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UNICEF-supported African directors’ films lend an artist’s view on child survival in Africa

Dakar, Senegal, 17 December 2008 – As part of the African continent-wide efforts to help countries accelerate progress on child survival in Africa, UNICEF has 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 Television for the Environment (TVE), an independent non-profit organization, 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.

The films can be viewed, in English and French, at

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.

The films can be viewed in French and English at

About Television for the Environment
TVE is an independent, non-profit organisation, which promotes global awareness of the environment, development, human rights and health issues through the platforms of broadcast television and other audio-visual media. TVE is a UK-registered charity and works - above all - to promote informed debate, public awareness and practical solutions to the growing challenges of human development.
About UNICEF –

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information, please contact:
Martin Dawes, UNICEF Regional Chief of Communication for West and Central Africa
Tel: +221 338 69 58 58 / LD: +221 338 69 58 42

For more information on distribution, please contact:
Jenny Richards, Deputy Director, TVE
Tel: +44 (0)20 7901 8838





African Films Initiative

Conceived by renowned African filmmakers from across the continent, filmed on location in Benin, Burkina Faso, DR Congo, Mozambique, Malawi, Nigeria and South Africa, these dramas and documentaries lend an artist’s view to the work undertaken to help countries accelerate progress on child survival across Africa.

Ca va aller (en français)
It's Going to be OK

La Journée du partage (en français)
The Sharing Day

Survivre à tout prix (en français)
Surviving at any cost

Sans Abri (en français)

La vie au ralenti (en français)
Life in Slow Motion

" la lettre que les enfants ont envoyée Die..." (en français)
"...and the letter that the children sent to God..."


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