The Past, Present & Future
Hard at work since 1998...
The African Environmental Film Foundation was founded in 1998 by international award-winning cinematographer and lifetime conservationist, Simon Trevor (‘Out of Africa’, ‘Gorillas in the Mist’).
Since then, the AEFF team has produced 23 one-hour educational films about diverse environmental and conservation issues, which have been distributed free of charge and seen by millions of people. AEFF has a further series of new films currently in production.
The Present Workings of AEFF
AEFF is registered both as a US 501(c)(3) Non Profit Organization, and as a Charity in the UK. The two organizations are legally and administratively distinct, but share the same mission.
But AEFF’s real home is in Africa, where the Foundation operates as a Liaison Office in Kenya, and as a project of the Wildlife Preservation Trust Fund in Tanzania.
AEFF’s nerve centre is its Headquarters bordering the Tsavo National Park in Kenya. It’s a fascinating place, both in terms of what goes on inside, and what goes on outside, for the Headquarters is surrounded by wildlife, from elephants and lions to crocodiles and hippos.
Find out more about the AEFF HQ…
AEFF’s fulltime production crew produce all the films, using AEFF’s own cameras, sound recording equipment and specialized filming vehicles. AEFF has an editing suite and sound recording booth at its field base, allowing most of the film production process (from pre-production research, through filming, writing, editing and narrating) to be carried out in-house in Kenya.
To date, all AEFF’s films have been produced in both English and Kiswahili (the predominant language of the East African region.)
Whenever appropriate, the films are also narrated in additional local languages, such as Maa (for the Maasai and Samburu peoples of Kenya and Tanzania), and Kikamba, catering for the Wakamba people, one of Kenya’s largest ethnic groups.
In addition, international versions of some of the films (in up to 8 different languages, including Mandarin, Spanish and Arabic) have been made available at international conferences.
Every AEFF film is seen by millions of adults and children in East Africa. AEFF distributes its films in formats which are appropriate to the facilities available: in some areas, this means making films available on VHS tape, and in other areas on DVD. In additional to terrestrial television, AEFF’s distribution network includes Schools, Government Agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations, Mobile Cinemas, National Park Education Centers, and Wildlife Clubs.
Find out more about AEFF's Distribution Outlets...
AEFF’s films have already made a significant impact on the ground in Africa, both at a rural village level and at a government level where policies have been amended in response to environmental issues highlighted by AEFF films.
AEFF films aim not simply to teach, but to inspire. The films highlight and analyse the problems which exist, but also the success stories. As far as possible, AEFF tries to approach environmental problems with sensitivity for the people who are involved – often poor people with no obvious alternatives. The films point out viable opportunities for both rural communities and urban businesses to conserve their environment while benefiting financially from doing so, thereby making environmental conservation a realistic target - and an integral part of everyday life - for everyone, even in poor and remote areas.
The past nine years have proved beyond doubt the effectiveness of, and demand for AEFF’s educational films. When screenings are set up in remote rural areas, thousands of people walk for miles to see the films, which have to be re-run continuously throughout the night to cater for the sheer number of knowledge-hungry viewers. As a direct result of seeing AEFF’s films, many rural people have started their own initiatives such as tree-planting, water management, wildlife conservation and eco-tourism projects.
At the other end of the spectrum, senior East African policy makers request hundreds of copies to show their colleagues in government. AEFF films have also been used during multinational conferences on environmental issues.
What has AEFF got in store for the Future?