Questions and Answers

What was you inspiration for this film?

The people and culture of the Swahili coast were our main inspiration developing the film. Living in Dar es Salaam, and spending a lot of time on the beautiful southern coast of Tanzania, it all came very easily.

What is the overall message of the film?

There are several important messages that this film conveys. The whole narrative of the film encourages young people to fight for what you want in their lives. It is important not to give up on your dreams - instead, try to make them a reality. Often it is our secrets that are our worst enemies and feelings that we hide can hurt us the most. There are also some very specific messages related to malaria prevention during pregnancy in the film. It is very important for pregnant women to go to the clinic when they find out that they are pregnant. There they will learn the importance of mosquito nets and medicine that can prevent malaria while they are pregnant.

How did this project come about?

This project was commissioned by Johns Hopkins University (Center for Communication Programs), in conjunction with USAID as part of a malaria prevention effort. our belief at MFDI is that education should be as entertaining as possible, and so we began to work on a script that touched on the subject of malaria in a way that engages the audience, and provokes discussion about it in the context of a heartfelt story.

What were the challenges of filming on location in rural Tanzania?

The film was shot in a remote part of the Tanzanian coast in a village called Buyuni. It is an area that has no electricity, no plumbing and terrible roads. We shot the film at the end of the rainy season, so much of the road was underwater and even the bridge had been washed away. We are grateful to the villagers who helped rebuild the bridge so that we could get our equipment to the location. However, despite all the challenges, the location was a very strong point of the film and its remoteness helped bring the cast and crew together.

Who will the film appeal to?

The film was made for Tanzanian audiences at large. I think that everyone will enjoy this film, young and old, everywhere from Dar to Mwanza and between.

How does this film fit into the Swahili Film Industry?

One of our main goals as an organization is to help build the capacity of Tanzanian film professionals. Tanzania loves film, and there is a growing industry in Dar es Salaam, that is comparable to the beginning of the Nigerian film industry, "Nollywood". This is very exciting for us, mainly because it is a sustainable industry, which can build on itself.

Director's Biography

'Chumo' director Jordan Riber grew up in Harare, Zimbabwe, the son of seasoned filmmakers John and Louise Riber. Growing up around film sets and postproduction facilities, he got his first concrete experience as a sounds engineer in the MFDI studios in Harare.

Five years ago, Jordan relocated to Tanzania and became more involved in producing and directing for film and radio. He now lives in Dar es Salaam, a young filmmaker with a bright future. What is important to him at this point is to grow as a filmmaker, as well as contributing to the growth of other young filmmakers like himself in Tanzania. 'Chumo' is his first dramatic film.