Grandmother to Grandmother documentary
When Dr. Richard Waddell, a research assistant professor at DMS, visited the Bibi Jann School, just south of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, he saw an opportunity for collaboration and the makings of a "perfect film." The Bibi Jann School—bibi means "grandmother" in Swahili and Jann is the last name of the school's founder—teaches children who've lost their parents to HIV/AIDS and assists their grandmothers who are raising them. Waddell helps coordinate the DarDar Health Project, a research and outreach initiative that includes free adult and pediatric clinics in Dar es Salaam. After visiting the Bibi Jann School, he and his colleagues decided to offer free care to children infected with HIV at the school and its affiliated orphanage. Waddell also decided to pitch the idea of a documentary about the school to a team of filmmakers he had recently met. The filmmakers at Old Dog Documentaries liked his pitch and signed him up to be executive producer for the film.
That was a few years ago. Today, the film is a reality. "Grandmother to Grandmother: New York to Tanzania" premiered at Dartmouth in April 2009. Since then it's been shown in various cities in the U.S. and was selected for the 2009 United Nations Association Film Festival. For more about the film and its making, read "To grandmother's house we go, on film."
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