Pedal power cinema brings educational films to remote communities in Malawi0 Comments

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Posted on 20 Mar 2013 at 4:21pm

UK charities Purple Field Productions (PFP) with their partner Temwa and alternative energy pioneers Electric Pedals are taking an innovative Rucksack Cinema to remote areas in Malawi, Southern Africa this June.

PFP makes educational and humanitarian films for and with people across the world in their local languages and through the support of Temwa, who work in Malawi on community based initiatives in education, health and agriculture, this innovative project will give access to important life saving information in one of the poorest countries in the world.

The moving image is known to be one of the most powerful means of communication and as well as being entertaining and engaging it is an extremely effective way to get information across, particularly in areas where literacy is a problem. Screening these films can be problematic in remote areas which have no electricity or even the fuel to power a generator. The solution is the Rucksack Cinema.

PFP Presentation.021

PFP Presentation.022

Electric Pedals have pioneered a Rucksack Cinema which only uses human energy to generate the electricity needed to project a film. The entire kit, including the projector, fits into a rucksack and can easily be carried by a two person team and set up in minutes. Through constant but relaxed pedalling a full length film can be projected for the whole community to enjoy. It will also provide essential moments of congregation and celebration, bringing communities together to enjoy the experience of going to the cinema.


The team will be distributing the film ULIMI MCHUMA CHATHU (Farming Our Wealth). Filmed and edited in Malawi, Farming our Wealth is an agricultural film made with and for Malawian farmers which demonstrates new techniques for combating the effects of increasing droughts brought about by climate change. It features local farmers demonstrating effective ways of improving productivity and sustainability, thereby improving the quality of life in the poorest rural communities.

To mark their 10th anniversary in 2014, PFP are planning a mobile Malawi film festival that will travel around Lake Malawi on the famous Ilala Ferry stopping at different ports to show films using the Rucksack Cinema. The intention is not only to make the films available to a much wider audience in Malawi, but to link up with events and film festivals in the UK and beyond. A collaboration which has the power to transform lives and livelihoods of the world’s poorest people.

They are currently looking for sponsorship and support from interested parties.

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