Child Survival in Africa

As part of the African continent-wide efforts to help countries accelerate progress on child survival in Africa, UNICEF commissioned a series of seven signature films by African filmmakers.

“The idea of using African ‘auteur’ filmmakers was to dramatize and popularize issues of child survival, engaging both political and social leadership and the public in countries around the issues and the need for progress”, says Martin Dawes, Head of Communication at UNICEF’s West and Central Africa Regional office.

Produced by tve in collaboration with UNICEF West and Central Africa Regional Office (WCARO) and UNICEF East and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO), the films of the “UNICEF African Film Initiative” were filmed on location in Benin, Burkina Faso, DR Congo, Mozambique, Malawi, Nigeria and South Africa and are available in English and French and in local and national languages.

The seven short features were conceived as artist views of issues and are the work of six renowned African film directors spread across the sub-Saharan region.

“The idea behind the films was to illustrate the issues relevant to child survival in both documentary and dramatic fashion to reach the widest possible audience around the continent”, adds Martin Dawes.

About UNICEF Africa Film Initiatives
The film package consists of:

  • Africa’s Child – a 25 minute documentary which illustrates the plight of Africa’s most vulnerable children, and the progress being made in increasing their chances of surviving. Africa’s Child was filmed in Benin, the DRC and Malawi, and edited in Tanzania.
  • Six short films (approximately 15 minutes each) made by six well-known African filmmakers from across the continent, each exploring child survival stories in his or her country or region. The film-makers are:  Licinio Azevedo (Mozambique), Tunde Kelani (Nigeria), Idrissa Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso), Khalo Matabane (South Africa), Fanta Regina Nacro (Burkina Faso), Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe). Each film tells an original, authored story, and highlights some of the key ways to improve Child Survival in Africa. The genres range from drama, to documentary; from docu-drama to magical realism.

The finished documentary, as well as the six 15 minute films have been versioned into local and national languages by the 15 Partners in tve’s Africa Partner Network (APN). APN Partners reach out to audiences within their own countries through their relationships with local and national broadcasters, educational institutions, NGOs and community groups. There are APN Partners in Angola, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.