Backpack Cinema : Pedal Power Brings Educational Cinema to Remote Communities

Posted by on Sep 15, 2014



George Salt, a member of the Afrika Eye board of directors,  has been embarking on a tour across Malawi’s remotest areas with UK charity Purple Field Productions (PFP).  For their 10th anniversary year PFP are running a film festival with a difference by revolutionising film viewing.

Educational dramas and documentaries are proving to be a vital part of international community development but distributing the films is a real problem in countries where there is limited electricity, fuel and road access. PFP are using an exciting and innovative BACKPACK CINEMA that relies only on pedal power making it available to even the remotest regions around the world.

The entire kit, including projector, screen, soundbox, DVD player and pedal powered generator fits into a couple of backpacks and can easily be carried by a two person team and set up in minutes. Forget the old idea of pedaling frantically on a bicycle to create energy – the new kit is designed for relaxed pedaling and easy enough for almost anyone to operate.


“We know from our work that film is a powerful method of communication and a fantastic way of getting vital information out to remote communities without electricity or access to mass media. The new pedal power cinema will mean we can bring these vital films to more people on a regular basis”

– Elspeth Waldie, Founder of PFP


To celebrate and mark Purple Field Production’s tenth anniversary year, George Salt, PFP’s UK representative along with the two Malawian team members, Lemani Makina and Steward Magombo are travelling along Lake Malawi from north to south and on to Blantyre for six weeks during August and September screening PFP films for the KUGAWANA MOBILE FILM FESTIVAL – Kugawana means “Sharing” in both  Chichewa and Swahili. The films are made in Malawi with local people in their own languages. Documentaries and dramas are full of information on health, welfare and farming issues and are designed to improve the quality of life in the poorest rural communities.

The BACKPACK CINEMA will also provide essential opportunities to bring communities together, exchange ideas and share their views and of course to enjoy the experience of going to the cinema.

Follow George’s journey on instagram!

For more information contact PFP and visit the latest drama to be made by PFP which features in Kugawana.

Photos available. @PFPIngrid @PFPMalawi