Three teachers from the school where we filmed join a Peace Corp Volunteer over lunch at our Senegales home to consider next steps. The idea is to make the school a tourist destination showing off local cultures. Money earned will go directly to the school and at the same time involving the students with hands-on learning opportunities.
The community near the rural school (where we had filmed in 2012) came together this week to celebrate the school and the multi-ethnic heritage of the student population. With delicious food, dancing, student-prepared skits and everyone dressed to show off their cultural backgrounds; the community of 300 came out to show their support for the school. You may recall that the students that appeared in TALL AS THE BAOBAB TREE were the very first in their villages to attend school.
We were honored guests. TALL AS THE BAOBAB TREE is still being purchased by schools and libraries so we were pleased to contribute to the festivities.
With more libraries and universities purchasing the film Tall as the Baobab Tree, we continue our support to the school that opened their doors to us for filming. This school year we purchased school shirts that the children proudly wear. Their parents helped to pay for these to encourage their involvement with the school – it’s all part of ongoing local efforts to help instill pride in attending this first village school.
Tall as the Baobab Tree follows two sisters torn between loyalty to their elders and their dreams for the future, and struggling to find their footing at the outer edge of the modern world.
This award-winning feature film resulted from the collaboration of a group of young village students divided between those whose parents sent them to school and those whose parents chose to follow the deep-rooted practice of early arranged marriage.
Today, many schools and universities use Tall as the Baobab Tree to enrich their curriculum by introducing students to this unique voice from Africa’s young generation.View the Trailer.
Article written by director Jeremy Teicher to inform teachers about how they might enrich their global studies curriculum by introducing students to this unique voice from Africa’s young generation. See full article in National Association of Independent Schools Magazine.
Mounirou Cissé, who played the Hotel Owner in Grand comme le Baobab (Tall as the Baobab Tree), stands in front of the new village preschool constructed by Birame N’dour. Birame is a hero in the village community: he founded the village’s first elementary school in 2000, which now has over 300 students. The main actors from Baobab were among the first students to attend Birame’s school, making them the first children from the village to ever receive a formal education.
Our film is one of a select number of films that has passed the Bechdel test.
If you are concerned about the portrayal of women in the media, check this out. https://www.fandor.com/spotlights/beyond-bechdel
By the end of 2015 proceeds from the movie had provided 16,000 lunches at the school where we filmed. Most children arrive at school without breakfast and will not eat until dinner.
The importance of providing a healthy meal at school is highlighted by the World Bank book “Efficient Learning for the Poor Insights from the frontier of Cognitive Neuroscience” by Helen Abadzi.
Sales of Tall as the Baobab Tree into schools, universities and public libraries continues. We’re proud to let you know that we responded to a request from the Senegalese school where we filmed to pay for notebooks, paper, chalk and other supplies.
Thankyou Lakeside School for purchasing a copy of our film! The director was 22 when he began production on this film – just a few years older than your students and the village students whose stories inspired him.