Think BIG

News & Comments

If you have watched Think BIG we'd be delighted to hear your comments and host your reviews. The film is intended to encourage debate so do email us your thoughts.

WORLDwrite is delighted to announce that Think BIG has been selected for screening at this year's Poppy Jasper Film Festival in California. The festival runs from 9th November to 11th November 2007, so if any of our volunteers or supporters are in the region and can attend to support our film, please do, and let us know how it goes!

Think BIG will also be shown at this year's WT Os International Film Festival in Norway. Please click here to see the programme.

Think BIG Features at Afryka Fest
WORLDwrite's first three documentaries from the Pricking the Missionary Position series were screened at Afryka Fest on Friday 5th October. This six day festival of African culture took place in the historic maritime town of Szczecin on the Baltic Coast, scene of the mass shipyard occupation of 1971 and the famous strikes of Poland's independent trade union, Solidarnosc, in August 1980. Thanks to the trojan work of Pawel Prytula, a WORLDwrite volunteer, all three titles were subtitled in Polish and screened in the Castle of the Pomerianian Princes. Steven Daley, WORLDwrite's Irish coordinator and founder of Trasna an Domhain go Leir, presented the films to a full house of over 70 students and young Polish festival attendees. A brief Q&A session followed thanks to the sterling efforts of Pawel who translated for the audience and Steve.

Immediately after the screening and talk, Steve was invited to join a panel discussion - produced by Ola Antonowicz of the Polish Green Network (Polska Zielona Siec) - to address the future of Poland's aid responsibilities in Africa, as a result of the recent improvements in the Polish economy. A stimulating debate questioned the missionary zeal of the Polish government to begin delivering aid to the continent of Africa and specifically challenged the tied nature of planned aid to industrial projects in the energy sector, especially mining.  Steve commented that Africans do not need or desire Poland to join the missionaries who wish to save Africa, but do want resources to invest in energy infrastructure. When asked what kind of aid is desirable, he replied that that is for African governments to decide so if Poland wishes to make its mark in Africa it ought to cut the purse strings, drop monitoring and evaluation, and hand over official aid to African governments. WORLDwrite would like to thank Pawel and Ola for inviting WORLDwrite to participate in this ambitious inaugural festival.

Channel 4 features Think BIG
On Monday 6th March, Channel 4 featured an excerpt from Think BIG on the 50th anniversary of Ghanaian independence. See the news item below:

Read the latest amazing review of Think BIG by Philip Moore from DFGDocs, the largest documentary-specific organisation in the UK!

The following review from Mr. Hunt is a timely reminder of precisely why this film needed to be made. We must challenge these apologists for inequality, who deny our peers Western standards of living.

"Well, thinking would be a start.

"Take the story of Patricia Ocloo, who has built her "dream home" in preparation for her marriage.  Not by her own efforts, you understand, but on the remittances of her mother in the UK.  It is equipped with a larder style fridge and 46 inch flat screen TV - neither of which has been used yet - possibly because there is no electricity supply to the house (as with the Ghanaian tomato farmer, qv).  The fridge and TV she proudly tells us, were bought in Comet last time she was there.  Which informs us of several things:

  1. she is well off, and probably politically well-connected in order to afford the fares and secure the visas;
  2. she has more money than sense, since the same goods are available in Kingsway, Accra at less cost.

"Poor Patricia's mind has been colonised.  Her every speech says "the white man's way is best".  She is not going to work to build a better Ghana, she is going to import it wholesale (actually retail) from the UK.  That way, she will contribute to the well-being of the British economy, through the taxes that her mother pays and the profits that will accrue to Comet and the other stores where she shops, and she can continue to gripe about the supposed "inefficiency" of the Ghanaian government, which receives no tax revenue from either her income or expenditure.

"Then there is Lawrence Teiko, a tomato grower who thinks that his village needs a factory - possibly to can tomatoes.  So what action does he take?  Well, he sets about building a house.  Yes, a house, not a factory.  And he builds it himself, because, like every good African, he can do everything - architecture, water supply, brick-laying, electricals.  The concept of division of labour, that is the foundation of the "modern", not to say post-modern economy, has totally passed him by.  Lawrence - if you are a tomato grower, then GROW TOMATOES.  Let somebody else build your house and PAY THEM.  That way you build efficiency and expertise into the market system.  And if the village needs a factory - well, you have a half-finished structure that could begin to house the requisite machinery."

Another review of Think BIG by Johanna Witt is available here.

The London launch of A letter to Geldof and Think BIG was a huge success. Below are some of the comments made on the night:

"Loved it, but I would! The fight against Africa as the white man's burden is very important - keep up the good work."

Akua Ofosuhene, Filmmaker, A Serendipitous Production

"I thought the film was a very positive depiction of another part of African life. We are constantly confronted with a one dimensional view of Africa, normally the poverty and illnesses but people don't realise that there are people who are living just like us and it isn't a constant state of depression. I wish they should show more films like this in the U.S."

Wanja Wambu, Architect/Grad Student

"This documentary highlighted some things that I may have said but with not a loud enough voice.  Africa, Ghana does not want pity from the West they just want the opportunity to live their lives how they want to."

Jessica Asumang, Student

"To be honest, I was not sure exactly what to expect, but I must say that I was very very impressed. I guess seeing the story from both the rich and 'poor' side is something that most people don't have the balls to address. Thank you for informing me, enticing me and entertaining me."

Joanne Omigie, Marketing and Designing, Hodder & Stoughton

"I think Think BIG was a great way of showing people what Ghana really is like and in future what they want to be."

John Adesanya, Student

"I think that it was very nice to show some of the nice parts of Ghana and not just the bad part and it very good for the people saying what they want Ghana to look in 12 years time e.g. villages and the bad looking place that needs to be change."

Opeyemi Idonlu, Student

"A tremendous boost to the notion that self reliance and independence is the driver to achieving!"

Simon Belt, Technical Consultant, Simply Better IT

"Both films were very well filmed and well produced. I preferred the Think BIG film because it speaks to my vision of my homeland Ghana."

Dumon Gueye

"Wonderful documentary."

Ivor Agyeman-Duah, Writer and Diplomat, Ghana High Commission

"Two slightly bizarre stories (the first 2), not quite sure how the fitted in but everything else was inspiring and well-conceived, a testament to African tenacity."

Sylvia Arthur, Journalist, What's On Ghana

"Two great films showing real people talking real straight. The British media never show real Africans talking about issues that really concern them on an every day level. I'm impressed by the dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit of those interviewed."

P Sewell, University Teacher, Birkbeck

"Thank you for the film – being Ghanaian, it is encouraging to know that there are those who are really putting their 'money' where their mouths are. I liked the films – straight from the horse's mouth. I would have like to see a couple more women entrepreneurs."

Vivian Gueye, Teacher

"Excellent portrayal of Ghanaians' aspirations and plans for the future. Refreshing and inspirational."

Gayle Kirkwood, Fundraiser, Trinity Hospice

"Surreal, hit the nail right on the head. Very informative."

Denise Yeboah, Student

"Cutting out, fading in between Think BIG – black outs really effective. Think BIG did have Ceri making sweeping statements about westerners thoughts on Africa - which may come across as patronising and cause viewer to 'switch off' - although provocation is needed. Think BIG had photoclick sounds in it - which I didn't understand. Soundtrack could have been better thought out - maybe jazz could be thought about."

Catherine Airlie, Student Journalist

"Actually explored the lives of real Africans rather than the sad-eyed postcard version that people send a goat to at Christmas. An important approach if we are to progress to development, rather than sympathy."

Lauren Roth de Wolf, Director of Music/Events and PR, Kalabash World

"Showed a bit more equal picture of Africa."

Femi Sonola, Account Manager, Vodafone

"Challenging assumptions and ideas of people is a strong message to portray in a documentary. Especially on the subject of poverty, north and south, and of western opinion of what all these mean."

Yasemin, Retail Manager

"This film shows the real places of Ghana, not just the poorer places, people usually see the poorer places and automatically think that country is poor and needy. There are poor places everywhere."

Debbie Shobo, Student

"I think that this documentary was definitely my favourite.  It showed that Africa is not what people make it out to be.  There are beautiful places, successful people and I think that people should take a look at this and think before they speak."

Fiona N, Student

"I feel the films were an excellent portrayal of the diversity of one situation in certain parts of Africa. As a Ghanaian raised in London I feel it's important that people understand that we are not helpless people. I do however feel that it would be interesting to see how people in poorer parts of Africa are developing themselves and progressing, because I'm sure they're not all helpless and sufferers."

Amma Gyan, Designer, Wear Me Ltd

"Thought the Think BIG film was excellent, so refreshing to see Africans in a positive light!! Will hopefully make people sit up and realise that they are like "us"! Looking forward to the next two!"

Claire Marchant-Williams

"Good, shows a different light to Africa. Opened my eyes to a positive Africa. I think more films like this should be made and shown."

M Forbes

"This is extremely useful and one of the best exposition that I have seen on third world. I hope this will not be the end. Keep it going."

Dr Ken Yanney, Chartered Regeneration Surveyor, London Borough of Hackney

"Is a good movie and it really portrays the situation at hand. Good work!"

Adwoa Abban, Quantity Surveyor

"Unlike most British films on Africa, this one actually shows motivated Africans who has big ambitions and are making things happen for themselves and their society."

Zainab, Student

"This documentary was also good because what we saw isn't what the TV shows us, it's the opposite, on TV everyone sees Africa as a VERY poor continent but in reality Africa also has rich areas as well as poor, just like most countries."

Esther Adewusi, Student

"I'm Ghanaian and was happy to see my country portrayed in a way I recognise!"

Nana Ayim, Writer/Director

"Fantastic a real eye opener."

Elaine Wong, Bookseller

"Think BIG was very inspiring and certainly made me think especially the bit about the beach development where my first thoughts would always be to preserve unspoilt scenery, but he was right it needs to work for them."

Charlotte Blant, Company Director, YouthForce

"Great, so interesting to hear some Africans talking about their aspirations and opinions for a change. What a great antedote to blubbling celebs on red nose day too. Everyone should see these!"

Julia Nagle, Painting Conservator

"Excellent to hear how Ghanaians view the attitude and behaviour of the West towards Africa. Love the aspirations. What would be useful would be to delve deeper into Western views re: corruption holding Africa back and how to get real development $$$ into the region."

Claudio Capozzi, Sales Director

"I felt proud for the natives of Ghana that were doing well for themselves despite their financial circumstances. They are proof that as long as you set your mind on accomplishing something you can achieve it."

Afusat Damilola Taiuso, Student

"I think the film was good because it shows the flipside about Africa. Usually everyone thinks Africa is poor."

Omari Clarke, Student

"The film was surprising because whenever I saw any films about Africa it looked poor and dirty but in this one it looks clean and rich."

Gavin Wilson, Global Graduates Student

"The film was very inspirational, it showed me a side of Ghana I had never seen before and showed me the true voice of Ghanaians."

Jeremy Gill-Praba, Global Graduates/Student

"The film is great because it shows me the other side of life in Ghana and shows what people in Ghana think about Geldof and Blair."

Lemar Worsfold, Student

"The film opened up my eyes on how Africans aspirations are being hindered by people who think they know what Africans want but when in reality they don't."

Curthbert Kansiime-Ruhanga, Global Graduates

"The film was very good as it shows the good side of Africa that isn't usually seen."

Carl Louis, Global Graduates

"I really learnt a lot about the poverty and I agree with the Think BIG film and am considering volunteering for WORLDwrite."

Daryl Whittaker, Global Graduates

"I thought the film was excellent in showing us what Ghanaians thought themselves instead of having people talk for them."

Scott Williams, Student

"Very interesting. I didn't know that people in Africa were living like that and I am glad to see that they are developing themselves and that they are making a difference and changing their way of living. Usually my perspective of Africans is living with a lot of poverty and fighting everyday to survive and get clean water. Watching the video has re-assured me and pleased me as the world is changing. Not all Africa is developing as the people have in this video but slowly and surely there is a difference being made and we need to make this possible for all of Africa."

Salim Jebari, Student

"After I watched the documentary I felt good to see another side of African culture rather than the poverty sides. It shows that African people can be independent and not rely on other countries to support them in order to have a good life."

Fabian Whyte, Student

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