Impact

Impact: Giving a voice to Africa’s young generation

TALL AS THE BAOBAB TREE continues to circle the globe impacting millions of viewers to address the power of education and its life-changing consequences.

A festival favorite at Rotterdam, the film headlined the NYC Human Rights Watch Film Festival, and is used world-wide by universities, and classrooms. Most recently honored by TV5 Monde Afrique the station for 12 Million in 48 countries –TALL AS THE BAOBAB TREE was in a special programming event reaching audiences all over Africa.

Jeremy signing autographs for students

My hope is that by opening up such an intimate window into village life, the film will move people to look past cultural differences and empathize with the story’s deep feelings of love, hope, and sacrifice. While many contemporary films coming from Africa draw attention to themselves through violence and sensationalism, my film is a peaceful story that seeks to bring people closer together through intimacy and honesty.

Showing the film to young people in Doha, Qatar (pictured above)– one of the fastest growing economies in the world, is far removed from life in rural Africa. But the feelings, the tensions, the quiet victories and the heartbreaks that come with change are universal.

Jeremy Teicher, Director, age 22,  just a few years older than the village students inspired him.

 

Jeremy_embassy

Jeremy premiered his Student Academy Award-nominated short documentary which inspired the feature length movie at the American Ambassador’s residence in Dakar, Senegal.  Subsequently, the US Embassy in Dakar  hosted a screening of TALL AS THE BAOBAB TREE (picture here).

 

 

 

 

Impact: Proceeds from film

Proceeds from the movie have gone directly to the village school where the movie was filmed providing 16,000 lunches by the end of 2015. 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.  Pictured below is one of the wonderful cooks at the school. We’re also proud to let you know that we responded in 2016 to a request from the Senegalese school where we filmed to pay for notebooks, paper, chalk and other supplies. school lunch room

Update 2016. 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.

Update 2017.  Tall as the Baobab Tree is still being purchased by schools and libraries so we were pleased to contribute to recent local community festivities to support the school where we filmed. Celebrating the multi-ethnic heritage of the student population, the community of 300 came out  with delicious food, dancing, student-prepared skits and everyone dressed to show off their cultural backgrounds. You may recall that the students that appeared in TALL AS THE BAOBAB TREE were the very first in their villages to attend school.