Development Cooperation Handbook/The video resources linked to this handbook/The Documentary Story/Sierra Leone 1 – preproduction

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Sierra Leone - preparing the ground

From Syria I went straight to Sierra Leone, via Casablanca. Africa, finally, mother Africa.

So the same project that had taken me away from Sierra Leone, it was now taking me back over there . It was great to meet my friends there and have the possibility to offer them a job in the team. Some of them accepted with enthusiasm. Osman in particular has been a wonderful colleague and his presence made everything more efficient and pleasant.

The EuropeAid officer in charge in Sierra Leone was a pretty young French lady, but otherwise very naïve and inexperienced. Her attitude was positive, but she was always so insecure and hesitant that at times, in her efforts to facilitate us, she ended up messing the relationship with local stakeholders .

I went and stay in the Village community of River Number 2, where I knew the manager of a local tourism project that I wanted to include in the documentary. I decided to arrange two separate lodging systems for the “Eugad team” (that this time included also Wilma and Eugenio, besides Gauri and me) and the two colleagues of RAI (Franco the cameraman and Francesco the journalist). I put in a more organized sea side resort managed by an Italian. With the hope that by seeing that we were spoiling them they would have been more cooperative. And also with the intention of not having to baby sitter them all the time.

Manoj agreed us to film two of Concern project in Sierra Leone. One in Freetown slums and one in the rural areas: both about women, one on health and one on economic empowerment.

I went to meet the formidable Dimitra, the medical supervisor of the Emergency project, and she was very cooperative. So I decided to include that project, even though it was not financed by the European Union.

Francesco had made an important request: I do not want to see only the solutions (the projects); I also want to see the problems! We need to catch them on camera. Not just talk about them. I talked to Osman and we decided two issues to cover: one was the environmental damage by diamonds mining in Kono; the other was the socially and mentally disintegrated youngsters which have been victim of the civil war: former child soldiers or those who have been mutilated by them.

I went to receive the RAI colleagues to the Lungi airport and I took them to the Florence Resort at Sussex by boat. It was a wonderful morning in the Freetown Bay. The weather perfect. I told Franco and Francesco they had one and a half day to enjoy the beach and relax. Then we would have had an intense week of work.

Then I took care of “my” team at Number Two River. I gave them the instructions. And also we did some backstage recording. This time I was prepared. In case the two professional journalists are not available to cover all we need, I had my team that could do it. And it was a nice team, dedicated and sincere (but not always as disciplined as I would have liked it to be).

Next Recording development stories in Sierra Leone

Backstage[edit | edit source]

Backstage Dialogue at N.2 - 1 - Narrazioni , Storie, Meta-narrazioni
Backstage Dialogue at N.2 - 2 - Come coinvolgere il pubblico e essere umili
Backstage Dialogue at N.2 - 3 - Come superare gli stereotipi dei media