The Norwegian-Kenyan documentary film Thank you for the Rain was recently awarded the prize for best international film at the Sguardi Altrove Film Festival
, received the World Wildlife Fund's prize for best film in the Habitat category
at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, in addition to winning two Social Impact Media Awards
: the Ethos Jury Prize and the Prize for Best Cinematography. The film was directed by Julia Dahr and produced by Hugh Hartford. The work to spread the film's message has been documented in a comprehensive "impact and outreach" report that can downloaded here
Thank you for the Rain tells the story of Kenyan farmer Kisilu Musya, who began seven years ago to film his family and show how climate change was affecting their lives. When Kisilu's house was destroyed by a violent storm, he started a local movement of farmers. Their struggle brought him all the way to the major political drama that took place during the UN's climate negotiations in Paris.
The film highlights the consequences climate change have on poverty-stricken parts of the world. Those who have released the least greenhouse gases are often the ones who are hit first and hardest. Those who have the fewest resources available to adapt to extreme weather, and who typically have very little power. Thank you for the Rain is a heart-warming story with both humour and hope, about an indomitable optimism whose limits are tested in the struggle to save our planet.
To the team behind the film, Thank you for the Rain is an attempt to give climate change a human face. They have worked systematically to spread the film's message both in Norway and abroad. One of their main goals has been to promote public debate, and to capture the interest of a broader audience, extending beyond the scope of environmental activists. In Norway, the film was made available to anyone who wanted to organise an open screening. This resulted in 43 screenings all across the country, organised by 24 different organisations. Information about the film and the topics it raises was disseminated throughout a range of different communities, and feedback from audiences was important for the further efforts to promote the film. The film's protagonist Kisilu has spoken at Arendal Week and at the TED Global technology conference, and he has been interviewed by the press both at home and abroad. As part of a school tour made by Kisilu, more than 5000 Norwegian pupils have had the opportunity to meet him and discuss climate change. On a global basis, more than 200 international screenings have been organised, and the film has been translated into nine different languages.
Fritt Ord has supported the production of the film and the efforts to promote it by providing NOK 225 000 in grants.