Presenting “From the Ashes: Story of a New Sierra Leone”

The CCP is proud to present the final cut of the participant-produced short video From the Ashes: Story of a New Sierra Leone! Please enjoy the video, and continue reading below to learn more!

From the Ashes grew out of the last December’s special CCP workshop, Doing More With Less, conducted by award-winning filmmaker, writer and photographer Femi Odugbemi. (Read more about the workshop here). As a capstone of the workshop, participants were offered the opportunity to shoot and edit a short documentary with a message near and dear to CCP hearts. Through beautiful montages of everyday life and interviews with members of diverse sectors in Sierra Leone, ranging from environmental activists to mediamakers and youth leaders, the film highlights political, economic, and cultural progress in Sierra Leone since the end of the civil war in 2002. Workshop participants chose to highlight Sierra Leone’s peaceful elections in 2012 as evidence of increasing stability, and they emphasized the role of the country’s youth in maintaining peace and achieving progress. 

From the Ashes represents a unique collaboration between emerging filmmakers, established professionals, and beginning film students–a particularly important alliance in Sierra Leone, where youth comprise more than sixty-five percent of the population and intergenerational dialogue is critical. The video has been commended for renouncing the negative stereotypes that often overshadow more holistic narratives of Sierra Leonean culture, as they have for the past two decades. For example the filmmakers use a range of documentary footage, as well as interviews with voters and civil leaders, to confront international assumptions about violence and strife in the 2012 elections. Workshop organizers and participants hope that From the Ashes will contribute to ongoing conversations in Sierra Leone about the importance of peaceful and inclusive politics, the future of the country’s economy, and the role of youth and media in the country’s progress. An early cut of From the Ashes was showcased at the Freetown Film Festival last December.