Kombit: The Cooperative

Timberland

Challenge

At the end of a five-year commitment to plant five million trees in Haiti, Timberland sought a way to share their unique story and their learnings with diverse audiences. They wanted to articulate a complex narrative that would work for both earned media and consumer audiences, and to do it with a feature length documentary covering their entire commitment.

How could Found Object transform footage filmed sporadically over five years into a verité film that captured the model with real suspense?

Insight

Authenticity lay at the heart of Timberland’s commitment to tree planting in Haiti, so only an authentic cinematic journey would do justice to the story.

Found Object would film in Haiti frequently in the final year of Timberland’s commitment to capture the real impact and high stakes of the handoff, learning from varied characters the true story. “Kombit: The Cooperative” became Found Object’s first feature length branded documentary.

Approach

Thanks to the trust built with Timberland over five years, and Timberland’s willingness to show both the challenges and the successes of their work in Haiti, we were freed to capture the unfolding story of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA), their nonprofit, on-the-ground partner. We proposed a journey following the characters and their trajectories in the final year of funding Timberland provided to SFA. Beyond storytelling, we connected dots to create distribution opportunities – theatrical, online and at special events.

 

Covering five years of reforestation

All Our Content for Timberland

Impact

In October 2015, Kombit: The Cooperative premiered at SXSW Eco conference, and was followed by a panel discussion with the Found Object filmmakers, characters from the film, and Margaret Morey-Reuner of Timberland. The film received extensive industry and environmental press, as well as positive reviews from audiences engaged by the story.

In the months following its premiere, Found Object connected Timberland to a film distribution partner, Film Sprout, which went onto set up over 200 screenings with grassroots organizations, education institutions and other companies interested in learning about the Timberland model.

Found Object supported Cone Communications and Timberland in successfully launching a press and social media campaign, earning acclaim in a number of publications including The Guardian, CSR Wire and Just Style. The campaign push culminated with a presentation of the film and panel discussion at Sustainable Brands 2016 that highlighted the partnership model.