Lights, Camera, Impact: Reflecting on Black Bean’s 2023

2023 – Where do we begin? What an incredible year!

We thoroughly enjoyed our assignments and learned a great deal from the challenges we faced.

2023 - Year in Review

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Many organizations and individuals, including us, are still grappling with the effects of the global pandemic—both in terms of business and the human aspect – the stark divide between extreme poverty and hardship and abundance feels more real than ever. While the hardships persist, we recognize the struggles worldwide (for various reasons) and the idea of creating change feels almost impossible. Staying positive amid overwhelming situations is tough, but we firmly believe in the power of storytelling and genuine connections. By sharing these stories and moments, we aim to contribute to making the world a better place.

Even though it’s been some time since the height of the pandemic – I think we’re all still processing it now and feeling the effects of what transpired. The global challenges of COVID-19 have also brought about positive changes. Many have found clarity in terms of who they are and what they believe in, career goals, and living preferences, with more people actively pursuing their dreams. 

At Black Bean, we’ve felt a significant pull towards the next level—striving to grab our dreams, collaborate instead of compete, and create extraordinary content of the highest standard, be it commercial or documentary film and photography. Our goal is to craft content that captures hearts and souls, helps people, educates, fosters mindfulness, inspires and advocates for the preservation of the natural world. We want our work to ultimately create positive change in real life – to move past the digital world and be able to measure the impact our work has made in our world.

This year, we produced a multitude of films showcasing Africa’s finest properties—lodges, mobile camps, and breathtaking safari destinations. We cherish the stories that seamlessly intertwine with these remarkable places, encompassing the communities, people, wildlife, and conservation success stories.

In addition to our commercial and documentary work – our passion projects continue to thrive. We’re thrilled to announce the launch of our Black Bean Foundation called CONNECT. We eagerly anticipate its impact and success.

Our commitment extends to the continual development of the Matriarch’s Collective, seeking support to feature women from diverse backgrounds. Women’s stories are awe-inspiring, and we’re dedicated to documenting, sharing, learning about them and building this community. As Maria Diekmann, one of the first Matriarchs we featured, said, “When a woman finds her inner strength, there is nothing that can stop her.” 

We’re currently working on a documentary about the Knysna elephant enigma, exploring the mysteries of the forests in this area, historical facts dating back to the 1400s, and the sad decline from thousands of elephants to only one today. Follow us on social media for updates as we film and collectively learn about this interconnected topic.

Our documentary, ‘The Edge of Existence’ is now available on multiple streaming platforms and has been broadcasted and shared at events and online. We hope to make it increasingly accessible to a broader audience.

Gratitude fills our hearts for every client, organization, and individual who supported and collaborated with us in 2023. Your time, encouragement, and partnerships have been invaluable. We treasure the commissioned projects of the past year and look forward to many more in the future. Client relationships are of utmost importance to us.

Our heartfelt thanks also goes to our incredible, dynamic, and hardworking team. Whether freelancers or daily office contributors, these relationships have been the cornerstone of our resilience, lifting morale and infusing renewed creative energy. Thank you, everyone.

As we approach the festive season, we wish you all a wonderful holiday, a Merry Christmas for those celebrating, and a fantastic start to the New Year. Rest is a priority for us, and we aim to balance productivity with personal journeys and adventures in 2024. The office will be closed from December 21st to January the 3rd. We’re excited about the new year, working together to make the world a better place (every small effort counts), conserve wildlife, inspire and empower teams, and create content for diverse brands and creative projects. We want to make content that moves people to their core and engages them on important topics. 

We hope your year was filled with abundant blessings and quality time with loved ones. If it was a challenging year, we sincerely hope and pray that 2024 brings better days.

Thank you all – once again – for your work, support, and encouragement.

Wishing you only the best.

With gratitude and love,
Team Bean

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