Sep 27
September 27, 2015

Join President Clinton and See Commitments Come to Life in a New Virtual Reality Film


Today, President Bill Clinton announced the premiere of a groundbreaking virtual reality (VR) film, “Inside Impact: East Africa,” during the opening session of the CGI 2015 Annual Meeting. The eight-minute film allows people anywhere to join President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton on their trip to see first-hand how Commitments to Action made by CGI members are changing lives and empowering communities. The film, taped in East Africa in spring 2015, lets viewers experience communities otherwise inaccessible to most –– from modern downtown Nairobi to Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. 
“For the first time, we’re debuting a film here at CGI. Unlike any film that most have seen, and certainly that I had ever seen, this one is a 360 degree virtual reality experience where you are actually supposed to feel like you’re there,” said President Bill Clinton. “On our trip to East Africa this spring, we filmed with three different commitment-makers and I think that the film will give people the opportunity to understand the difference CGI members can make in a whole different way.”
I think that the film will give people the opportunity to understand the difference CGI members can make in a whole different way.
The “Inside Impact: East Africa” VR film was produced and directed by Felix & Paul Studios in association with m ss ng p eces, for Matter Unlimited’s “Inside Impact” social impact project and VR film series. It is available for exclusively on the Oculus Store for Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition, powered by Oculus. A panoramic 360 video version was also unveiled on Friday, September 25, as one of the first 360 videos on Facebook. 

In the film, viewers explore three CGI commitment sites that President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton visited in Tanzania and Kenya. First, President Clinton meets a Solar Sister Entrepreneur in rural Karatu, Tanzania, who uses a solar panel on her roof to charge a generator that provides her house with power. She also sells solar-powered lights, cookstoves, and other environmentally-friendly goods, to increase her income and benefit her community. In 2012, Solar Sister committed to expanding its network of women entrepreneurs by scaling their programs from Uganda to Kenya, Tanzania, and Nigeria. As of September 2015, Solar Sister had trained 2,000 entrepreneurs, 750 of which were in Tanzania.

Next, viewers join a classroom in the Farasi Lane School in Nairobi, Kenya, as a teacher utilizes Discovery Learning Alliance (DLA) tools and techniques to teach her students about malaria prevention. The school is part of the 2014 Collaborative for Harnessing Ambition and Resources for Girls’ Education (CHARGE) commitment - of which DLA is a partner - co-chaired by the Clinton Foundation’s No Ceilings initiative and the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution. Today, CHARGE has grown as a collaborative to 50 civil society organizations, companies, multilaterals and governments working to advance girls’ education. This collective effort has committed over $800 million dollars to reach 15 million girls over five years.

Finally, see a young woman hear for the first time as President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton join a hearing aid fitting in Nairobi as part of the Starkey Hearing Foundation’s 2010 commitment to fit more than one million hearing aids to people in need this decade. They are ahead of their goal, having provided more than 200,000 hearing aids this year alone.

The creators of the project see virtual reality as a powerful tool to create empathy and inspire action. “When an audience member can feel through VR the on-the-ground progress of a thriving philanthropic project and the positive impact this work is having on communities around the world, we think they will be more compelled to support this work and involve others,” said Robert Holzer, CEO, Matter Unlimited and executive producer of the film and series.

“We are honored to have collaborated with President Clinton and the CGI team to tell this important story,” said Félix Lajeunesse, co-founder of Felix & Paul Studios. “Cinematic virtual reality allows audiences to witness events and moments with an unprecedented sense of awareness, presence, and emotional connection. Through this VR journey, viewers will get to experience the contemporary reality of East Africa in a highly sensorial, immersive way, and witness for themselves the challenges and transformative nature of that part of the world.”