For the Little Sun Filmson view at Tate Modern from 17–23 September, I invited eighteen filmmakers from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and South America – from areas of the world where energy access is a big problem – to collaborate on sixteen short films about life, light, energy, and Little Sun.

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  • Stills from Ajeeb Aashiq, by Natasha Mendonca, Still 1

    Stills from Ajeeb Aashiq, by Natasha Mendonca

  • Stills from Ajeeb Aashiq, by Natasha Mendonca

    Stills from Ajeeb Aashiq, by Natasha Mendonca

  • Stills from Ajeeb Aashiq, by Natasha Mendonca

    Stills from Ajeeb Aashiq, by Natasha Mendonca

Working with these highly talented, diverse filmmakers has been very rewarding, and they’ve been so generous in volunteering their visions and voices to help spread the word about Little Sun and bring light to some of the people living without access to the electrical grid. The responses have been unexpected, poetic, and eye-opening.

One of the filmmakers, Natasha Mendonca, wrote to me recently about the very resourceful use she found for the Little Sun lamps we had sent her:

I am writing a quick e-mail to say that it was really a pleasure to participate in the Little Sun project. I have been working on a feature film with a very underprivileged transgender community in Bombay (hijras and female-to-male transsexuals), crafting a script along with them, acting rehearsals, etc.

I work with no crew. I use help from the community I am working with for my equipment and lighting. Given the content and style of my work, India has negligible funding for artists – especially those working with experimental forms. Since I work with no/low budgets and am making a feature-length film guerrilla style in Bombay, I have been struggling with the lighting situation in the slums, as homes in the slums have very little light. Just when I was thinking of hiring a generator for the actual shoot, the Little Sun lamp has been a welcome addition to my indie filmmaker’s kit!!! How serendipitous! The light is a very good solution for my cosy set-up. It is small, easy to carry with my gear, and because of its design, it can be rigged anywhere. It does not disturb the community I am shooting with, and it helps me get my candid shots easily. It has really given me a solution to my lighting woes.