Cambria Matlow is a freelance film director who has worked on several short films probing controversial world issues, and served as manager of non-theatrical programming at Film Movement, an independent and foreign film distribution company. Matlow makes her documentary directorial debut in Burning in the Sun, the story of a budding entrepreneur inspired to make a positive impact on his homeland community in Mali. To fund this ViewChange Online Film Contest-winning project, Matlow tapped into her own entrepreneur potential and co-founded Birdgirl Productions in 2005. She writes in the Huffington Post about why she chose her film’s aspiring protagonist:
"Twenty-six-year-old charmer Daniel Dembélé is equal parts West African and European, and looking to make his mark on the world. Seizing the moment at a crossroads in his life, Daniel decides to return to his homeland in Mali and start a local business building solar panels — the first of its kind in the sun-drenched nation. Daniel's goal is to electrify the households of rural communities, 99 percent of which live without power.
"For us, Daniel's work shatters notions of the need for African dependence on outside aid and embraces the view that ultimately it is Africans who will develop Africa in their own way.
"It is important to us for the film to showcase him as an African leader, not only of his country, but as a global trendsetter. So not only do viewers come away with a greater understanding of the kind of development that makes the most sense for Africa, but a sense of profound inspiration that they can take the action they have seen and apply it in their own communities."
For an inside view on Daniel's daring, charisma and intelligence, watch Burning in the Sun: