Sunshine Cinema

Sunshine Cinema uses mobile media screenings to offer a platform for creative and innovative community engagement.

The problem we aim to solve:

We share skills and knowledge in communities that lack online access to innovative research tools.

The solution our project offers:

We create a platform for community and dialogue and creative exchange using media as tool for social engagement

Our mission is to share knowledge and skills among African communities through film screenings, skill building workshops and discussions. This need is incredibly important in communities where there is not access to research tools like Google and TED Talks. Sunshine Cinema produces and screens films (its own through Makhulu, and those of other African filmmakers) telling the stories of innovators and change agents promoting sustainable innovations and local impact entrepreneurs. Instead of only taking African stories from the continent and showing them to a Western audience, Sunshine Cinema addresses a dominant one-way flow of information, taking local stories back to the communities they stem from.

Farmworkers learning how to make solar cookers out of cardboard and chip packets after watching a Sunshine Cinema DIY Film
@ Sydelle Willow Smith

As filmmakers, photographers, and designers, we are inspired by local innovators and change-makers. Our approach is guided by​ ​human-centered ​anthropological research methods, to ensure that communities are active participants in ​the ​preparation and planning​ ​of ​ such ​events​.​ Our outreach screenings can be followed by practical workshops run in partnership with local organizations that transfer the skills, techniques and templates shown in the videos to the participating community members from innovative design to creative expression. A workshop that married these two approaches very successfully was the Open Design Festival in Langa in 2014 where we screened a “how to video” of building seats out of discarded tyres, followed by a screening of Khumba, the work of South African animation company Triggerfish - a feature length animation film about a Zebra who was born with half the stripes.