President Macky Sall awarded the National Order of the Lion, Senegal’s highest honor to director Ruth Berry, NOVA’s Chis Schmidt and DP Bernhard Popovic in Dakar.
The packed theatrical premiere screening of Star Chasers of Senegal, a Terra Mater Studios / NOVA co-production.
Star Chasers features the story of astronomer Maram Kaire and his ambition to create Africa’s first space program.
From Outreach to Action
Following the screening, President Sall announced that his government will create the Senegalese Space Study Agency (ASES: Agence Sénégalaise D’Études Spatiales) with Maram Kaire as its director.
Director Ruth Berry was overwhelmed by the reception: “We all want our films to have an impact. I never imagined Star Chasers would result in such an extraordinary event and even play a role in Maram achieving his dream for astronomy and space science in Senegal.”
Terra Mater’s CEO Dr Walter Koehler commented, “We’re thrilled to see how Star Chasers has been received. We hope that by gifting the rights to broadcast the film on Senegal’s public broadcaster RTS, the story of astronomer Maram Kaire will inspire a new generation to become scientists.”
Peter’s Takeaway: An Outreach Home Run
It is an inspiring accomplishment for an indie director / producer to have spotted such an unusual and challenging story and then to have successfully pitched it to open-minded co-pro partners TMS and NOVA.
In a model for a successful outreach effort, their film has helped shift a nation’s policy in a way that upends many of our assumptions about Africa’s contributions to scientific discovery.
- Star Chasers Case Study &Timeline
- Season of the Osprey: another revealing co-pro Case Study that’s packed with valuable detail.
From top: Ruth Berry and president Macky Sall; audience at premiere screening; Nova’s Chris Schmidt at investiture.