Casa de Produção Audiovisual is a media production center that seeks to promote peace-building and sustainable development through audio-visual productions aired on the only national television station in Timor-Leste. In addition to television programs, CPA also produces short dramas, comic books, print designs, and animation programs.
The center was established by Jesuit Father Ruedy Hofmann in 2002, a time when the Timorese people were trying to rise up from centuries of colonization, violence, conflict, and underdevelopment. Fr Hofmann saw the importance of storytelling for nation building and peace building, and brought together a group of young Timorese to work with him in this endeavor. None of these young Timorese had any experience in audiovisual production but Fr Hofmann turned them into cameramen, animators, editors, sound engineers, and TV personalities by providing them with hands-on trainings in CPA and abroad.
CPA’s first production was aired by Timorese national television station, RTTL in February 2004. Through 30-minute programs, the show titled Istória ba Futuru (History for the Future) told the stories of folk legends as well as historical events that shaped Timor-Leste as a nation. The popularity of the show made CPA a household name in the country.
Casa de Produção Audiovisual was awarded the Next Generation Prize for its programme, The Youth Parliament, at Prix Jeunesse International 2012 Munich, Germany. The Prix Jeunesse Foundation promotes quality television programmes for children and its bi-annual Prix Jeunesse Festival receives entries from premier children’s television producers around the world. The 2012 festival attracted 353 television programmes from 70 countries.
With about half of the adult population estimated to be illiterate, television is one of the mediums to reach and educate the people on various health and political issues. Together with partner organizations, CPA has produced educational materials on a variety of topics including health, the need to vote, agriculture, sustainable development, social justice, and welfare. It hopes to produce more education programs, especially those that will help increase literacy and education standards in the country.
Television reception is poor in remote regions, so to increase the reach of its productions, CPA organizes community screenings, which also enable it to get direct feedback from the community.
CPA is a non-profit organization under the Society of Jesus Foundation in Timor-Leste. Funding and income generated from CPA productions go towards staff salaries, production costs, research, equipment, as well as trainings, internships and other staff development programs.