POLO documentaries is a production company specialized in extraordinary stories about inspiring women. We create, promote, and distribute films focused on entrepreneurship, transformation, and art, emphasizing its social impact and empowering women in low and middle-income countries. Our preferred narrative technique is magic realism to convey emotions
and portray what are sometimes challenging realities with a touch of optimism.
Inspiration is an unconscious burst of artistic endeavour. It is the underlying driver of change, evolution, and greatness: the new gold of modern times, precious and rare. Our primary motivation is the belief that “The story of your life could inspire someone to rewrite their own.”
The main characters of the stories we want to tell have become entrepreneurs, trendsetters, and pioneers through hard work and self-realization. By showing their game-changing ideas through
this powerful tool —a documentary— we can spread and attract the support that some of these ideas require to be fully developed and/or implemented. Documentaries create emotional connections and feelings through pictures, words, and actions. These stories seek to challenge the audience’s attitude, knowledge, and behaviour and dare them to reflect, take action, dream, and be open to opportunities.
The producers of these documentaries will come from a pool of well-established and accredited film schools and academies in low and middle-income countries. So far, film academies in Lebanon, India, Brazil, Argentina, Kenya, and Morocco have shown interest in the initiative. Most of the productions will be made by female filmmakers and based on stories where the main character is a woman.
Commissioning films from the same countries in which the selected stories occur has several advantages:
- It lowers production costs, as the film crew does not need to take long-haul trips.
- Filmmakers know the place and the local culture.
- Local labour costs make filming more affordable.
- It encourages learning and builds local capacities for high-quality documentary
production in the future
- It makes the project more sustainable in the long term, as producing and hiring locally brings more value for money
There are two streams of films within POLO documentaries: Pure Inspiration and Call for Support.
This production line aims to spread inspiring stories to inspire others (similar to TED). One example would be that of a young woman from Malawi, who, against all odds, let her natural entrepreneurial talent flourish and developed a modest business school of entrepreneurs to
teach youngsters how to launch their own businesses.
Call for Support
This production line aims to raise awareness and convene support to drive inspiring ideas to full fruition. The story of a young woman in Nigeria who created a process to improve the production of traditional (and very nutritious) moi-moi bean cakes would be an example of a
call-for-support documentary. It would showcase her invention, raise awareness, and, hopefully, attract support for the venture (e.g., from an industrial engineer willing to work pro bono, or a philanthropist willing to co-finance the project).
These documentaries are intended to amplify the protagonists’ voices so that they can reach an audience of millions. The documentary becomes a powerful beacon to attract the attention of those who can help realize the idea, generating a social impact on the protagonist’s environment
POLO documentaries’ primary audience is individuals seeking inspiration to change their lives; interested in social matters and curious about the world and other cultures, they are concerned with contemporary topics such as gender inequality, racism, underdevelopment, and climate change. They want to support or invest in alternative ideas, out-of-the-box solutions with a social
Local filmmaking schools
POLO documentaries aim to create a vast network of high-quality filmmaking schools in low and middle-income countries. Our system of small grants, plus the possibility of continuity and access to a global broadcasting platform, should act as a powerful incentive for these schools and their filmmakers to participate.
Independent female producers
POLO documentaries seek to prioritize the engagement of female filmmakers and empower them to generate gender-specific content. Ideally, they are mid-career female filmmakers who have a story to tell but don’t have a specialized channel. We offer them the opportunity to broadcast inspiring stories of other women. We also provide financing, technical support, and learning experience.
Visit ‘Polo Documentaries’ page to know more details about the project!