Private Project

The Pamoja Project

The Pamoja Project is not another short documentary film about Africa. This film aims to combat stereotypical and one dimensional narratives of Africa by featuring the lives and work of Margaret, Astridah, and Crispina; three Tanzanian women who's leadership and compassion is changing the lives of those in their community. By focusing on the solutions, rather then the challenges, the film offers a look at real development and social change in Tanzania. In Swahili, the word pamoja means "together," reminding us that change is not one person, but a group of people united in love, working together.

  • Audrey Emerson
  • Audrey Emerson
  • John Lavall
    Leh Wi Tok
  • Kate Kelley
    Leh Wi Tok
  • Michael Taylor
    Executive Producer
    Instinct, Phenomenon, Bottle Rocket
  • Brandon Somerhalder
    Director of Photography
    Don Quixote: The Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha, Making the American Man
  • Richard Carlos
    Production Sound
    Retention, Love, Work & Other Demons
  • Robert Arjoyan
    When My Sorrow Died: The Legend of Armen Ra & the Theremin, MidNight FistFight, Inside Haven
  • John Lavall
    Leh Wi Tok
  • Ben Strang
    The Sale
  • Emmett Cooke
  • Michael-Alexander Brandstetter
  • Chantal Nchako
    Voice Talent
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Student, Television, Web / New Media
  • Genres:
    Documentary, Africa, Tanzania, women, empowerment, inspirational, nonprofit
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes 43 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 30, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    35,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Tanzania, United Republic of
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • University of Southern California Undergraduate Symposium of Scholarly and Creative Work
    Los Angeles
    United States
    April 13, 2016
    Private Event
    First Prize, Arts Category
Director Biography - Audrey Emerson

A student at the University of Southern California studying Cinema and Media Studies, Audrey is interested in how film can be used as a medium for social impact. At an early age Audrey was passionate about the arts and attended Walnut Hill School for the Arts as a theater major. However, after coming to the conclusion that stage management was more her cup of tea, Audrey became interested in producing and the business of film. Drawing on her love for improvisation, passion for authentic connection between people, and belief that stories can affect change, she was drawn to documentary filmmaking and began working with the company Devlo Media in her native state of Rhode Island. With their guidance, Audrey set out to make her first documentary, The Pamoja Project, which profiles three Tanzanian women leaders who are the powerful forces and faces of development in East Africa. Audrey oversaw a team of over 15 people, raised over $30,000, and never once stopped learning! Currently, she is producing a documentary for the Al Jazeera Witness program focused on the relationship between two ex gang members in Los Angeles that will air on Al Jazeera in the fall of 2016. Not one to sit idle, Audrey is excited about exploring the intersection of documentary film, storytelling, social impact, and humanity.

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Director Statement

This is not just another documentary about Africa. The Pamoja Project is part of a movement to change the perception of Africa. While poverty and struggle are widespread in Tanzania, there are local heros doing incredible things to uplift their own communities. It’s time to talk to them, hear what they have to say, and find out how we can support them. We live in a world that is more connected then ever and yet Africa still remains a distant “other.” It’s time to break down those boundaries and uplift each other. We are together. We are pamoja.