOVA, Fusion, MSNBC, Al Jazeera America, History Channel, Discovery International, Discovery Health, Global Citizen, Lifetime and RYOT, among many international outlets. Our work has received broad foundation and industry support from the Tribeca Film Institute, Sundance Institute, Cinereach, Impact Partners Investors, ITVS, PBS, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Ford Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, LEF Foundation and Fledgling Fund, among many others.
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