VSI London provide voice-overs for the Equator Initiative


About the client

Founded in 2002, Perspective Film Production Ltd has been responsible for producing and delivering over 100 films and videos for a wide range of international and grassroots organisations – NGOs, inter-government agencies and citizens' groups. For more than 15 years, their films have covered stories of successful ways to combat climate change, safeguard the environment and tackle injustice.

The project

Translation and Voice-over

Amharic, Bahasa, Dari and 18 other languages

We were delighted when Perspective Film Production got in touch to see if, despite a very fast turnaround, we would be able to provide translation and foreign voice-overs for a series of films featuring Equator Prize winners. The Equator Prize is a biennial award from the Equator Initiative, a programme established by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to recognise what indigenous peoples and local communities are doing to save their environment, combat climate change and protect biodiversity.

The film project began when Janet Boston, Director of Perspective Film Production, was approached by the Equator Initiative to see if she could produce a series of films in time for the Paris Climate Change Conference.

Janet described a hectic schedule of six days a week, with an end result of 21 projects filmed covering a wide range of locations from Afghanistan to Papua New Guinea. Furthermore, two sets of edits were produced, with five films shown at the Mogador Theatre to a packed audience of over 1,500, and 21 short films which were finished just before Christmas.

The reception in Paris was extraordinary and helped raise the profile of what the award-winning communities are doing to combat climate change and how their efforts have global significance, particularly in achieving the targets agreed in Paris. While the main purpose of the ten-minute films was for use in Paris and by news media at the time, the five-minute films were primarily designed for use by the Equator Prize winners and for local distribution. Creating language versions was therefore critical to extend their outreach and impact, as was a deadline linked to the signing of the Paris Climate Change agreement in New York.

Our approach

Undaunted by the time frame, VSI provided translations and voice-over artists for all 21 films, covering a range of some of the world’s most prominent languages. From Amharic to Bahasa and Dari, VSI’s all-encompassing database of over 2,500 translators ensured that all of the requested languages were made fully accessible.


The project was managed centrally by one of VSI London’s experienced project managers who worked closely with Janet to meet the tight deadline.


Having achieved the target date, many of the local United Nations Development Programme offices were able to hold local award ceremonies for the Equator Prize winners and have been full of praise for the accuracy of the translation and quality of the voice-overs.

This isn’t the first time VSI has been involved in such an important cause. Take a look at the #OursToLose campaign here - another project we worked on that was designed to bring climate change to the forefront of our priorities.