On Tuesday, Accountability Lab held Liberia’s first festival, showcasing five short but powerful documentaries created by students of the Lab’s recent 5-week accountability filmmaking training program.

After an introduction by the Accountability Lab Liberia team, attendees were given the first public viewing of the five new Liberian documentaries: “Dark Sunlight” by Hashim Pabai; “The Future” by Dyfan Massaquoi; “Say it” by Dorcus Pewee; “The Desert Island” by Arthur Wahwehlee; and “Whose Job” by Morris Sherif. Each film depicted a different accountability issue commonly faced by Liberians: electricity shortages, child labor, sexual exploitation of women, and water and sanitation problems. These were followed by “The Right to Life,” a film on local challenges to maternal health by Divine Key Anderson, one of the Lab’s Accountapreneurs who leads the accountability filmmaking training program. Each filmmaker received a certificate for his/her great work, and then the festival’s attendees voted on the best film, which was awarded to Dorcas Pewee. Dr. Stefan Rusche, GIZ Project Manager for Rule of Law and Justice in West Africa, and German film producer Zorana Musikic were also recognized for their significant contribution training the students and planning the festival.

The presentation hall was filled to capacity with 67 attendees, representing universities, the business community, civil society, NGOs, and the government. The event was met with overwhelmingly positive feedback, and several attendees proposed that the Lab compile the films into a full documentary and present it to the relevant power-holders. The films also inspired many of the participants to think critically about their personal contributions to accountability issues in the country