True stories can have an impact beyond the telling. They can motivate people to assert their rights and take a stand against injustice, and also help communities make a change from hate to reconciliation. For IFproductions, impact campaigns are a vital element of documentary making. Their impact campaigns give real stories back to the individuals and communities they belong to. IFproductions creates tools to address sensitive topics, empower victims to deal with past experiences, raise awareness about injustice, and inform communities about their history. This has many positive effects on how people deal with violent trauma or threats to their freedom.
Mobile cinemas and more
Impact campaigns are long-term projects aimed at using true stories for real change. Campaigns may include investigative journalism, town hall meetings, public debates, and social media platforms. In Africa, Mobile Cinemas travel from village to village and screen films in local communities, sometimes for audiences of over 5,000 people. These campaigns include tailor-made versions of the documentaries, educational materials, and impact manuals.
‘The Mobile Cinema format has proven itself time and again. It is a low threshold, high impact tool, reaching thousands of people at a time in places where public screenings are rare.’ Ilse van Velzen
Working closely with local as well as international partners and stakeholders, Ilse and Femke van Velzen create impact campaigns based on their documentary films. They provide expert guidance to local moderators so they are able to empower those taking part in reconciliation or resistance. Ilse and Femke van Velzen have launched major impact campaigns in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2012, IFproductions was awarded the prestigious Puma Impact Award for this. In 2018 they started a three-year Mobile Cinema campaign in war-torn South Sudan. A new international impact campaign about the risks of privatization of public services is planned for 2019 and beyond.