Arts in Action in partnership with Do Good Radio and the Transitions Film Festival presents a screening of RAFEA: SOLAR MAMA, a riveting film directed by Jehane Noujaim and Mona Eldaief, about a Bedouin woman’s journey to become a solar engineer, power her village and re-wire the minds of her traditional Bedouin community. Rafea, is one of two women from Jordan chosen to travel to India to attend the Barefoot College, where illiterate women from around the world are trained in six months to be solar engineers. If Rafea succeeds, she will be able to electrify her village, train more engineers, and provide for her daughters. But can she overcome all the obstacles that stand in her way? Join the facebook event.
This film not only highlights the importance of using sustainable energy to improve conditions for the rural poor, but also argues the importance of providing education to women who are purposely selected for the program because they are the ones invested to stay and improve the conditions of their communities.
“This beautiful piece of film-making is about more than ticking the development boxes. It’s about family relationships, challenging social norms, and the power of expanding horizons. Directors Mona Eldaief and Jehane Noujaim have crafted something rare; a pacey story full of poignant moments, gripping, humorous and intensely human.” Hazel Pfeifer Doc Geeks
The evening will also feature a special pre-recorded interview hosted by Do Good Radio’s Tania Sernia with the films’ Directors, Jehane Noujaim and Mona Eldaief who will be presenting an update on the film’s central character, Rafea and the daily challenges she faces as Jordan’s first solar engineer.
We will also be hosting an ETWA stall. ETWA is a not for profit organisation run by Australian women in support of Timorese women living on the southern tip of Timor-Leste. ETWA volunteers will be there on the night selling their delicious Easter chocodiles! Chocodiles are little ‘bite-able’ versions of the Crocodile legend of Timorese folklore, in smooth, exquisite chocolate. To purchase directly online go to http://etwa.org.au/
Rafea, a 30-year-old with four children and a husband is a Bedouin woman living in a small Jordanian village close to the desert. With encouragement from the country’s Ministry of Environment, she leaves her village for the first time to go to the (Skoll Awardee) Barefoot College in India to train to become a solar-energy engineer.
She is the first Jordanian woman ever to attend such a program, and she dreams of returning to bring much-needed income and talents to support her family and village. But two months into the program, Rafea’s husband insists that she return home or he will divorce her and take her children. With no real choice in the matter, Rafea goes back to her village and sets out to persuade her husband and other family members that her studies in India benefit everyone. In her journey away from home, back, and then away once more, Rafea goes through a profound transformation, returning as an educated woman with the skills to earn an income and achieve for her community what others could not.
Winner of the DOC NYC SundanceNOW Audience Award and the Special Jury Prize in the Viewfinders Competition.
Jehane Noujaim (Director)
Jehane was raised in Cairo, Egypt where she began her career as a photographer. Following her studies at Harvard, Jehane went on to producer and director Startup.com and Control Room. She has worked in both the Middle East as a co-director on Egypt: We Are Watching You. Her latest project, The Square, has just completed filming in Cairo.
Mona Eldaief (Director)
Mona was born in Cairo, Egypt and after graduating from NYU she started her career at MTV News Unfiltered. Her documentary credits include Control Room with Jehane, A Wedding in Ramallah and Her Name is Zelda.
Mette Heide (Producer)
Mette Heide is an award winning producer and owner of +plus pictures ApS. Recent titles include Lauren Greenfield’s Sundance winner for the US directing award “Queen of Versailles”, “Rent a Family” and “The Invention of Dr. Nakamats” by Kaspar Astrup Schröder, “The Record Breaker” by Brian McGinn, Danish Academy Award for best documentary, “Little Miss Grown Up” by Anders Gustafsson