Film celebrating women banding together in Niger now available on Oculus App, Facebook 360
ATLANTA (April 19, 2017) — The poverty-fighting organization CARE and filmmaker Shannon Carroll today released to the public their virtual reality film Women on the Move, allowing everyone to see the inspiring film that has been a VR hit at SXSW, Sundance and other film festivals around the country.
The six-minute-long film, which gives viewers an intimate look at women who started a movement by coming together in rural Niger, is best experienced in 3-D with a Samsung Gear VR headset in the Oculus app.
A shorter version of the film, made especially for Facebook 360, can be viewed in the Facebook mobile app and web browsers.
Women on the Move made its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival last month and also has been shown at the Sundance Film Festival, the Skoll World Forum and the Atlanta Film Festival, among others. Part of Oculus’ VR for Good program, it transports viewers into the lives of Fatchima and her granddaughter, Nana. Fatchima unlocked a better future for women in Kagadama, Niger, 25 years ago when she helped create one of the very first CARE Village Savings & Loan Associations, or VSLAs, changing the course of her life — and Nana’s.
Oculus launched VR for Good last year, matching 10 nonprofits with 10 rising filmmakers to bring a variety of social causes to life. The teams, selected among hundreds of applicants, then created 360-degree films with equipment and post-production support from Oculus, which also provided educational opportunities, funding, and mentorship with industry veterans. CARE, which fights poverty by empowering women and girls, teamed up with Carroll, founder and creative director of Vivid Story, a New York-based studio that uses the power of story to advance causes. They were mentored by Rob Holzer of Matter Unlimited. A behind-the-scenes look at how the film was made can be seen here.
“Most people will never actually travel to Kagadama,” Carroll said. “But through virtual reality we are giving anyone a chance to immerse themselves in rural Niger and the lives of some of the most inspirational women I have ever met.”
In Women on the Move, viewers see the world through the eyes of Fatchima, who joined with other women to upend a culture of child marriage and gender discrimination a generation ago. They began by saving just pennies a week through their Village Savings & Loan Association (VSLA), making loans to each other, earning interest and, most importantly, supporting each other through droughts, food shortages and health or family emergencies.
Their success has since been replicated thousands of times. And today there are more than 10 million VSLA members across more than 30 African countries and in parts of Asia and Latin America. In Niger alone the VSLA network has grown into a movement of more than 200,000 people. It has lifted women into public office, acted as a safety net during droughts and, each day, lived up to the name that Fatchima and the other women gave it a quarter century ago: Mata Masu Dubara, or “Women on the Move.”
“VSLAs are about so much more than just savings and loans,” said Michelle Nunn, president and CEO of CARE. “Women on the Move allows people to feel the power of the transformation that happens within women — and between women — who are making their dreams happen by coming together.”
Film Links: (Note: best experienced in 3-D with a Samsung Gear VR headset in the Oculus app but also can view using mobile device or web browser)
Link to view shorter version (Note: to be viewed in Facebook mobile app or web browsers):
About CARE: Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. Last year, CARE worked in 94 countries and reached more than 80 million people around the world. To learn more, please visit care.org.
About Shannon Carroll: Shannon Carroll is an artist and Creative Director at Vivid Story, a NYC-based studio harnessing the power of visual storytelling for causes. They are a Certified B Corporation® championing positive social impact and sustainability. She produces compelling visual narratives for social enterprises to increase their impact and authentically connect with core audiences. As an experienced collaborator, she brings her skills spanning video production, virtual reality, photography, and interactive design. She has presented projects at SXSW, Sundance Film Festival, Harvard University, Brown University, Skoll World Forum, and Creative Time Summit. Shannon is a graduate of Tufts University and was a UnionDocs Collaborative Fellow.