Pedal Powered Cinema

28 April 2010 Ape Alliance News

The Great Apes Film Initiative (GAFI) is offering Ape Alliance members a unique opportunity to reach out to remote communities with minimal resources.

GAFI - Working with the Young Ambassadors for Great Apes

Our Pedal-Powered Cinema utilises the energy generated from the humble bicycle to power film screenings in areas where electricity is not available. This has made it possible to screen conservation films more sustainably, at lower cost and with less environmental impact.

The Bike That Helps Save Gorillas - GAFI in Uganda

Ape Alliance members are being offered the exclusive chance to use this exciting system with GAFI before it is made available to non-members. As this is such a novel project, Ape Alliance members will be the first organisations to use Pedal-Powered Cinema in the field for conservation and education purposes.

The field ready cinema system dveleoped by GAFI in collaboration with Electric Pedals is now running in projects in Uganda and Sumatra

To order a GAFI Pedal Power Cinema Unit or for more information contact GAFI's founder Madelaine Westwood on 07770 577 548. Alternatively, email Madelaine at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We look forward to working with you!

GAFI Cinema


Article by Afzaal Mauthoor - 18/1/2011

The Great Apes Film initiative (GAFI), partnered with the Gorilla Organization (GO) launched a brand new gorilla conservation project in Western Uganda -- Africa's very first pedal powered cinema for gorilla conservation. The aim is to foster gorilla relations between local people and bring about a positive change of attitude towards ape conservation. How better to reach the people than through the movies!

Throughout November 2010, gorilla conservation documentaries donated to GAFI by the BBC and Independent Producers, were screened to school children and communities in some of the most rural villages on the edge of Mgahinga and Bwindi National Parks. The question is how do you screen to the thousands of people that do not have ready access to electricity? GAFI’s innovative pedal powered cinema is a ground-breaking piece of technology involving the energy generated from peddling a stationary bicycle to power a projector. This allows GAFI and GO to enter into remote villages, schools, clubs and camps to screen inspiring wildlife documentaries on apes. The same David Attenborough style documentaries we grew up with in the West, that brought us to the heart of the plight of endangered wildlife on prime time TV, are now being screened to Africa through the power of a child’s BMX. In November 2010 the pilot project alone, GAFI and GO were able to screen to 11,600 school children, 184 teachers, 110 soldiers and 46 park rangers, all living around the Ugandan gorilla habitats. That is a tremendous outcome for conservation education in Uganda.

There is something quite poetic around peddling a stationary bike that powers a cinema screening gorilla films. Especially, as it has zero carbon footprint. GAFI’s innovative “bike that helps to save gorillas” is set to break its record throughout 2011 with a target set to a further 140,000 people. This time GAFI aims to combine gorilla tourism with the pedal power cinema to reach its audience in July and October 2011. Now everyone who is interested in taking action to save gorillas can join in! The voluntour holidays offer the chance to trek mountain gorillas around the Virunga Volcanoes and take part in the conservation projects which support these highly endangered animals.

Find out more on how you can get involved in GAFI’s “bike that saves gorillas”. Visit

The GAFI bicycles are expensive to make, send  abroad and maintain. Your donation goes towards putting new ones on the road and screening  great apes films to the local people that share the same habitats as the endangered apes. Make a donation today.

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