Award winning films from “Why Poverty”

by | Dec 8, 2012 | Poverty: Analysis and Responses

“Why Poverty?” is a groundbreaking cross-media event reaching more than 500 million people around the world via television, radio, internet and live events in November 2012. TVO is one of 70 broadcasters worldwide taking part in the initiative, and throughout the month of November, The Agenda has asked why.

From their site…

We’ve commissioned award-winning film makers to make eight documentaries about poverty, and new and emerging talents to make around 30 short films. The films tackle big issues and pose difficult questions, but they’re also moving, subtle and thought-provoking stories.

They transmit around the world in November/ December 2012, on more than 70 national broadcasters reaching 500 million people. They’re accompanied by events designed to spark global and national debates and an online conversation to get people asking “Why Poverty?”

You can watch clips and shorts online now, and find out more about what’s happening in your country.

From January 2013, the documentaries will be available to everyone online and we’ll begin an outreach programme, building on the momentum from broadcast.

Our agendaWe’re not a campaigning organisation. We don’t want money. We’re not pushing for a single, specific solution to global poverty.

We do want people to think about the issue and ask questions.

If you want to find out more or get involved, there’s more information on the site about the issues raised in the films and links to in-depth resources and organisations working in these areas

How to watch

You can watch clips from the documentaries and the short films online now

You can find out when to watch on TV in your country, or come back to see full-length versions of the documentaries online in 2013.

Sign-up for our newsletter and we’ll let you know when the films are available.There are links in the footer below.

Use our content

We want to get as many people as possible thinking and talking about poverty – so we want to share our content freely.

If you’d like to use our films on a website, at your school in a newsletter, or even arrange a screening – please help yourself. Broadly, our content is freely available for non-commercial use. Before using, please read our general terms and conditions (Link no longer functioning)  Before embedding, please read and agree to our terms and conditions for embedding. If you want to use our material for commercial reasons, please contact us.

In December, we’ll also be publishing facilitators packs designed to help people use the films as teaching resources. Lots of broadcasters have also created extra resources so it’s worth checking out your national broadcasters site and seeing what they’ve got.

Who’s behind Why Poverty?

The project is run by Steps, a non-profit organisation that combines documentaries, new media, old media and outreach to get millions of people talking about big issues. Steps ran a similar project, Why Democracy? In 2007 and Why Poverty? builds on that.

You can find details of the team on the contacts page. The project is led by Mette Hoffmann Meyer, Don Edkins, and Nick Fraser. You can find more information about them and the rest of the Steps Board.

Partners & Broadcasters

We work with a range of partners, from institutions whose support has made the project possible, to broadcasters, who don’t just show the films but use their expertise to reach and engage new audiences.

Many broadcasters are creating extra films and new content as well as organising events around Why Poverty? so have a look at your local broadcaster’s site to see what’s on when.

Their aims…

  1. To produce narratives that inspire people to think and be part of the solution
  2. To involve the best filmmakers in the creation of bold and provocative factual films
  3. To bring together broadcasters worldwide and engage with a wide and diverse audience through multiple media platforms
  4. To create a global outreach campaign, supplementing the broadcasts with extra teaching materials
  5. To engage with decision-makers and influencers to find solutions for change


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