Filmmaker Turns Approach to Cause-Based Films Upside-Down

Our world is full of injustice and inequality. But our world is also full of people that are trying to get rid of it, or that are at least trying to change the situation for the better. The big challenge everyone who is trying to help is facing, is making people care about something that has no direct impact on their own lives.
The forefront of mobilization was dominated by videos using the approach of depicting a crisis full-on: children with bloated bellies, burning forest, or polar bears floating on tiny ice sheets. The premise of videos utilizing this approach is to make people feel bad in order to make them engage.
Stefan Hunt is a director who believes that he found the recipe for a successful charity film. Instead of showing terrible pictures, he takes the viewer along on intimate journeys depicting the lives of his protagonists.
In the above example of, "My Magic Mum," the protagonist is Rambu, a young girl living on a small Indonesian island called Sumba. Almost two years ago, Rambu's father died, and her mother, Lydia, could no longer afford to send her daughter to school. Everything changed when Lydia received a minor loan that allowed her to open up a small shop and send Rambu back to school which brings her a little closer to her dream of becoming a doctor.
Even though studies have shown that sad imagery works better than happy imager in creating engagement for a cause, Hunt's approach is certainly interesting to witness. It has yet to be seen if his very unique and inspirational approach might create some unforeseen dynamics that sad imagery could not provide.

Maximilian Benner's picture

Maximilian Benner is a German-born documentarian living in NYC.

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1 Comment

Enchanting. Wonderful film and Kudos to mr. Hunt on the project. Would like to see more like this!