Solar Power Brings Cinema to Rural Africa

  • The Sunshine Cinema is a mobile, solar-powered cinema that is enabling knowledge and skills sharing from one community to another in rural Africa where ordinarily a visit to the cinema is a luxury.

For most urban citizens, cell phones, the Internet, and Social Media are an ever-present information resource and problem-solving platform. Many rural African communities do not have access to these modern information-sharing tools; they are either unavailable or unaffordable. As a result, simple solutions that could make everyday tasks easier are often not shared past the borders of communities.

The Sunshine Cinema model enables knowledge sharing of renewable technologies and other life changing information through the medium of a mobile solar-powered Cinema. Through screening short films that show indigenous solutions to Climate Change, and practical approaches to address other millennium development goals, the Sunshine Cinema promotes sustainable innovations by Africans, for Africans.

Image credit: Sunshine Cinema

One step further

Sunshine Cinema goes one step further by capacitating youth from rural & peri-urban areas. The selected Sunbox Ambassadors (SBAS)  are trained in media facilitation, digital marketing, and host screenings of African films in their communities. SBAS attend a boot-camp where they are trained in basic photo, video production, and audience facilitation techniques. This ensures that the initiative remains ongoing at ground level long after the Sunshine Cinema team moves to the next village, province or country.

Sunbox Ambassador. Image credit: Sunshine Solar

“ We run a network of solar powered cinemas led by youth, showcasing African films that spark conversation about key societal issues. We train youth in digital marketing and impact facilitation through our flagship learnership program in collaboration with the University of Cape Town. We host outdoor screening events, celebrating African film and run media training workshops promoting active citizenry,” comments Rowan Pybus, co-founder of Sunshine Cinema.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

Sunshine Cinema is an NGO which relies on sponsorship from the private sector. Should you wish to donate funds or sponsor one of their cinema events, email Rowan Pybus for more details:

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