ABOUT THE WHY
Both of these series reached hundreds-of-millions of people, through THE WHY’s unparalleled distribution network of more than 75 broadcasters worldwide. We believe in targeting both satellite as well as local broadcasters because we want to reach both global and community audiences all around the world. We want factual films to be seen by a broad audience because we believe that all people should have the right to access independent and factual media.
THE WHY was launched as an independent non-profit in 2004 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Public Media in Crisis
We live in a world that suffers from a crisis of public media. Almost 1 billion people are unable to read and write. Even with wide distribution of smart phones, many people still do not have regular access to free information on the internet. Billions of people rely on traditional media outlets for information. At the same time most television broadcasters are suffering as result of censorship, decreased public funding and commercial pressures.
In response to the public media crisis, THE WHY produces factual public media projects on key global issues and distributes them, on a sliding-fee scale, to broadcasters all over the world. We use factual films because we understand the power of visual storytelling. Through stories we can capture people from all walks of life and give them a better understanding of the world we live in.
Chairperson of the Board
Emmy Award winning Grunning-Harris is an international content, production, distribution, financing consultant and executive producer for film, TV and cross-media content. She is the commissioning editor for documentary features and TV-films at the Swedish Film Institute. She previously worked at the Danish Film Institute. Grunning-Harris has supported films like Queen of Versailles, Sepideh Reaching for the Stars, Ai WeiWei: The Fake Case, Concerning Violence, 1989, Palme and many more. Klara Grunning-Harris has 15 years of experience in international co-production, content and financing.
& Founding Member
Nick Fraser is spearheading the digital documentary platform Yaddo. Previously he has been editing the BBC factual series Storyville since its inception in 1997. After graduating from Oxford University he worked as a reporter, television producer and editor. His publications include a biography of Eva Peron, ‘The Voice of Modern Hatred’, and ‘The Importance of Being Eton’. Storyville films have won more than two hundred awards, including four Oscars, a Sundance Grand Jury Prize and several Griersons, Emmys and Peabodys.
Mette Hoffman Meyer
& Founding Member
Mette Hoffman Meyer is Executive Producer at The Why. Mette was previously head of documentaries and co-productions at Denmark’s public service broadcasting cooperation, DR, and Editor of the factual series Documania on DR channel 2. Hoffman Meyer, helped finance films like the Oscar-winning Taxi to the Dark Side, The Queen of Versailles, and the U.S.-Danish co-productions: Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer and the Sundance award winning film: The Red Chapel. She also spearheaded the projects Why Poverty? a series of eight films aired by 70 broadcasters, reaching more than 500 million people world wide.
Multi award-winning director. Holds a Master’s degree in Anthropology & Media Studies from New York University and worked as an independent filmmaker since 2000. Directed “Mumbai Disconnected” (2009) and “Democrats” (2014).
French Ambassador to Denmark. Lawyer, member of the Paris Bar. Former member of the European Parliament and former Ambassador-at-large for Human Rights.
Randi Bach Poulsen
Partner of the Danish Law Firm Bech-Bruun. Former managing partner and specialist in company law, investments and governance and member of a number of boards of privately owned companies and institutions.
Director and Journalist
Researcher, Anthropologist and Film Director
Producer and Founder, Queen of Film
President & CEO, Films Transit International
Film Director and Producer
Curator of Documentaries
Executive Producer and Editorial Manager,
Co-Founder and CEO, CNEX Foundation