Projecting hope. Changing lives.

FAQ

WHAT FILMAID DOES

+ What is FilmAid?
Founded in 1999 during the Balkan crisis by award-winning producer Caroline Baron (Capote, Monsoon Wedding), FilmAid uses the power of film and media to transcend language and literacy, bringing life-saving information, psychological relief and much-needed hope to refugees and other communities in need around the globe. With strong support from both Hollywood and the humanitarian communities, FilmAid has brought critical information, training and empowerment programs to more than two million people worldwide. FilmAid works in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other global aid organizations. Today,FilmAid is a global federation of nonprofit, charitable organizations that includes FilmAid UK, FilmAid Kenya and FilmAid Asia, all locally registered, not-for-profit institutions. FilmAid International, the founding entity, is a nonprofit, tax-exempt US corporation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
+ What is FilmAid’s mission?
FilmAid uses the power of film and media to transcend language and literacy, bringing life-saving information, psychological relief and much-needed hope to refugees and other communities in need around the globe.
+ What is FilmAid’s vision?
FilmAid envisions a world in which all people can lead safe and healthy lives, enjoying full access to information, education and the opportunity for creative expression.
+ What are FilmAid’s Values?

ACCESS – We believe access to information is a human right and that information is a critical factor in securing food, medicine, shelter, and emergency services, especially during times of crisis.

AGILITY – We value the independent fillmmaking ethos at FilmAid’s roots and strive to bring a can-do attitude to everything we work on. We believe in institutional dexterity and value the ability to respond rapidly and efficiently, whatever the challenge.

CAPACITY BUILDING – FilmAid is committed to building skills and forging knowledge in the communities we work with, investing in local sustainability.

COLLABORATION AND PARTICIPATION – We value a participatory, culturally respectful and inclusive approach, engaging communities in assessing their own needs and in managing, implementing, and evaluating programs.

COMMUNITY – We value the power of community and working together to achieve common goals. We believe every community must have a voice and that communication should be a dialogue...not a lecture.

CREATIVITY – We believe in self-empowerment through self-expression. Creativity and imagination are central to this goal. We believe in the value of making things, learning through doing and the potency of inventiveness, ingenuity and innovation.

DIVERSITY – With more than 100 staff hailing from 15 countries, speaking more than 20 different languages, FilmAid is inherently diverse. We believe that the range of human experience is a vital asset, bringing people together and learning from each other to achieve common goals.

EXCELLENCE – FilmAid is committed to excellence in our work. We perform ongoing monitoring and evaluations to measure results, ensuring quality and contributing towards our goal of continuous improvement.

INTEGRITY – We are accountable to our stakeholders and funders, and adhere to strict fiscal policies and practices. We are committed to maintaining and fostering humanitarian standards in an open, fair and ethical manner.

JOY – We believe that everyone is entitled to joy in their lives. Bringing diversion and delight to the communities we work with is a core component of our work, but we also believe this spirit applies to our own personnel. At FilmAid we take our work seriously but not ourselves, and believe a sense of fun and irreverence makes us better at what we do.

NEUTRALITY – We value the principle of neutrality and believe humanitarian work must never exploit people’s vulnerabilities or be used to further any political or religious creed.

PARTNERSHIP – FilmAid is dedicated to forging strong partnerships, collaborating with experts, nongovernmental and community-based organizations and other stakeholders to achieve the best possible outcome for the communities we work with.

STORYTELLING & THE POWER OF FILM – We believe in the power of storytelling and the simple, wonderful magic of the movies.

+ How do FilmAid programs work?

FilmAid uses film and other media to bring lifesaving information — along with hope and joy —to communities affected by disaster, displacement and economic disparity. Individual programs may vary from one region to another, but every FilmAid activity falls into one of three broad categories:

  1. Mobile Cinema

    Whether it is a life-saving informational video on cholera or a Charlie Chaplin masterpiece, we believe that films can change lives. With giant screens attached to the side of trucks, or a television set up under a tree, FilmAid’s Mobile Cinemas bring the power of film to the people who need it most.

  2. Making Media

    In the humanitarian context - when lives are often at stake and information is vital - the most effective media speaks directly to the audience, utilizing local languages, respectful of community mores, and targeting local issues. FilmAid works alongside communities, providing skills and resources to create media produced by the community, for the community. Working in close collaboration with local groups as well as humanitarian agency experts and other stakeholders, FilmAid produces films, radio, community newspapers and other media that resonate with audiences, address their most pressing concerns and effect powerful change.

  3. Teaching Skills

    FilmAid is committed to a participatory approach, teaching skills and involving local communities with the media making process. Our training program empowers young people to tell their own stories in their own voice. Through film, photography, journalism, radio and digital media education, FilmAid gives individuals the creative and technical skills necessary to explore the concerns of their own communities and to express themselves creatively.

    Through these activities, FilmAid makes a practical impact on critical issues, from health education to human rights, conflict resolution to economic empowerment. Byoffering communities that can often be marginalized a voice on the issues that affect them, these programs allow the possibility of self-advocacy and self-determination. These same programs are designed to alleviate psychological problems associated with trauma, isolation, idleness and despair, offering hope through the simple joy of the movies and the creative outlet of self-expression.

For more details on FilmAid’s programs, click here.

+ What is Community-based Media?
Community-Based media is any form of media that is produced by and for members of a certain community or communities. It can include films, digital media such as blogs and print media such as The Refugee newspaper.
+ What is Participatory Media?
Participatory Media involves input from all those involved in a project towards an evolving initiative such as a webpage or a final product such as a film. Participatory Media production encourages discussion, collaboration and ownership of the project by participants.
+ What kinds of films does FilmAid screen? Who chooses them?
The most important films shown by FilmAid are those addressing community strength and survival. Screenings are most likely to focus on issues of health and safety or community stabilization. All films screened by FilmAid are vetted by community advisory boards, comprised of traditional and non-traditional leadership, including women and youth; are culturally sensitive; and recognize that the most effective communication starts with the community itself. FilmAid includes entertainment films – Hollywood favorites and contemporary regional cinema — in many of its screenings, which brings diversion, relief and encourages large attendance.
+ Who does FilmAid serve?
FilmAid serves individuals and communities suffering the effects of war, poverty, displacement and disaster. Through its film-based programming, FilmAid conveys crucial, lifesaving information on health and social issues. FilmAid screenings, workshops, original productions, and training programs provide an innovative way of reaching broad audiences; overcoming literacy boundaries and empowering communities with messages that educate, entertain and inspire hope.
+ Where does FilmAid currently work?
FilmAid is headquartered in in New York City with additional offices in Hong Kong, London, and Nairobi. FilmAid’s longest running programs are in East Africa, where we currently operate in the UNHCR refugee camps of Kakuma (on the border of South Sudan) and Dadaab (on the border of Somalia) as well as in informal urban settlements in Nairobi and Mombasa. We are also working with Burmese refugees in Thailand, and in Haiti.
+ Where has FilmAid worked, in the past?
Since its founding in 1999, FilmAid has assisted people in need from areas as diverse as Tanzania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Haiti following the 2010 earthquake and the US Gulf Coast following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
+ How many people are helped each year by FilmAid?
Annually, over 250,000 people receive critical information for community and individual survival and strength through FIlmAid’s collective programs.
+ Are there specific issues that FilmAid programs address?

FilmAid works in different humanitarian sectors, including health, security and human rights, to disseminate information on critical issues. At FilmAid we’re not experts in immunization or human trafficking, but we do have the skills, experience and resources needed to bring life-saving information on these topics to the communities where the information is needed most. FilmAid works closely with experts, NGOs, government and local community bodies to develop informed, practical and appropriate messaging and information packages on these issues.

Health:

  • Cholera
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Immunization
  • Malaria
  • Measles
  • Maternal & Reproductive Health
  • Nutrition (including pediatric malnutrition)
  • Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH)

Protection & Safety:

  • Conflict Resolution and Mitigation
  • Early Marriage
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
  • Flood & Natural Disaster Response
  • Human Trafficking & Modern Day Slavery
  • Landmine Awareness
  • Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA)
  • Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV)
  • Shelter Safety
  • Women’s Protection & Empowerment (WPE)

Refugee Rights:

  • Access to Information
  • Access to Primary Services (e.g., food, shelter, education, health care, protection)
  • Legal Rights
  • Registration
  • Resettlement

Other:

  • Accountability
  • Advocacy
  • Civic Engagement
  • Community Journalism
  • Food Security
  • Literacy
  • Livelihoods & Economic Opportunity
  • Self-expression
  • Self Reliance & Community Self-Management
  • Skills Building & Vocational Training
+ How do you know if FilmAid programs are making an impact?

Each FilmAid program sets out to communicate life-saving knowledge and relief to its target community. Accomplishments differ from program to program. In 2006, FilmAid commissioned an independent evaluation of its refugee programs (conducted in the Kakuma refugee camp) by Boston University’s Center for International Health and Development.

This comprehensive survey showed that 96% refugees sampled felt that FilmAid screenings helped with conflict reduction and community building; 94% felt films provided assistance with problem solving; 77% perceived FilmAid as making a positive impact on how people feel; 67% felt a positive impact on individuals’ willingness to get tested for HIV; and 64% expressed more willingness to discuss women’s issues because of FilmAid screenings.

+ Is there a religious or political mission for FilmAid?
No. FilmAid is run with no religious or political intentions or bias. Our goal is to project knowledge and hope in ways that strengthen communities, allowing them to survive and thrive.
+ Why does FilmAid believe film is a powerful tool in aid work?
Through film, FilmAid is able to addresses the frequently neglected problems of isolation, lack of information and psychological trauma. FilmAid’s programs break monotony and isolation, as well as providing essential information. The power of film lies in its ability to convey complex ideas through the combination of image and sound and to reach many people at once. FilmAid understands that Africa and other developing parts of the world have rich traditions of story-telling. By working with local community members to create and film stories with messages on health or local issues, FilmAid has been able share information with a wide range of people despite language, literacy and cultural boundaries. FilmAid’s signature Mobile Cinema screenings have allowed us to share these films with thousands of people at a time.

 

FUNDING AND SUPPORT

+ How is FilmAid funded?
FilmAid receives its funding from a variety of institutional, governmental, corporate and individual sources. Our refugee-focused programs receive considerable funding from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (BPRM). Private foundations and corporations contribute both program-specific and general funding. Countless individuals contribute donations large and small to support FilmAid’s efforts.
+ Why should I support FilmAid instead of organizations that provide direct services such as food, protection and health care?
Communities in crisis must have access to food, clean water and basic health services in order to survive. But this only the beginning: FilmAid provides communities with critical information that helps them effectively access the food, medicine and shelter they need in an emergency, and FilmAid provides knowledge vital to ensuring survival, stability and revival. FilmAid’s programs leverage the unique power of film to convey complex ideas in a visual and easy-to-understand manner, overcoming language and literacy barriers, capable of reaching thousands at a time. And by working directly with communities, FilmAid can create messaging that is even more effective because it is culturally relevant.
+ How can I make a contribution to FilmAid?

FilmAid International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. You may make a tax-deductible contribution by sending a check payable to “FilmAid International” to 37 West 28th Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10001. If you are interested in donating in-kind goods or services, stock or other financial instruments, please contact info@filmaid.org.

If you prefer to donate via the UK, please contact UK@filmaid.org or donate online at http://www.justgiving.com/filmaid/Donate

If you prefer to donate via Hong Kong, please contact asia@filmaid.org

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+How does this site protect the privacy of my information?

This Website is owned and operated by FilmAid International, Inc. (‘FilmAid International’). We recognize that visitors to our site may be concerned about the information they provide to us and how we treat that information. This Privacy Policy addresses those concerns. This policy may be changed or updated from time to time. If you have any questions about our Privacy Policy, you can contact us at: info@filmaid.org

FilmAid International uses its best efforts to respect the privacy of its online visitors. At our site, we do not collect personally identifiable information from individuals unless they provide it to us voluntarily and knowingly. This means we do not require you to register or provide information to us in order to view our site. FilmAid International only gathers personally identifiable data, such as names, addresses, zip/postal codes, e-mail addresses, etc., when voluntarily submitted by a visitor. For example, personally identifiable information may be collected in order for a visitor to make a donation online. This information is used solely by FilmAid International or other entities who are involved in the operation of this site for internal purposes. FilmAid International's lists are never sold to third parties. We will only share personally identifiable information with third parties when the person submitting the information authorizes us to share it or we are required to by law.

As with most other Internet sites, our Web server automatically recognizes the domain name of each visitor to the site, but not the e-mail address (where possible). This IP address tells us which domain you visited from (e.g. aol.com). We use the information we record to help diagnose problems with our server and to improve the content of our Web page. The information is not shared with other organizations for commercial purposes.

 

GETTING INVOLVED

+ Can I volunteer with FilmAid?
FilmAid is often looking for interns and volunteers to work with us on fundraising, communications, video editing, film programming, film production, curriculum development, administration, and more. If you are interested, please email info@filmaid.org.
+ How do I contact FilmAid?

Headquarters

FilmAid International

37 West 28th Street, 8th Floor

New York, NY 10001

USA

p. +1.212.920.3663 • f. +1.678.866.9684

info@filmaid.orgwww.filmaid.org

Asia

FilmAid Asia Limited

7th Floor, Ruttonjee House

11 Duddell Street, Central

Hong Kong

p. +852.2868.1234 • f: +852.2845.1637

asia@filmaid.orgwww.filmaid.org/asia

East Africa

FilmAid Kenya

3 Riara Mansions

Riara Road

PO Box 21751

Nairobi, Kenya

p. +254.0.20.4443385 • f. +254.0.20.4443386 • c. +254.722.540543

nairobi@filmaid.orgwww.filmaid.org

UK

FilmAid UK

Unit 3.07, Pill Box,

115 Coventry Road,

Bethnal Green

London,

E2 6GG

uk@filmaid.orgwww.filmaid.org/uk