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Where the Water Meets the Sky
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Where the Water Meets the Sky
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Written by Jordan Roberts (March of the Penguins) and narrated by Academy Award®-winner Morgan Freeman, Where the Water Meets the Sky tells the inspiring story of a group of women in a remote region of Northern Zambia who achieve the unimaginable: they learn how to make a film as a way to speak out about their lives, raising an issue that no one will discuss - the plight of young women orphaned by AIDS.
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Directed by David Eberts and Helen Cotton. Produced by Camfed.

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Find out how to support Camfed's efforts to empower women in the developing world.

Purchase a DVD of Where the Water Meets the Sky. 

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Segment 1

VOICEOVER
In a remote region in northern Zambia, deep in the Congo River Basin, is a lake with a perfect name. In the local language, they call this place "Bangweulu", which means, "Where the water meets the sky." Built along the shores of this lake is the town of Samfya. Home to mostly fishermen and their families, it is one of the poorest places in the country. Abibata Mahama and Dominique Chadwick are filmmakers and teachers, and this is their first time in Zambia. And they're traveling the 300 miles from the capital to find some new students. Their goal is simple - to bring together a group of women and girls and ask them to speak out about their lives. But they won't just be talking with each other. If the project succeeds, a group of women from Samfya will be heard by their entire community. And they'll be sharing their views in an altogether different way, using a tool that most here have never seen before.
TITLE
Where the Water Meets the Sky
ABIBATA MAHAMA [Project Co-Director]
When we got to Samfya, in northern Zambia, we decided to get a group of women and girls together from different backgrounds.
VOICEOVER
The search for their new filmmaking students begins at a local high school. Here, the head teacher has found seven young women keen to join up. Their next stop is the Samfya market, where fresh fish and local produce are sold daily, mostly by women whose average income is less than a dollar a day. Here, they find two young women selling vegetables who agree to take part. Their final stop is a fishing camp on the edge of town, the poorest area in Samfya. The people here live in straw huts without electricity or running water. Very few have ever attended school, and most cannot read or write. At first, the women seem reluctant. But with a little encouragement from Mabel, the project coordinator, here too they have success.
MAN
They're saying, "We've just come for the women", so we asked, "What about the men?" And they said, "No, no men, it's just for women." So we said, "Things will be difficult for us, looking after the children, washing, cooking for ourselves." But we're allowing them to go ahead and do their work.
MABEL [Project Coordinator]
This Agnes, this is Anna, this is Lillian, then she is Beatrice, she is Anastasia, this is...I've forgotten your name. Doreen, okay, and this is Royda. So we have about seven from the fishing camp. Don't worry; we'll bring them back later today.
DOMINIQUE CHADWICK [Project Co-Director]
I'm Dominique, and I work together with Abibata to run some training for women. We're going to teach you how to use a camera so you can make films that will tell your stories. Once you make a film, produce a film, you can show it to your family, then to your community, to your village, to the other communities in Zambia, and then to the outside world as well. This thing is a microphone, and it takes the sounds, what you hear.
VOICEOVER
Only half the population of Samfya has electricity, there are no cinemas, and few people own televisions. Although most of the women in the group have never seen a camera or a microphone before, in just three weeks they will produce a film to show the people of Samfya.
MWELWA [Project Coordinator]
This thing you see here, it records the sound. For example, what I'm saying now, this thing can capture it.
ABIGAIL [Student]
In the beginning, I was scared of holding these things. I was even scared of getting close to them. But now I have learned they are not difficult to use. And I'm ready to work with them. My life has been like this: I was born in a rich family. But my father wasn't looking after my mother, so we decided to leave our village and went to live with my aunt. I noticed my mother started changing. Every now and again she would go into hospital. So, then in 1995, I think I was in grade two, my mother's illness got worse. So I said, "What are we going to do?" She said, "We'll just leave it alone and God will look after us." My grandfather said, "Daughter, your illness is getting worse. Please bring Abby so she can start living here." So that's how I went to live in Mabumba. One year went by. In 1997, we got a letter saying that my mother had passed away in Lubwe hospital. So I said to myself, "Now that my mother has died, what am I going to do?" And so I left the house and I went to the bush, where I stayed for two days. While I was there, I just cried.
WOMAN
Through our suffering, we've looked after her. Whatever we had to eat, we shared with her. Whatever we had, we gave her, to make sure she grew up well. I want her to live well and be settled in life, to take care of herself and be independent.
ABIBATA MAHAMA
So you position them and make sure that the camera doesn't face the sun. So put them somewhere, maybe there.
BRIDGET [Student]
The thing that pleased me the most was how to use the camera for filming. I never knew how to use a camera. I would see people filming and just admire from afar. They would be showing off, not letting anyone touch it. Now I'm happy because I have learned how to use a camera.
ABIBATA MAHAMA
Who else wants to take the camera, and what else does the person want to do?
ANASTASIA
I want someone to go over there and talk.
ABIBATA MAHAMA
Okay, so press the red. Ask her to press the red button. Good. You see that is dark, because they are in the shade.

Segment 2

VOICEOVER
After their first introduction to the cameras, the group must now turn their attention to themselves. The women are encouraged to open up about their lives here in Samfya.
MWELWA
Let's talk about issues for our film that could make a big impact. After we make the film we'll take it to the villages. It will bring a message and help teach people. Can you see us doing this?
MWELWA
It was difficult for some of the women in the group, because they had never shared their life stories with anyone. In our Bemba tradition, from the time one is born, it is customary for women not to speak their minds in front of men. Women are not given the opportunity to speak out about their problems, or other things that affect people's lives in the villages, so they're not used to speaking out for themselves.
MABEL
Ladies, we've come together to talk about the hardships we're going through. The problems that we go through, ladies, are many. We have to talk about them. So now is the time to be open. We don't get opportunities like this everyday.
LYRIEN [Student]
I really wanted to go to school but my father died early, and there were ten of us, but my mother couldn't look after all of us so we were forced to get married early. All we have found in our marriages is suffering.
AGNES [Student]
With AIDS you could be a married woman, sitting at home being faithful, while your husband sleeps around and brings you the illness.
FRIEDA [Student]
What can we do so that this disease goes away? Children are suffering because their parents have brought this disease. What can we do to reduce the impact of parents dying from AIDS? Had it not been for the parents bringing in the illness, they wouldn't need to turn to prostitution and we wouldn't see our communities filled with orphans.
FRIEDA
Because women here don't talk about the problems we're faced with, we've been held back. But if we spoke out about the problems we're faced with, it would lead to progress for the women in our society. I am happy to be a member of this group of women, because this group is helping us to talk to each other and to share ideas and explain the problems we are facing. It brings me a great deal of concern, this disease of AIDS. The reason I'm talking about this is because it's gripped my heart. If I were to die of AIDS, what would happen to my children? Will they be like those children of other dead parents who have to struggle with all sorts of problems and maybe become street kids because they don't have anyone to help them? All of these are challenges.
VOICEOVER
It's their second day. The women must now focus on their film and decide which story it will tell.
MWELWA
Now we should talk and tell each other stories, things that have happened to you, your family, or your friends. From all of these stories, we will choose one story that will suit us best.
LYRIEN
In grade three, I was only allowed to stay for half the year. Then I was told, "You will no longer be going to school. You always come back late from school and it doesn't leave enough time for you to work at home."
WOMAN
I left the village and came to my sister's place here in Samfya. I've been trying to earn money by selling fish but it has not been easy.
VOICEOVER
As the women share stories from their lives, one story emerges which strikes a chord with them all.
JOSEPHINE [Student]
My friend was born into a very happy and rich family, whereby the parents were able to support her with everything she needs at school. Just as she reached grade five, her parents died of AIDS.
VOICEOVER
The story of Josephine's friend Penelope brings up an issue familiar to every member of the group: the plight of young women orphaned by AIDS. But in a community where AIDS is rarely spoken about in public, no one knows if Penelope will be willing to talk about her experience, especially in front of a camera. Penelope is a student at a local high school. The group asks Mabel, the project coordinator, to try and find her.
MABEL
So are you okay with being open and telling your story?
PENELOPE [Student]
Let me tell my friends to look after my books.
MABEL
You don't need to be afraid; you can be open with them. You can explain everything. Are you ready?
PENELOPE
My name is Penelope. I was born into a rich family. My parents died a long time ago, when I was in grade five. When I joined this group, I explained everything that had happened to me. I came from a great family. My father was a miner. He became ill when I was eight years old, and then he died. One year passed, and then my mother died. Before she died, she explained that she too was going to die. She said, "Your father's death certificate says he died of AIDS, so I'm also going to die of AIDS." She died when I was ten. After my mom died, we didn't have a source of food, so my older sister started taking what was left in the house and exchanged it for food. After everything in the house was sold, she started sleeping with men who would provide us with food. After that, my sister also became sick and died. When my sister died, my aunty came to get us to go and live with her in a fishing camp.
PENELOPE
My uncle would go fishing, and when he came back, we had to take the fish to the market.
VOICEOVER
With Penelope now a member of the group, filming can soon begin. Their film will raise issues that affect them all.

Segment 3

FRIEDA
Penelope's story is similar to mine because when she lost her father they grabbed all the property and left them with nothing. That's the same thing that happened to me.
BRIDGET
I was seven years old when my father died. My father's family came and took everything. Everything. So when I heard what had happened to Penelope, I felt really bad, and I thought, "I'm not the only one this has happened to."
ABIGAIL
I know that many of us here in this group have lost both parents to AIDS. Both my parents are gone. Victoria lost her parents; Josephine's lost her parents. Bridget lost her father and Exildah lost her parents too.
MWELWA
The way I see it, it's not easy for Penelope to reveal how her parents died of AIDS. But our friend is courageous enough to stand in front of our group and is prepared to share her story.
ABIBATA MAHAMA
We asked you to think about somebody who is between twelve and thirteen years who looks like Penelope. Can you see their faces? Do they look alike? This is Cindy, and in their drama Cindy is going to act Penelope when Penelope was between twelve and thirteen.
PENELOPE
So you will act the part when my parents died from AIDS. You take your bags and go live in the fishing camp. There you will catch fish with your aunt. So you will act these parts and I will follow up when I'm older.
CINDY [Actress]
Now is this a true story?
DOMINIQUE CHADWICK
Yes, it's her story. I think you look enough alike. Thank you, that'll be great.
VOICEOVER
The filming of Penelope's story begins, and they're heading to the fishing camp, home to some of the women from the group. Their camp is a perfect setting for a scene from Penelope's life. After her parents died she went to live with her aunt in a camp much like this one.
MABEL
Hello, nice to see you again.
ABIBATA MAHAMA
How did you collect this, with your hands?
PENELOPE
With my hands. You will start throwing them there. After finishing sweeping, she could be throwing them there.
LYRIEN
Action!
MABEL
Make sure you don't cut off her head. Point up, point up.
ABIBATA MAHAMA
Because the person whose story is being told is around, we make sure that she checks because it is her story. She owns the story, so she checks to make sure that everything that is being said is authentic.
PENELOPE
I've even explained to my brother that, well, he should look so sad to show that life has changed. You have moved into a community - to a fishing camp - so life has changed. So you have to show sadness. They have done very well, they have done very well.
DOMINIQUE CHADWICK
So you must tell them. You must say thanks.
PENELOPE
Thank you, you've done great work.
TITLE
Agnes
AGNES
Today was really great because I took my first photograph. I was really happy that I could learn to zoom in and out, what to press, how to open the lens in front, and how to switch it on. That made me really happy. I asked them to show my husband what I had filmed, and they showed him, and he said, "Wow, did she do that?" And they told him, "Yes". He said, "She has learned," and I felt really good. Penelope's story is similar to mine. The death of her parents reminded me of when my dad died. I really wanted to go to school, but my mother was alone and couldn't send me. For Penelope as well, she didn't have support to go to school, so her story touched me. There are lots of problems here, like buying clothes and blankets for my children, and now one should be in school, but she can't and this hurts me. We had her registered and she wants to start school, but we can't afford a uniform. At school they don't take children unless they have a uniform. I wish all the children here could go to school. It would be good if they could work in offices. We won't have the chance, but they should. They should progress in life.
DOMINIQUE CHADWICK
So what do you do when the camera is not straight? You just undo that and you hold the camera.
MAKUKA
Oh baby! She doesn't want her mommy off having fun.
DOMINIQUE CHADWICK
Is that your baby?
MAKUKA
Yeah, yeah.
DOMINIQUE CHADWICK
You go and feed him, feed her. Who wants to do camera?
ABIBATA MAHAMA
People settle on different things. Some people will automatically say that, "I want to be on the camera." Somebody will say, "I want to be the sound person"; "I want to be the director." So they don't all go for one thing.
DOMINIQUE CHADWICK
When you think it's ready, you say, "Action," quite loud.
MAKUKA
Action!
ABIBATA MAHAMA
Take control.
ELIZABETH [Student]
No!
ABIBATA MAHAMA
Director, take control. Find out whether your sound is okay, your camera's okay.
MAKUKA
Are we recording?
ABIBATA MAHAMA
Please go back. Then you ask your cameraperson to roll before you say "Action".
MAKUKA
Oh, I thought it was just a try.
ABIBATA MAHAMA
No, no. We are going for a take now.
MAKUKA
We are recording.
ABIBATA MAHAMA
Okay, okay. So ask everybody to stand by.
MAKUKA
Be on standby, please! Action!
ABIBATA MAHAMA
I can see that they are progressing, and they are happy, and they are eager. They are using technology to tell their own story, and they're really happy about it. I'm very optimistic that at the end of the day they will have a very good story that they will be proud of. And we will also be proud of them.
DOMINIQUE CHADWICK
Shout, "Cut!"
MAKUKA
Cut!
ELIZABETH
That's what we want!
VOICEOVER
The next location is the Samfya market, a challenging place for filmmakers, especially for those with only a few days' experience.
ABIBATA MAHAMA
Directors, once the camera is recording, you people shouldn't be talking. When you go back and you play, you see that all your noise will be there. And when you are actually filming, you don't need that. So once she says, "Sound ready. Camera ready. The actor is ready" and you say, "Record. Action", all the crewmembers should stop talking. And the one controlling the crowd, if there's somebody making unnecessary noise, you go and drive those people away.
VOICEOVER
After moving in with her aunt, Penelope had no choice but to leave school and sell fish in the market. But she would earn very little money. By this time, her situation had become desperate.

Segment 4

PENELOPE
At the market, I would bump into my friends who were also orphans. They said, "You are wasting your time here at the market." I saw how well they looked and I thought I could join them. I thought maybe if I go into the same work as my friends it might help me. But my friends hadn't told me what work they were doing. That's when they showed me the house and said, "This is where you should come." I became a prostitute when I was 14 years old. What made me become a prostitute was hunger at home. I didn't want to be a prostitute, but the hardship had become extreme so I did what my friends were doing. The men didn't treat me very well. When I said, "Let's use a condom," they would be very difficult. They would say, "What makes you think you're so special?" When I saw that I wasn't earning enough money with the condoms I could have started doing it without using them, like my friends. Maybe now I would be sick, like my friends. Prostitution is a big problem here in Samfya because there are so many orphans. There's so much AIDS here, it's as if it was born here. When AIDS takes the parents then their children suffer, then they become prostitutes, and if they have children, it will just continue. When people see this film they will see the truth. This gives me the strength to continue with this work. Sometimes I want to stop because what I am acting is difficult, but then I think, "I'm not the only one that this has happened to." There are others who are going through the same situation. Let this film teach them.
VOICEOVER
With help from Benjamin Chama, the headmaster of a local school, Penelope's ordeal came to an end.
BENJAMIN CHAMA
I've seen so many girls fall into this trap of trying to get money. They go into bars, they will stay in the bars with their friends, they will be abused so much, and they will end up maybe getting HIV/AIDS and it will result in death, most of the time. When I first met Penelope, she was in a group of friends. I think those friends did not really want to have anything to do with me because they knew I was headmaster of a school. But Penelope stopped, I could see that she was quite a polite child and maybe she had just gone wayward because of the influence of the friends. So I offered that she should come back into school, and I could see the radiance in her face. This is a child that was very, very happy! I have in the school, a school of about 1,700 pupils, about 500 orphaned children here. And most of these, you know, it's as a result of HIV and AIDS. As the school head, I have now become a counselor to these children, because I think they need to be given encouragement that they can continue, despite losing their parents. My greatest hope is that every child in this school will finish their education. That will be, I think, I will die a happy man.
STUDENTS
[Singing] Stand and sing of Zambia, proud and free, land of work and joy in unity. Victors in the struggle for their rights. We've won freedom's fight. All one, strong and free.
VOICEOVER
With only a few days left before they show their film to the people of Samfya, the women double their efforts to finish on time.
ABIBATA MAHAMA
It's really amazing - you see that in the first place, they are coming from different backgrounds. They don't know the people they are coming to work with. But once you bring them together, then there's a kind of unity, a kind of force among them. The women we bring together, they have to believe and trust that we can guide them to come out with a film at the end of the day.
JOSEPHINE
Action!
PENELOPE
How are you?
MAN
What are you doing? Don't you know that prostitution can lead to HIV?
CHRISTINE
Is this one your brother?
PENELOPE
He's my brother.
CHRISTINE
I want to tell you that there's nothing like that.
DOMINIQUE CHADWICK
Okay, what was the sound like?
FRIEDA
Nice.
DOMINIQUE CHADWICK
Nice? Okay.
ABIBATA MAHAMA
And we have to believe that no matter where they are coming from, the skills that they are going to be given, they can use it to get their voices heard.
BRIDGET
I've seen a big change in myself because before this group I didn't know how to find a story, or how to find out about other people's lives, how to ask questions. I've never had this kind of strength, but now that I've been in this group I can stand up and talk in front of people in English or in Bemba. I can talk and they can hear me. Now I can do it and I won't even be shaking.
DOMINIQUE CHADWICK
The VCT scene is a very, very important scene in the film because it will inform people of the urgency to be tested.
VOICEOVER
Samfya has one the highest rates of HIV infection in all of Zambia, a country where one in six adults lives with the disease. Life expectancy here is under 40. The group has come to a local clinic to film the last major scene of Penelopeā€¢s story. She came here as a 16-year-old to be tested for HIV.
PENELOPE
I was 16 years old when I realized that it is important for me to go for the test at the VCT Center. Because I know that through my background, I was a prostitute, and I realized that the men I was sleeping with, I couldn't tell just by looking at them. So, in order for me to be free in mind, I should go and have a test.
DOMINIQUE CHADWICK
Okay. Action!
NURSE
How are you?
PENELOPE
I'm okay, how are you?
NURSE
I'm fine, thank you. So, you've come for the test. There's one thing I want to find out from you. Have you ever been exposed to any risk factors?
PENELOPE
Yes.
NURSE
Was there protection or there was no protection? What I mean is, were you using a condom, or were you not using a condom, each time you used to have sexual intercourse?
ABIBATA MAHAMA
People have gotten to know other people and they are becoming friends, becoming a family, so it's not that she's just acting, but we have feelings attached to it. And people are sharing her pains; people are sharing everything that she went through. Because she is reliving all that she went through, and that is not easy for her to have gone through that and now reliving it for the film to be made.
NURSE
Okay. Your results are out. Are you ready for your results?
PENELOPE
Yes.
NURSE
Okay, here you are. I see that it says "one", that means it is HIV negative.
PENELOPE
Yes.
NURSE
So what do you understand about HIV --

Segment 5

MAN
There is an event this evening, at 7:00pm tonight, a film made by women from Samfya. For those of you who like joy and learning, at 7:00pm tonight, a film will be shown, made by women here in Samfya. The film is called, "I've Found My Way."
VOICEOVER
On the day of the film's first showing, the women decide to get the word out on their own.
PENELOPE
At 7:00pm there will be a film shown tonight. It tells the story of how orphans are mistreated and what our community can do about the problem.
ABIGAIL
This film is made by the Samfya Women Filmmakers. We are teaching one another, and we're teaching our friends.
MWELWA
We don't know how people will react after seeing our film, or how they will look at us as a group, and especially how they will respond to our friend whose story we are telling.
WOMAN
If you have time, we hope you can come and watch it at the high school.
VOICEOVER
With only a few hours before the screening of their film, Penelope returnS to the village where she lived with her parents, to the place where her family home once stood.
PENELOPE
When my parents were alive my life was good. I'll never forget how close we were with my father's relatives, but when death came to my parents, my father's family changed. They came and took our beds so we had to sleep on the floor. We used to have a TV and a stereo, and although the house didn't have any electricity, those things made the house look good. The fact that they grabbed everything wasn't easy, but what could we do apart from accept what's been done? I would like my father's family who grabbed our property to see my story. This is my cousin. This is my auntie, the sister to my father. We are going to show a film about what happened to me at the high school at 7:00pm tonight. Will you be able to come and see it?
WOMAN [Penelope's Aunt]
I can't come because I am too busy. The farmland your father left is a long way off and I don't have time.
PENELOPE
I just pretend to be happy when I'm near them. If you could get inside my head when I sat with them, then you could have seen what I was thinking. The thought of them grabbing our property still haunts me. When I'm talking to them I can still picture them taking things from our house. That's what's stayed in my mind; I don't know how to get rid of it.
VOICEOVER
At Penelope's request, their film's premiere will take place at a local school. It will be the first film ever produced in Samfya.
ABIBATA MAHAMA
It's really brave of her. Not everybody in this school knows Penelope's story. But today, after the screening, everybody will leave knowing that, "Oh, this is what she's gone through."
ABIGAIL
When I think about how Penelope has shown us all her suffering, I want to urge people to give her the respect she wants and deserves. It has been difficult for her to tell her story. It is not easy to tell people what you've been through, but I'm hopeful that people will respect her for it.
PENELOPE
I'm Penelope and I'm from Samfya in northern Zambia. My parents were very supportive and loving. But one day, my father died of AIDS and that's when my mother disclosed to us, me and my brother, that she is also going to die. It is so difficult to believe that your beloved one has died. Then, our auntie came and she offered to take me in her fishing community, but my aunt didn't have enough income to support me to school, so I had to start selling fish at the market. My friends, who are also orphans, they've engaged themselves in prostitution. When those friends came, they passed through the market and they started saying that, "We are making a lot of money". So I was eventually convinced to join them in prostitution. I was in prostitution for three months, but I wasn't a happy prostitute. My auntie wanted me to stop prostitution so she went to see the head teacher. So one day, I met him in town. He said that if I'm ready to stop prostitution, he could help me in school.
BENJAMIN CHAMA
I met your aunt yesterday. She came to see me at the office. She's very, you know, worried about you. Are you willing to come back to school, Penelope?
PENELOPE
"I'm very much willing, sir. If that could happen, I could be the happiest person in the world!" Because I engaged myself in prostitution, I was worried that I might be infected with AIDS. So I decided to go to the VCT Center to be tested.
NURSE
So what do you understand about HIV negative result?
PENELOPE
In my body, you have not found the germ [virus] that causes AIDS.
PENELOPE
So now I'm back at school. I'm now a changed person. It was because of poverty that I left school and engaged in prostitution. I'm now very happy because I have a future. My story needs to be told to show people how vulnerable orphans are, and nobody should take advantage of them.
VOICEOVER
As the film draws to an end, the women sense an opportunity. Without prompting, they take to the stage one by one.
FRIEDA
All the people who made the film are here, and you can start asking questions.
WOMAN 1
From what I've heard, when you have HIV/AIDS your life is very short. Is it true?
PENELOPE
Yes, this is true, but the problem is us young people are scared of the VCT Center. We think it's just for adults. But as the film showed, young people like us can go there too.
WOMAN 2
This shows us that leaving the house and going into prostitution is a very bad thing. Prostitution involves some real dangers. You can get all kinds of sickness and it can end in death.
ABIBATA MAHAMA
I don't think most of them will ever forget today. Most of them spoke so confidently, and it's all part of what the whole filmmaking and advocacy is all about. Build their confidence up so that their confidently talk about contributing to change attitudes. And I think it's really working.
FRIEDA
We appreciate your comments; we'd like to hear more.
BENJAMIN CHAMA
That was very nice, you know, that film that we watched. I want to thank you for being very brave. Thank you for a job well done. Thank you.

Segment 6

VOICEOVER
With the success of their premiere, other screenings soon follow across Samfya.
PENELOPE
At the end, people were passing some comments and I was happy that the comments they were passing, they were good. They didn't know that in Samfya, there would be a group like this.
BENJAMIN CHAMA
The things you've seen do happen in our village, right? Especially to orphans, when property is grabbed from them.
MAN
This film is very good. Next time, I would like even more information.
PENELOPE
I'm proud because we want to make a difference. So even my fellow friends, they are proud.
WOMAN
Stop making noise! We're really thankful for being shown this film. We never expected to see a film like this in Samfya and we really want to thank the people who made it.
VOICEOVER
After their screenings in town, the women have one important audience left to face. They bring their film back to the people of the fishing camp, to the husbands and children of their fellow filmmakers.
PENELOPE
Making a film about your life story is not easy, but if you really put your heart into it you can explain everything, because if you keep something to yourself it becomes a burden on your heart. But if you share it with people it becomes lighter. Because of our film, by telling my story, and showing the film to people, my heart has slowly, slowly started to open up. Because of this, I started forgiving my father's relatives. People say, you never forget, but I'm putting the past behind me.
AGNES
I want to thank those people who picked us up. We never imagined that we would do what we have done, and for that we are on our knees.
MAN 1
This group has been really good, and they've enlightened us. We've seen firsthand what happens when you leave a child and the child is suffering. I want to say thank you. You who have come to visit us have brought us happiness; you've left us with joy.
MAN 2
Orphans like me used to shed tears when we saw other kids with their parents, seeing them happy together. This used to bring us misery thinking back to those times when we were with our parents who we've lost. I really want to thank this group, and I'm left speechless. And I ask this group, are we going to see you again?
SIGN
Sweet After Sweat Shopping Center
AGNES
This project has brought joy to us women in Samfya, especially us women in the Samfya Women Filmmakers. People in other areas who are not in this group are really envious, and they say they want to join us. Others came to us and said, "It's great what you're doing. You should make more films, you shouldn't stop." I'm hoping this group will continue. Just like a fire, when it's burning, it should keep on burning.
TITLE
Abigail graduated from high school. She hopes to study business in Zambia's capital, Lusaka. Cindy is finishing primary school. She wants to be a lawyer one day. Frieda cares for three young relatives and her five-year-old daughter. She wants to be a teacher and hopes to begin training soon. Agnes has started her own small business selling vegetables. She is now in school taking literacy classes. Bridget cares for her sister's three young children and her own daughter. She has been elected secretary of the group and is studying social work. Penelope graduated from high school. She has started her own small business and hopes to start teacher training soon.
TITLE
The Samfya Women Filmmakers went on to show their film to over 3,000 people across their community. The group is already at work on their next film, a documentary about child marriage. This project was made possible by The Campaign for Female Education. For more information about how you can help educate and empower girls and women in rural Africa, visit www.camfed.org.