Terra Mater - Star Chasers on Senegal

Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

President Awards Nation’s Highest Honor to Indie Director, DP and PBS NOVA

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 occasion?

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.

The story of the fast-track development and production of Star Chasers is covered in detail in our Documentary Business Case Study and MIPCOM 2022 panel.

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.

Read more…

In Dakar…

From top: Ruth Berry and president Macky Sall; audience at premiere screening; Nova’s Chris Schmidt at investiture.