International aid agency CARE and filmmaker Shannon Carroll have released to the public their virtual reality film Women on the Move, allowing everyone to see the inspiring film that has already been a VR hit at Sundance and other film festivals around the world.
The six-minute-long film, which gives viewers an intimate look at women who started a movement by coming together in rural Niger, will now be shown at the St Kilda Film Festival from Saturday, 20 May.
Women on the Move made its world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March and has since been shown at the Sundance Film Festival. 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.
CARE, which fights poverty by empowering women and girls, teamed up with filmmaker Shannon Carroll to use the power of story to advance this cause.
“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 up-end a culture of child marriage and gender discrimination a generation ago. They began by saving just pennies, making loans to each other, earning interest and, most importantly, supporting each other through droughts, food shortages, and family emergencies.
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.
“VSLAs are about so much more than just savings and loans,” said Sally Moyle, Chief Executive of CARE Australia. “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.”
To find out more about the free viewing times, visit the St Kilda Film Festival.
CARE Australia is an international humanitarian aid organisation fighting poverty, with a special focus on working with women and girls to bring lasting change to their communities.