FAQ’s on Slum Cinema

What is Slum Cinema?

Slum Cinema is a worldwide media development project of BasicViews Foundation with partners in the south.

What is BasicViews Foundation?

BasicViews Foundation is an NGO registered and seated in Amsterdam the Netherlands and the foundation is the holder of the international concept of Slum Cinema. In cooperation with others BasicViews Foundation develops new Chapters where possible in slums in developing countries.

Who is behind Slum Cinema?

Slum Cinema is a worldwide project of BasicViews Foundation. Once initiated in 2004 by Dutch filmmaker, journalist and trainer Gérard Bueters and worked out as an international media development concept. BasicViews Foundation is the formal NGO that backs the slum cinema projects. In the countries the Chapters work within a memorandum of understanding, in fact a minimum of principles between the Chapters and BasicViews to develop the name, brand, network and all audiovisual and other output of the network.

Why is Slum Cinema necessary?

Slum Cinema is necessary to give people in the slums their own independent sources of information and create a potential of local production teams for digital information. The products of Slum Cinema are screening documentaries, photography and video reports. The output are also skilled youngsters that become the media professionals of the future.

Why is local information so important?

Information is a product and dependant on the one produced. In fact information is always in a way biased. But in the slums even this information is not always available. The simple fact that newspapers are to expensive to buy every day, as the main issue in the slums is the matter of daily surviving. On the other hand problems with health, income, sanitation, education and participation are huge. So every chance to get free information is a tool for development and proper participation in the local society and care for family, neighbourhood and environment.

What kind of information do Slum Cinema team produce?

We don’t have a limit on our productions. We are open for what is happening in daily life. We produce what is interesting for the community and for ourselves. This can be a small documentary on local environmental initiatives, but also a clip of local hip hop stars or cultural activities. We also produce for NGO’s to make create some income for the local Chapter.

Who is supporting Slum Cinema?

In 2007 and 2008 BasicViews received some money of a few Dutch funders to develop the first Chapters in Uganda and Kenya. In the future the stronger and experienced Chapters should earn their own money with local productions as part of the business model to become financial independent.

Where goes my money if I donate myself?

If you donate money on the account of BasicViews Foundation it will be used to develop new Chapters and train more young people on the ground. You can give us instruction on which project you prefer to donate your money for? We report on result of our project through our regular news letters.

Where are the Slum Cinemas?

Slum Cinemas are mainly in the slums and exist of venues like local video halls, community buildings and other support venues in the slums. The venues are, depending on the program schedule, regular reshaped in temporary cinemas

What is a Slum Cinema Chapter?

A Chapter envisages all Slum Cinema activities in a country or city. All officially registered Slum Cinema Chapters agree to the minimum terms of principles of Slum Cinema International Joint Network. In countries more than one local Chapters can be developed. In this case a national board will coordinate the Chapters, while they locally operate in principle independent.

What is a SLC cineteam?

A SLC Cineteam can be a film distribution team, i.e. for the screenings in the slums and/or a production team to create local digital audiovisual reports. Both can work together at the same time too and together be part of the local Chapter. We always work together as a team. We create a local structure of a continuous program of screening documentaries, film and video reports. Secondly we develop digital content production, with the intention that the creators in the future create their own income. To reach that point we have to show our potential business partners our quality and convince them with outstanding valuable digital photo and video productions.

Who can become member of Slum Cinema?

Everybody who wants to develop the Slum Cinema concept and him/herself at level of audiovisual media can become a member. BasicViews never supports individuals only. Always a team of young people are connected to each other and a local formal NGO structure as official partner and seat of the Chapter is necessary for further formal support in the future.

What do you mean with commitment?

All participating young people in the Chapters start as volunteers and get training and support to fill in their dreams to become a media professional. Unlimited personal commitment is the most important element of the selection of new participants. We can offer you a professional future, but it is up to you to invest in it and to make it real. So careful, it is not an easy way to make money, but interesting enough if it is really your dream. For those young people we want to be the coaches on their way of a professional future.

What do the young people learn?

They learn to inform the community trough dissemination of unbiased independent audiovisual material screened on widescreen projection in the slums and deprived areas. Secondly they learn how to produce own local video reports to be shown in the community and exchanged worldwide.

Do cineteam members earn money too?

Team members of Slum Cinema do not get money for their efforts. Some times there is some money for the costs made like transport and a meal. The intention is that when they are trained their skills will bring them income trough selling the photography and video reports. BasicViews and Slum Cinema will help them to set up their businesses.

How can they make their living in the future?

The network develops relations with potential buyers of content (photography and video reports) and servicing local production facilities. The network will intermediate in this business. When trained the experienced members can train others and if budget is available earn in that way some money too.

How do the trained slum dwellers get independent?

The get trained and experienced producers of content. The content will be sold trough the network and an income for them personal and the network will be realised. At a certain level they might get their own independent business and be less dependent on the efforts of the network. At that point they become even more interesting for the network as role models and potential train the trainers.

What does the Slum Cinema network means?

International development of the Slum Cinema Network is been done by the board of BasicViews Foundation in cooperation with the contributions of several partners in the participating countries. The network in fact is the strength of every individual. Even the ones that fly out to real business stay member of the network and support the new trainees to come so far too.

How do the Chapters work together?

Every member has a personal connection to the international exchange network and the individual organised within, where they share knowledge, experience, relations and evaluation. They also share audiovisual content which will become a more and more valuable source of information for all.

In which countries do you work already?

BVF started a pilot in 2007 in Nairobi, Kenya, where a full Chapter now is active. Other full Chapters were set up in 2008-2009 in Kampala Uganda and Paramaribo in Surinam. In 2009 new Slum Cinema start-up activities such as screenings were in Zimbabwe. Further plans and initiatives have been taken in South Africa, Rwanda, Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso, Indonesia, East Timor and Bolivia.

Who are your local partners?

Local registered NGO’s in the countries at levels of community and poverty reduction work, media for development organisations, students and private persons.

How do you communicate about your work?

Nowadays Slum Cinema is communicating through her website only. Before also by regular (6-8 times a year) digital news letters in Dutch and English to 2.500 addresses around the world. The website www.slumcinema.tv is our central interactive network and communication instrument for the local Chapters. They have a member login opportunity. The content of the website is available for everybody interested.

If you want to communicate with the international office in Amsterdam please sent a mail to gb.slumcinema@gmail.com