change from within

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20.09.2015 Chicago International Social Change Festival, USA – Official Selection – Pre-premiere

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22.10.2015 All About Freedom Film Festival, Gdansk, Poland – Official Selection – World Premiere

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“Interesting! A must see!”

19.11.2015 9th Social Enterprise Forum co-hosted by Polish Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare – Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw premiere audience award +poster+ receiving flat fb

21.11.2015 HumanDoc International Film Festival – AUDIENCE AWARD – Warsaw, Polandmore info

3.03.2016 Ashoka ChangemakerXChange, Social Innovation Lab, Gdynia, Poland

4-6.03.2016 Peace on Earth Film Festival, Illinois, USA – Official Selection

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16-19.03.2016 15th Picture This Film Festival, Calgary, Canada – Dodie Spittal Award & Honourable Mention

Jury’s verdict: “Powerful and emotional, beautiful cinematography and dynamic editing. The jury felt that this film was a perfect example of making a significant contribution to the disability community. As the title so aptly says, this film profiles the best kind of change: change from within. It shows people with disabilities working in their communities to change attitudes and to make a real difference in people’s lives. It gives us hope for a better future and is simply a beautiful film!”

09.04.2016 VIBGYOR Film Festival (Largest Alternative Film Festival in South Asia) – Official Selection

10.04.2016 World Film Festival, Venlo, Netherlands – Official Selection

22.02 – 04.05.2016 We Care Film Festival, India (New Delhi + other cities) – Official Selection

2.06.2016 Bosifest Film Festival, Serbia (Belgrade) – Special Mention

KANTHARI special mention received by producer Tomasz at Awards Gala

11.07 & 15.07.2016 Sopot Film Festival, Poland – Doc competitive sectionmore screenings coming soon…

Are you a organizing an event and would like to organize a screening our film?

Are you a distributor, film commissioner at a TV station or film festival and consider our film?

For more details get in touch with Tomek – tomek@solidarityfilmdoc.org!



KANTHARI: change from within

Release Date: Autumn 2015
Rating: Lech Wałęsa: "A must see!" Łukasz Maciejewski: "Struck by people's determination in the fight against adversity"

Year    :   2015
By    :   Marijn Poels
Slogan    :   SolidarityFilmDoc
Genre    :   Documentary
Time    :   52min
Budget    :   medium
Age    :   15+



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Marijn Poels is a Dutch independent filmmaker with an extensive portfolio of human rights films about marginalized groups of society – mostly in developing countries broadcasted in international film festivals and TV stations. Holder of the Canadian Doddie Spittal Award for his documentary “The Voice of 650million Times One” about struggles of persons with disability in Africa and Asia and recently, NL Documentary Award 2015 for “Two Lives in One Heart” – a film about Marrocan migrants in the Netherlands. More

A great deal of aid and initiatives targeted to marginalized groups and developing countries does not take into account the potential which lies in the communities which they reaching out to. “KANTHARI: change from within” advocates for a more inclusive development aid model, where people from marginalized communities who have the potential to bring change are identified and empowered to carry out their plans for social change.




2005 Nobel peace prize nominee, Sabriye Tenberken (blind), and Paul Kronenberg – co-founders of kanthari international , Braille Without Borders and part of award winning documentary ‘BLINDSIGHT’ (2006). Sabriye is the author of the book “My path leads to Tibet.” –

an international bestseller translated into 15 languages. Paul is an awardee of Mother Theresa and Albert Schweitzer Award. In the last few years Sabriye and Paul have trained 117 people people who introduce change within one of the most marginalized communities of the world. “I am blind and so what!?” says Sabriye towards any people who treat her in a pitiful way as she moves confidently using her cane be it in India, Tibet or the African plains. Sabriye’s new book “The Dream Workshop of Kerala. Learning to Change the World” just came out. Check it out!

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Get involved in the work of kanthari institute in India to empower social visionaries from around the world! here.


Monicah Kaguithia from Kenya, daughter of a Masaai was married at the age of 16. She got the responsibility to herd the family’s cattle. When delivering her first baby she was to become circumcised for the first time. Since then, she has repeatedly escaped from female genital mutilation, a tradition of the Masaai community in the Rift Valley. Now she is an advocate who is working with the community, the elders and a group of traditional dancers to create an alternative ritual through which she has initiated 43 girls into womanhood without circumcision so far.

Monicah is looking for individuals and organizations who would be willing to partner with her to address the needs of her community in a sustainable way. Find out more here.


Stephen Onyang from Kenya. After the death of most of his brother’s family due to HIV AIDS, Stephen was left with two small orphans to take care of. He now runs “Hope Restoration Centre” – a life transformational springboard for 30 orphans which uses counselling and artistic/theatre activities to change the mindset of the community towards victims of HIV/AIDS. The project is carried out in a rural village next to Lake Victoria with 30% infection rate.

There are a number of volunteer positions available in the serene, rural environment of Stephen’s project as well pressing needs to cover children’s lunch meals and school items. To get involved go here.


Jayne  Waithera from Kenya, partially sighted, is a person with albinism, who like many of her friends have faced the danger of abduction and
being killed. Some witchdoctors in East Africa believe that mutilated body parts of persons with albinism bring good luck.  Jayne advocates fortheir rights, offers guidance to albinos including their caregivers and fights for a more effective law enforcement protection system.Jayne’s aims to change the harmful perceptions against albinos through her NGO – Positive Exposure Kenya. Be part of it.



Ojok  Simon  from Uganda was 9 years old when a rebel soldier hit his head with a rifle which made him loose most of his sight. It hindered Ojok to join his friends in climbing the trees in search for wild honey. “But that did not stop me from looking for honey!” says Ojok after finding an abandoned clay pot, which to his surprise atracted bees. He mastered the art of beekeeping using local, hollow trees. He now runs a beekeeping cooperative for 38 blind persons in the rural areas of Northern Uganda.

Explore Ojok’s bold vision to expand his social business across East Africa  and get a taste of Ugandan strong flavoured, natural honey here.



Feel free to get in touch with any of the above changemakers! Maybe something good will come out if it? :-)

If you would like to donate (cash or in-kind) to any of their projects you can do it through their websites or donate to SolidarityFilmDoc Foundation in Poland with an indication who you would like to donate for (donations from Polish citizens/organizations will be tax deductible)


The film follows blind Nobel Peace Prize nominee Sabriye Tenberken and Paul Kronenberg, as they travel across East Africa to reconnect with graduates of ‘kanthari’, an institute which they founded that trains grass-root activists from the margins of society who use new approaches to solve social problems. This vision arose through their 15 years’ experience in Tibet where they pioneered self-integration of blind children into mainstream education.

‘kanthari’ institute, based in Kerala (South India), runs a unique 7 months programme for about 20 participants from around the world annually. Its name was inspired by a chilli which grows wild in the countries of the Southern hemisphere. It is very small, extremely spicy and possesses many medicinal qualities. Just like the participants of the course – who have the fire in the belly to stimulate positive social change in their communities.

The films visits four ‘kanthari’s, social change makers, each with a very powerful personal story, big dreams and a ground-breaking social project. Travel by boat, bus, car and foot through breathtaking landscapes, in order to meet these extraordinary yet stigmatized people fighting for their cause under the most extreme conditions.

“KANTHARI: change from within” sharpens the understanding of the potential of people from the margins of society by a raw, observational style of cinematography and vivid storytelling.


Media Kit

Download Official Poster

Download a one pager of the Film

kanthari – change from within (2015) – one pager


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