Tostan International is seeking proposals from an experienced filmmaker to produce two short films: 

  • A 3-5 minute professionally-produced mini-documentary film showcasing the work of a grassroots community leader for the 25th anniversary celebration of Tostan in February 2016
  • An ever-green promotional film not to exceed 3 minutes, to be centrally featured on Tostan website that will introduce the organization and its mission to a donor audience

Background and Scope

Tostan’s holistic human rights education program has been the accelerator for societal transformation at the local community level for 25 years in more than 7,000 African communities. This dignified grassroots movement has already positively affected the lives of 3 million people in Africa. 

The documentary video will highlight the work of Demba Diarwa, one of Tostan’s most influential grassroots community leaders in Senegal. You can read about Demba here and here.

The promotional video should capture the spirit and essence of Tostan’s work in West Africa, featuring our Community Empowerment Program. 

Reading and Resources

Tostan invites experienced documentary filmmakers to propose a film package that will capture the organization’s mission, impact, core values, and promise. Priority will be given to a filmmaker who can speak to past experiences and successes within documentary filmmaking, narrative power analysis, story based strategy, and donor engagement.


Tostan envisages the project unfolding in these phases:

  • Memorandum of Understanding signed November 25, 2015
  • Design and storyboard completed by December 18, 2015
  • Film completion by February 1, 2016

Scope of Proposals

Filmmakers should submit their application packages to by November 13, 2015. Applicants may submit one proposal for both films, or separate the films into two proposals. The proposal(s) should be no longer than 10 pages and include the following:

  • Resume including filmology, film projects and credits
  • Links to work published online for review
  • Personal statement of interest 
  • Functional skills to help achieve project goals
  • Describe how you will approach this project with a lens for story-based strategy and narrative power analysis
  • Proposed timeline of activities
  • Proposed budget and justification
  • Approach to engage the Tostan’s Communications and Development departments throughout the process.


Tostan is a nonprofit seeking a high quality product and aims to keep the project under $10,000 total, but will consider other proposals if a persuasive argument is made for an expense it hasn’t considered.


Tostan is currently at work in six countries across West Africa — Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, and The Gambia. Filming may include all or any of these locations. 


Uplifting, positive, forward-looking, inviting, and about creating new potential and seizing opportunities. Candidates must explain how they will involve and incorporate existing organizational vision and messaging, rather than create entirely new messaging. 


Tostan will own the final product and all footage shot during the course of the project, and will retain all rights to use, edit and distribute this media as it sees fit.


Please submit any questions to Suzanne Bowles at