Awra Amba | re-think a beautiful world
A 360 degree interactive documentary about a special village in Ethiopia
interactive documentary, awra amba, village ethiopia, 360 documentary


Rethink a beautiful world


An interactive documentary tells an inspiring and hopeful story about an Ethiopian village, that has dared to re-imagine and put into practise a new societal model. A lean-forward experience allows audiences to explore the story through an immersive  360 tour of the village, where they meet the inhabitants and learn about their way of life in short films, infographics and photo stories and are able to test their knowledge of global issues through simple, fun games.

We are a team of creative filmmakers, designers, web developers, educators, musicians and translators who are working collaboratively with the Awra Amba community, to share their tales and expertise with the world’s classrooms, living rooms and village squares.








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The Story

Around forty years ago, in a rural part of Ethiopia, a young man called Zumra Nuru decided that he’d had enough of how things were. He wanted to live in a world where women and men were equal and where traditions and religion did not dictate every aspect of life. With 19 people, he founded a new village, with new values. Together they created a progressive manifesto for a new way of life… read more

The Experience

The Awra Amba Experience is a collaborative, interactive documentary, designed for tablets and computers. It tells the story of how a small community in Ethiopia has combatted poverty and changed deeply engrained traditional values to pave way for a better life.  Viewers will be able to navigate through the Awra Amba village on an interactive landscape and explore 10 short documentaries as well as a wealth of different multimedia elements… read more

The Dialogue

Having explored the Awra Amba Experience, we invite you to participate in an online dialogue, during which you can connect with the Awra Amba community and share your thoughts with other viewers around the world. Discussion topics include gender equality, the role of tradition and religion in society, education, elderly care, aid, development and sustainable living, among others. These are issues that we can all make progress on, so long as we talk about them… read more




Where is Awra Amba?

Awra Amba is located in the rural part of the Amhara region of Ethiopia, 65km north of Bahir Dar in Woji Kebele. It is a small village (17,5 hectares) with just under 500 inhabitants. Check out the map here.

How is the Awra Amba community involved?

This project was triggered in 2010 by a wish from the Awra Amba Community to share their story with the world and to connect with other communities and people around the world, who are trying to make change on a grassroots level. Despite not being connected to the internet back in 2010, the community understood the power and reach of social media. Now the Awra Amba Community has a slow internet connection, which is improving all the time. Through this project, they will be able to connect with their audience to share knowledge and ideas for a better world. They will also be trained in creating their own blog, where they will share news and updates from the village regularly, offering ways in which people can get involved with some of their development projects and educational initiatives.
“We want to open up a dialogue with the outside world, so that we have the chance to talk directly with our audience and to build up an international network. That is why we are working with Paulina and Serdar on this interactive documentary, which will not only tell our story but allow us to connect with the rest of the world to share our ideas and learn from others.”
The Awra Amba Community, 2013

Where can I find out more?

Why an interactive documentary?

Having spent a lot of time in the Awra Amba Community, we realised that their story is hugely important and multi-faceted, and simply could not fit into a traditional, linear film. The best way to understand Awra Amba is to visit them. This being out of bounds for most people, we decided to create a virtual visit that would bring the visitor as close as possible to the spaces, textures, sounds and people’s everyday lives in the village. The Awra Amba Experience is designed to spark conversations, to make the world smaller, and to connect people with each other. Awra Amba’s fascinating and universal story is likely to make you think and question your own life and your own society.

Who is behind the project?

The Awra Amba Experience is a creative collaboration between the Awra Amba Community and an international team of professional filmmakers, designers, illustrators, web developers, musicians, educators, sound designers and translators from seven different countries. The project is produced by Write This Down, an award-winning film and digital production company based in the UK.

How can I get involved?

Thank you to everyone who supported us through our crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo. The campaign is now over, but you can continue supporting the project here. If you’d like to get involved in a voluntary capacity, please feel free to get in touch via Finally, you can follow us on social media to get regular updates on the project.

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