Impact Report: THE WHY’s documentaries reached the whole world in 2020

August 3, 2021

Monika Tibenska

Critically acclaimed documentary films from THE WHY’s catalogue were broadcasted and screened to millions of people despite the pandemic that paralyzed the globe.

THE WHY Foundation provided documentaries to over 200 countries around the world with stories about injustices and human rights reaching 100 million people with each film.

The organization’s efforts to provide everyone with access to fact-based information through human-oriented documentary films were not obstructed by the global pandemic in 2020. Strong partnerships with broadcasters, such as BBC World, and outreach partners ensured the continuous expansion of the organization’s reach and awareness about human rights.

Stronger than ever

In the past year, THE WHY doubled the number of broadcasters, who newscast documentaries from THE WHY’s catalogue. The films were distributed to over 100 broadcasters across the globe, reaching all continents through local and global TV channels. The organization established a stronger reach through national broadcasters, especially in Africa.

THE WHY is aware of the importance of providing free access to informative documentaries for people from underdeveloped territories, where TV broadcasts cannot reach them. As a result of this perception, THE WHY worked closely with 41 outreach partners and secured 84 community and institutional screenings, where pandemic rules and restrictions allowed us.

“In many ways, THE WHY’s change model is corona-proofed. As we all turned inwards, broadcasters continued to air our series and our YouTube Channel, which already had over 100,000 subscribers, thrived. THE WHY now has more than 14 million views on YouTube. We swapped live events to online and hosted the Quarantine Film Club and the Why Slavery? Online Premiere,” explained Mette Hoffmann Meyer, CEO of THE WHY, the reason behind THE WHY’s success in spite of outreach difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Talking to millions in local languages

THE WHY’s work does not concentrate only on establishing partnerships that spread the films to a wider audience. An important part of building awareness about human rights and starting a discussion is to make the films accessible in languages that communities can understand.

Translation of selected films into 17 local languages in 2020 ensured a better understanding by local audiences. On this ground, each film from THE WHY’s catalogue reached on average an incredible 100 million viewers in 2020 alone.

Pervading the online world

THE WHY makes sure to secure access to independent and reliable information for everyone by producing and distributing documentary films in the form of broadcast, outreach activities and nevertheless online media platforms.

THE WHY’s films were watched 2.4 million times on its YouTube channel in 2020, amounting to more than 525,100 hours. This channel makes the films immediately available to a broad spectrum of viewers fueling their impact.

Read more about THE WHY’s impact and reach in the Impact Report 2020.

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