23 Minute Film
“This film initiative has been on of the most exciting endeavors we have ever had connected to the Ugandan Water Project.”
The production crew approached us with their proposal to capture the face of the water crisis in Uganda and how our relational approach to solutions has begun to produce transformation for Ugandan communities.
Ben Hull and Josh McGrath’s passion for telling stories that change the world around us, is contagious and we knew form our first meeting that they were going to help us do what we have not been able to do with stories and photographs in the past…they were going to help transport you to Uganda to see for yourself what the problem looks like, why we are seeing success and how you can be involved.
This film has put names and faces to the statistics of the water crisis in the developing world. More importantly, Uganda23 helps us see that solutions don’t need to be complicated and can be implemented fast and effectively with the partnership with the Ugandan people. While the visual pallett of Uganda23 is captivating, it is the way this film captures the heart of the Ugandan people- their toil and their hope – that is what is truly compelling.
The personal challenge we all face as a response to Uganda23 is this: “Am I willing to help these people?” We are excited to say that people like you are answering “YES!” and lives are being saved thousands of miles away. Watch this film, tell other people about Uganda23, and make the decision to, Give Water. Give Life.
Director, Ugandan Water Project
A word from the creators of Uganda23 . . .
“When we first sat down in January of 2011 to discuss the making of a web-based film documenting the relief efforts of the Ugandan Water Project, we had to ask ourselves the question “why are we making this movie?” The reality is, there are hundreds, probably even thousands of excellent short-narratives/documentaries circulating the internet. It seemed that every non-profit throughout America had a professionally done short-film artistically stating the same thing: give money. So how would ours be any different? Would it be any different?
There was no way of knowing whether it would be as we sat discussing our ideas in the evenings of January. But we did know one thing – there were people in Uganda without clean water who needed their stories told. We didn’t have money to provide a rainwater tank, but we did have our talents. And so we set off on a journey to donate our talents, time and passions to help bring clean water to Uganda.
At that point in time, we had never been to Uganda before or even Africa for that matter. And it was through the eyes of our childhood movie – The Lion King – that we looked at Africa. Realizing quickly it was more than just a vast land roaming with wild animals and dotted with Rafiki’s tree, we sat down with the Director of the Ugandan Water Project to soak in all we could from him about this world he so deeply loved.
The weeks passed quickly and soon August had arrived and we were boarding a plan for Uganda. And it was during the ride over that we pulled out our notepads and began sketching out the only part of the film we could think of – the opening. How do you sketch out a story for which you don’t know? Who were we going to film? What were the stories we would capture? How were we going to communicate to the western world the crisis and yet, the solution?
We didn’t know exactly. But we figured if we kept our cameras rolling we would capture something . . . something that would hopefully touch the heart of our viewers. We stepped off the plan into a world unlike anything we had been in before. A world of smiles, laughter, hospitality, hope, and kindness. Yet also, a world of suffering, poverty, pain, and longing. And it was this world of juxtapositions that we walked right into, carrying with us two cameras rolling.
It was sobering to view the life of Uganda through the lens of a camera. At the end of the day as we lay beneath our bug-nets listening to the constant echos of either some rhythmic bass or drum, our appreciation for the many things we have been blessed with in America intensified with every nights’ passing. How could we be but grateful for what we had when those we filmed celebrated at the reception of sandals made from recycled rubber tires? The days soon passed and so with over 50 hours of footage equaling nearly 1 terabyte, we returned to America to craft a 23 minutes story.
The next four months found us sitting religiously at our computers as we sorted through hours of footage and began one of the longest, yet one of the most rewarding journeys of our life – creating Uganda23.”
- Ben & Josh