Tuesday, October 21, 2008


(REPORT from Susie Banfield, Voiceless Children US

The presentation of "A Grandmother's Tribe" to a local Idaho youth group (Grades 9 to 12), on Sunday, October 5th, was an inspiration to both myself and the eager young viewers. As I sat among the group after the film's screening, I learned that our younger generation is not out of touch with the world, but are caring and concerned about our shared future. When asked about how the film affected them, here are some of the comments received.

The film was about respect for the older generation and respect for each other. It made me think about how I respect my elders.

It showed me what great love they have for family and each other.

It made me think about myself and where I'm headed in life. It is so much easier for me to make those decisions than those who have less.

We are lucky here in this country... that we have so many advantages, even if our families are not wealthy.

I learned that we should appreciate the fact that we can go to the store and buy a chicken... and not have to share it with eight people.

It makes me thankful that I can take a shower every day and that I don't have to walk so far just to water for drinking and washing.

It made me want to go to Kenya and help those less fortunate.

I believe that the meaning that young viewers experienced is valuable to them and that reaching across the world to share this human insight is powerful. As we move forward in screening "A Grandmother's Tribe", we will continue our tireless efforts to raise the funding necessary to ensure a hopeful future for these amazing elder women and the grandchildren in their care.

Please contact us directly if you would like to arrange a a special screening of this film!!

In the US... susieatvoiceless@aol.com (To visit the VC BLOG click here)

Canada - Cordova Bay Public School, Parent Advisory Council - Oct 14/08

The Cordova Bay Public School "Parent Advisory Council" (PAC) held a dialogue screening of the film on federal election night in Canada. Twenty parents and school adminstrators offered thoughtful insight and questions following the screening. During the PAC budget discussion, the council voted to include the purchase of the film for the school's library! We are very honoured to be included as a media resource for inquiring young minds!! Elaine Munro, a Canadian-based AGT team member, answered questions regarding the film and its "Take Action Initiative".

If you know a PAC or PTA that would like to host a screening of "A Grandmother's Tribe", please let us know!!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Silver Screens Film Festival (Toronto, ON, Canada)

Sunday, May 4th… “A Grandmother’s Tribe” was presented as one of three documentary films at a fundraiser in Toronto. The event, to benefit the Stephen Lewis Foundation, was part of the Silver Screens Film Festival which celebrates creative living and aging. Featured on the film panel was Ilana Landsberg-Lewis, Executive Director SLF, who spoke eloquently about the foundation’s commitment to supporting grassroots, community-based organizations throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The foundation was responsible for the first Grandmother Gathering in Toronto in August, 2006. It continues to support grandmother families in Africa with funds raised by more than 200 grandmother groups in Canada.

Corporate Film Screening (Toronto, ON, Canada)

Monday, April 28th… In Toronto, a private screening was held for the employee team of Body Plus Nutritional Products. The after-work screening, brought together about twenty staff members. Following the screening and questions, President and owner of the company, Norm Danniels, announced that the 2007 staff donations fund, had “found its new project on the screen”.

We are very grateful for their generous spirit and look forward to keeping staff informed of the difference their donation will make for grandmother families in Africa.

CANAC Conference (Ottawa, ON, Canada)

Tuesday, April 22nd… While in Ottawa, Elaine Munro, one of the executive producers, also presented the film at the national conference of Canadian Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (CANAC). There has been an ongoing connection between the film and CANAC since the first day of shooting in Kenya and it was an honour to complete the journey with the presentation of the film to CANAC members in Ottawa.

Grans & Friends (Kanata, ON, Canada)

Monday, April 21st… A Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) grandmother group, “Grans & Friends”, hosted a screening of “A Grandmother’s Tribe” in Kanata, Ontario. The evening event took place at the All Saints Catholic High School, with over 50 people attending. Sue Cousineau, who recently traveled to Africa with the SLF grandmother delegation, spoke highly of the film and added her African experiences and insights at the end of the screening. It is estimated that the event raised over $1,000 to benefit SLF.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Power of Small Communities - Takaka, GOLDEN BAY NZ

A Grandmother’s Tribe Fundraising screening: The Village Theatre, Takaka, NZ. May 29 2008.

The first screening of A Grandmother’s Tribe in Takaka was as part of a Borderless Productions Showcase, which kicked off The Village Theatre’s 2008 International Film Festival. The film showed to a full house that night and several people asked for a re-screening. One long time resident, Helena Thorpe, was so moved by the film that she and her husband, both in their eighties, set about collecting and selling all of their walnuts and figs to donate the proceeds to the grandmothers. I believe they succeeded in sending about $600 over. Consequently, by the time the fundraiser screening of the film came about, there was already an awareness within the community, especially the older folk, of what the film was about and how donations could help.

During the day, Keryn Easterbrook, Dean’s sister who lives locally, sat at a table selling raffle tickets outside the cinema. The prize was a basket of donated produce that included a delicious selection of locally made preserves, jams & pickles. Keryn raised $275 from this raffle. The Dodson family, meanwhile, were running a second raffle, the prize being a basket of produce from their own farm. Gay Dodson, a member of the local farming community, had spent two years in Africa working with Aids orphans so was delighted to see the cause she was so familiar with being promoted in her local town. She was able to donate $123 from her raffle.

The film showed, once again, to a full house and $835 was taken at the door. We had advertised the admission price as “suggested donation $10” however, many people gave more than this. The film was very well received. While it is difficult to say people “enjoyed” the film, the subject matter being as upsetting as it is, people very much appreciated being enabled to feel these peoples’ struggle up close. And, of course, within the heartbreak there is the clear strong voice of hope, a voice that reaches out to people and inspires. The total amount we were able to send to the grannies was $1233nz. The next day walking around town, several people stopped me and expressed thanks for showing the film. Those grandmothers in Africa seem to have found a place in the hearts of many of the people here in Takaka, tucked away in NZ’s South Island. In a thank you letter to the local newspaper I included the URL of the Voiceless Children blog so that people can stay in touch with the efforts of those inspirational elderly women.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Edmonton Fundraiser - International Women's Day march 8th

International Women's Day - Mar. 8, 2008, A joyous celebration for all ages

7:30 P.M at Village Lifestyles …. 10429 – 79 Ave www.villagelifestyles.com

SEE THIS INSPIRING DOCUMENTARY FILM and hear tributes to women by Roz Shepherd, Rae Watterworth, and Tracy Reed +LIVE ENTERTAINMENT + DISCUSSION + REFRESHMENTS will be provided by the GANG

ADMISSION by DONATION: All Proceeds go to the Stephen Lewis Foundation, Grandmothers to Grandmothers Project www.stephenlewisfoundation.org

If 3 women heed this message, and if they tell 3 other women, there would be 9.
If each of them then spread the word to 3 others, there would be 27.
If each of these 27, passed this along to 3 of their friends, there would be 81.
If these 81 women talked to 3 others, in just 4 steps, there would be 243. In thirteen steps—three to the thirteenth power- the message “support our sisters in Africa” would reach over a million women

This is how geometrical progression works ... this is how a virus spreads and becomes an epidemic
... this is how consciousness-raising groups became the women’s movement. This is how Canadian Grandmothers and Others can reach out to the courageous African Grandmothers who are left to care for and support their grandchildren who are suffering as a result of the HIV-AIDS epidemic.

Vancouver Fundraiser - International Women's Day - March 8th, 2008

The Vancouver College Madrigal Singers are hosting an event at the Vancouver Community College:
March 8th, 2008
Vancouver Community College Auditorium - 1155 East Broadway, Vancouver BC, Level 2, 6pm

$10 donation at the door
Featuring - ‘A Grandmother’s Tribe’ documentary film by award-winning New Zealand Producer, Borderless Productions Limited.

With Local Talent featuring VCC's Madrigal Singers, Leane Oftebro, Risa Takahashi, Debrah Devaughn, Tracey Weins, Kirsten Gronfeldt, Trish Plumley, Marissa Gaetanne Local Bands! THE RUB and Arvilla

Proceeds from the evening will be donated to the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmother-2-Grandmother (G2G) Campaign, which has been nominated by the film producers as the primary beneficiary organization for proceeds from the ‘take action’ initiative which has been launched as a result of the film. The G2G Campaign works with hundreds of grandmother groups in Sub-Saharan Africa in need of support and aid.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

View Gala Photos here...


A night to remember in Vancouver

We couldn’t wait to update you on the recent journey of ‘A Grandmother’s Tribe’ to Vancouver, Canada where we held a Gala Screening and Fundraiser on 31st October 2007!!

As you’ll see, we had an excellent turnout at the Vancity Theatre on the evening of 31st October 2007. Special guests included…
• Victor Chan, Founder of the Dalai Lama Center who gave a very warm introduction to the film
• Christine Magill, Special Advisor from the Stephen Lewis Foundation
• Martyn Element, Gala event sponsor and President, Element and Associates, Vancouver
• Felix Masi (Kenya) and Susie Banfield (US) from Voiceless Children.

We were supported by many generous event sponsors such as the Nu & C restaurant team, the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Mat Wilcox and her team from TheWilcox Group, M-13 Ventures Ltd, Pam Wright, The West Vancouver Anglican Church Choir, Whitefish Group, A&B Party Event Rentals, Lilacs and Lavenders, Simply Safari and a number of wonderful volunteers.

The highlight of the Gala Event came towards the end of the evening. Following a question from an audience member about the cost of Freda’s new home, there was a spontaneous ‘bidding’ to contribute eleven new grandmother homes, at $3,000 US each, for the village grandmothers profiled in the film. These two-bedroom homes with a separate bathroom will bring renewed pride and motivation to the lives of these older women and the community they live in. Voiceless Children will now focus its efforts on building these homes in Funyula over the next 12 months. Their vision in doing so is to build long-term sustainability of the community. Village youth will also be mentored in trade skills to build these homes which will provide them with employable skills as well as earning fees to continue with their schooling. It is a remarkable model of providing sustainable ‘hand up’ assistance that benefits multi-generations at one time.
A heartfelt “thank you” to those individuals who have so graciously stepped forward to make this happen!

Our second exciting announcement is the appointment of Felix Masi, as the first Borderless Foundation “Fellow”. Felix is the founder of Voiceless Children who works in Kenya to support these grandmother-headed homes. BORDERLESS FOUNDATION TRUST is a Charitable Purpose organization set up in New Zealand to support projects created by Borderless Productions Limited. This fellowship will allow Felix the freedom to focus his energies in the coming year to make a world of difference in the lives of Kenyan grandmotherfamilies.

We thought that finishing the film would be one of our greatest accomplishments. I can assure you that the real journey begins now. We are more passionate than ever about the positive change that can be initiated through the film and people who genuinely care. We hope you’ll join us on this journey of compassion and positive change!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Festival Finalists (DOCNZ 2007, New Zealand)

MORE EXCITING NEWS: 'A Grandmother's Tribe' has been selected as one of eleven finalists in the New Zealand Competition for DOCNZ 2007. The eleven selected films will compete for cash prizes and top honours in the categories of Best New Zealand Feature, Best New Zealand Medium and Best New Zealand Short. The winners of the New Zealand Competition will be
announced at the Awards Night in Auckland on the 1st of October 2007.  

For more information, please refer to the DOCNZ website (http://www.docnz.org.nz) for
details regarding the 2007 DOCNZ Festival, including a downloadable programme and festival schedule.  

World Premiere Announcement - DOCNZ International Documentary Festival

Dear Friends of 'A Grandmother's Tribe':


After a most wonderful process of making this film a reality, we are pleased to announce the WORLD PREMIERE of 'A Grandmother's Tribe' Documentary Film at the DOCNZ International Documentary Festival 2007, in Auckland New Zealand.

Time / Date: 12:15pm, Saturday 29th September 2007 (Q&A will follow)
Venue: Academy Cinemas in Auckland, New Zealand.
We recommend you book your tickets in advance from the Academy Cinema, phone 373 2761.

All attending the screening are invited after the Premiere: for celebratory afternoon tea
Venue: Rooftop Garden, Chancery Chambers (Corner Chancery & O'Connell Streets)
Time: 2:00pm - 4:00pm
RSVP: qiujing@borderlessproductions.com by 25th September 2007.

Further screenings will be held in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
For showtimes in these locations, please visit our facebook page or the film's website.