WEDU’s Community Cinema Continues This November with a “Women and Girls Lead” & “Why Poverty?” Film Solar Mamas


November 20, 2012 (Tampa, FL) – Community Cinema, a national documentary screening series presented locally by WEDU and Independent Television Service (ITVS) presents a screening of Solar Mamas at The Patel Center for Global Solutions at the University of South Florida on Tuesday, November 27th at 5:30pm. Part of Women and Girls Lead, Solar Mamas follows, Rafea, a beautiful, strong-willed 32-year-old Jordanian mother of four, traveling outside of her village for the first time ever to attend Barefoot College’s solar engineering program. India’s Barefoot College, where rural, poor and often illiterate women from around the world are offered the rare opportunity to receive an education that teaches them how to make their communities selfreliant and sustainable. Once there, Rafea will join women from Guatemala, Kenya, Burkina Faso, and Colombia in a life-changing six-month job-training program that will transform her into solar engineer — and change her life.

Solar Mamas is part of the international WHY POVERTY? project, a groundbreaking cross-media event reaching more than 500 million people around the world via over 60 international television broadcasters as well as radio, internet and live events in November 2012.

WHAT: FREE screening of Solar Mamas and Q&A following the film

WHO: Presented by WEDU, USF’s Patel Center for Global Solutions, Women and Girls Lead, and ITVS Community Cinema, Aston Gardens

WHEN: Tuesday, November 27th doors open at 5:30pm – presentation begins at 6:00pm and is followed by a panel discussion

RSVP: www.wedu.org/cinema

About the Filmmakers

Mona Eldaief (Co-Director) was born in Cairo and raised in the United States. A graduate of New York University with a degree in political science and photography, she works as a director, director of photography and editor on documentary film and television projects around the world. Her documentary feature credits include Control Room, Startup.Com, A Wedding in Ramallah, and Her Name Is Zelda. Television credits include programs for Frontline World, Discovery Channel, ABC News, and MTV News and Docs. Eldaief also implemented a video diary exchange program between Israelis and Palestinians, which allowed young people in Israel and the West Bank to create video diaries that were then shared to initiate an ongoing dialogue about the conflict. She continued documenting global stories through video exchange for the international film event Pangea Day. For this live broadcast, Mona sent camera phones to NGOs and UNHCR refugee camps around the world and produced and edited their first-person film narratives. Jehane Noujaim (Co-Director) was raised in Cairo and began her career as a photographer. After obtaining a B.A. in Film and Philosophy at Harvard, she directed Mokattam (1998). Noujaim went on to produce and direct Startup.com (2001) and Control Room (2004). She was co-director on Shayfeen.com: We Are Watching You. Noujaim has also worked as a cinematographer on Born Rich (2003), Only the Strong Survive (2002) ,and Down from the Mountain (2002), and as executive producer on Encounter Point (2006) and Budrus (2011). Mette Heide (Producer) is an award-winning producer and owner of +plus pictures ApS. She has worked as an executive producer for the past 16 years. Among the films she’s produced are Last White Man Standing (2010), The Invention of Dr. Nakamats (2009), Honestly, Mum and Dad (2009), and Liberace of Baghdad, winner of the Special Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.

About ITVS Community Cinema

ITVS Community is the national community engagement program of the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens. Through Community Engagement Campaigns in support of groundbreaking, independent films, our innovative educational product ITVS Community Classroom and our flagship community outreach program Community Cinema, ITVS Community works to bring communities together and connect them with information, resources and opportunities for education, engagement and positive change. ITVS Community builds on our 15-year legacy of community engagement activities and makes public broadcasting into a powerful resource for individuals, communities and organizations working on key social issues around the country. For more information visit: http://www.communitycinema.org

About Women and Girls Lead 

Women and Girls Lead is a multiyear public media initiative to focus, educate, and connect citizens worldwide in support of the issues facing women and girls. Combining independent documentary film, television, new media, and global outreach partnerships, Women and Girls Lead amplifies the voices of women and girls, expands understanding of gender equity, and engages an international network of citizens and organizations to act locally and reach out globally. By building a pipeline of some 50 public television documentaries and integrating content from partners across radio, commercial television, and beyond, Women and Girls Lead offers another model for public media to serve its mission in the 21st century. Women and Girls Lead connects key stakeholders to sustain productive dialogue and participation on the most critical issues facing local communities, the nation, and the world. For more information please visit: www.itvs.org/women-and-girls-lead/films

About Independent Lens

Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing on PBS. The acclaimed anthology series features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers. Presented by Independent Television Service (ITVS), the series is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding provided by PBS, the National Endowment for the Arts and the MacArthur Foundation. The senior series producer is Lois Vossen. More information is at www.pbs.org/independentlens. Join Independent Lens on Facebook at www.facebook.com/independentlens.

(Download the full press release here)