Vaillante, the UNICEF-produced mini-series on child marriage, screened at FESPACO

22 October 2021

OUAGADOUGOU, 22 October 2021 – As part of the 27th edition of the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO), the first episode of Vaillante, a mini-series produced by UNICEF, was screened in front of an audience composed of children and young people, representatives of technical and financial partners, civil society organisations, government authorities, artists and personalities from the world of culture and art.

Vaillante tells the story of the painful past of a young woman who campaigns against child marriage and whose fate intertwines with the uncertain fate of a soon-to-be-married girl. Both protagonists must overcome family and social adversity in order for their rights to be respected. 

"The mini-series rightly highlights that youth are a large part of the solution to the challenges that societies are facing, including ending child marriage. Young people, and specifically girls and young women, have a key role to play in changing the world and realizing their aspirations," said UNICEF’s Representative in Burkina Faso Sandra Lattouf. 

"As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of UNICEF, we want this production which was shot in Africa to spark debate and be a fun and entertaining means of information, engagement and inspiration not only for the youth and the African population, but also in the rest of the world."

Worldwide, 700 million girls and women are married before the age of 18, 17 per cent of whom live in Africa (125 million) – mainly in West Africa[1]. It is estimated that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, an additional 10 million girls will be affected by child marriage by 2030. In Burkina Faso, five out of 10 girls (aged 20-24) are married before the age of 18 (51.3 per cent) and one in 10 girls (8.9 per cent) before the age of 15[2].

"Ending child marriage requires engaging young people, girls and boys, who are the most promising actors for change in communities. The characters in the series are committed to the cause of children and the realization of their rights. They inspire us to carry out our mission," added the UNICEF Representative in Burkina Faso.

The three 45-minute episodes of the Vaillante mini-series will be available in December for broadcasting on TV and digital channels.

Since 1969, FESPACO has been held every two years in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. For this 27th edition, 239 films from 50 countries are competing and the "Cinemas of Africa and the diaspora: new looks, new challenges" are in the spotlight. The grand prize - L’Etalon d’or - will be awarded by an international jury chaired by Mauritanian director and producer Abderrahmane Sissako, the 2015 winner of the César Award for Best Film for Timbuktu.

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[1] A Profile of Child Marriage in Africa, 2015.

[2] Continuous Multi-Sector Survey (CMS), 2015.

Media contacts

Hadrien Bonnaud
Chief of Communication
UNICEF Burkina Faso
Tel: +226 66 93 31 32

About UNICEF

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