What challenges do renewable energy suppliers in Africa face? And what do the people there really want in their lives? We will visit the residents of a village in Mali who, as new customers of the solar energy supplier Africa GreenTec, will soon have reliable access to electricity. The hope for advancement exists alongside the fear of the loss of tradition. Barikama - Energy for Africa: a film about modern economy, global societal integration and about the role of energy in all of our lives.
The themes of our film affect us all – not only because we in Europe are confronted every day with refugee movements, climate change and calls for donation.
It’s about the question of future global economy: about potential, challenges and consequences for the people in Africa and Europe. And about the attempt to understand how the availability of energy affects our lives.
In our documentary ‘Barikama – Energy for Afrika’, the German-Malian energy supplier Africa GreenTec brings electricity to Mali. Their first product is a solar container, which is complete with technology and battery systems and can be flexibly transported and installed. The founder Torsten Schreiber and his Malian wife Aida place a great deal of value on the economic profitability of their company and at the same time on their influence on society.
They have an intensive involvement with their future customers and strive to be as helpful to them as possible. They do also receive criticism and mistrust however, some village residents are worried about the loss of their culture and the social order.
We will visit a village in the Malian Mandé region shortly before the installation of a solar container and form our own picture there – from the work of Africa GreenTec as well as the reaction of the people who live there.
We would like to ask them how it is to live life without electricity and why they want a reliable energy supply – or indeed not. A conclusion about the situation lies principally with the viewer.
The film will be approx. 40 to 60 minutes. It will be produced in English and German, the download will be free for anyone. Exclusive bonus material will only be available on DVD and BluRay.
What is the project goal and who is the project for?
We want to produce a film, the likes of which there has never been before. Independently financed and produced.
A film that functions without a given opinion, perspective or self-censor.
That meets people on eye-level. And that does not judge in the end but gives information and impulses that allow each spectator to form his or her own opinion.
Our film is targeted towards people who are interested in new perspectives about global economies, renewable development and Africa.
We want to surprise, stimulate critical thinking and leave behind the often-distorted image of Africa in the media. It is important to us to maintain an objective view of the work of Africa GreenTec and life in Mali.
Through looking at the world of the people there, the viewer should also be encouraged to see his or her own reality thought different eyes.
Why would you support this project?
A film like Barikama - Energy for Africa does not exist yet. And it is only possible to produce it if you, the spectators, finance it.
For this theme we could certainly create a television documentary or an image film for Africa GreenTec. Both of these things however would not fit the right requirements.
In each case there would always be a client with a clear specification standing over our shoulder – and so a self-censor.
This film is supposed to be different: As open, honest and authentic as possible.
Crowdfunding makes it possible that YOU are the client – and we are responsible to YOU to deliver a good film at the end.
There are more reasons to support us:
Themes such as refugees and climate change are current and affect us all. Renewable energy supply in developing countries is a central part of helping to resolve these problems – and is at the same time a highly interesting branch of industry.
Our film should help in understanding the connections between the individual themes and in thinking about our possibilities for personal and economic exertion of influence.
As well as this we question our own values and the responsibility that comes with progress.
You should also support this project if you are unsatisfied with the general way in which Africa is reported on in the media and would like to get to know or rediscover the positive aspects of this fascinating continent.
As funders you will be the first to see the film, either at the premiere, with the early bird download or on DVD or BluRay. And: You can be part of the project and place your name or company logo in the film and / or the accompanying material. Or even have your branding printed on an entire container!
How will we use the money if the project is successfully funded?
First of all the production of the film will be paid for with the money, which means approximately 1000 working hours of the film team as well as travel and material costs for the camera equipment.
Apart from this we will of course also create and send out the various thank you packages for our supporters. You will receive your reward before or during December 2017.
If we reach the funding threshold of €25,000, we will be able to produce the film with the minimum budget and you will receive your thank you gifts before or during December 2017.
If we reach our fund-raising goal, we can work to a much higher standard, deliver more and better images and inputs and always keep you up to date with beautiful photos and reports of the progress of the project. Our working time can also be paid for in full.
Who are the people behind the project?
Behind Barikama – Energy for Africa there is a team of freelancers from the fields of TV and consulting.
Lars Tepel (initiator) - To see the world – and to explain it. At least a little: That is my passion and also my drive as a film maker. I am extremely curious – and it is a great privilege that my job brings me into contact with many fascinating people, who are prepared to show me a small part of their world. The biggest attraction? To see and experience a thousand things, which other people only know from the television. Films that deal with (the lasting effects of) energy, climate protection and international justice are particularly dear to me. For the WDR, I was able to report on quite a few climate conferences (among them the Copenhagen Climate Summit and the Conference in Paris) and in doing so I have understood how complex and layered the theme of “climate“ is. To be able to make a film about this on location and to ask if it will really help the people living there, is extremely exciting to me.
Daniel Jäger - When I completed my degree in film in 2006, I already knew that I was more fascinated by people and stories than by calculations. I ended up after this at the theatre house in Dortmund und later took over the free theatre ensemble “komoediehagen“, during which I began editing for television. I went through the demanding training of daily news reels, from which my projects today profit – I think that I can capture images and their moods well and I love it when I can allow stories to unfold. With this project I will have a particularly large responsibility as Editor, as I will be entrusted with a great deal of independence. I am very excited about this!
Jürgen Weißberg - I have been working as a cameraman for over 25 years. I always let myself be challenged by new formulations and content. Whether with television format, magazine contribution, reporting, features or image films: reacting to situations flexibly and with sensitivity and finding a good filmic translation is what appeals to me. Our film project Barikama – Energy for Africa offers this possibility. We want to see – and show to others – if and how it works to bring energy (solar power) to Africa. Just another developmental aid project? Or much more than that? Or something completely new?
Max Winter - I am a trained media designer, and this is exactly how I see myself. I have a lot of fun arranging media, which is why I don’t just limit my knowledge to one area. Good tone, beautiful images, an appealing cut, a convincing website. The ’maid-of-all-work’, you could call me. However it is indeed just as important to work in a team. No matter will come out as the end-product, when the team works together complements each other well, it makes not just the product but also the work itself fun. This team will offer exactly that.
Daniela Bilstein - I am a consultant for innovative market entry strategies in developing countries. My company SISLAG’s area of expertise is in environmental technology, such as renewable energy and drinking water preparation. As a communications specialist, I also work in the area of marketing and film, through which I know the other team members. I am very enthusiastic about Barikama – Energy for Africa, as the project covers all the themes that I am interested in. I am very excited about what we will experience in Mali.
Africa GreenTec is a social start-up, that wants to bring renewable electricity to Africa in innovative ways. The company and its founders are the protagonists of our documentary film. They will be observed objectively.