Media: African films televised in nine countries
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The much-awaited collection of extraordinary African films made by local Gauteng filmmakers from 9 African countries is being broadcast across the region between September and October this year.
These nine films for television tell moving stories of love and hope, secrets and lies, courage and betrayal in a time of HIV and Aids. They are being televised across the continent in different languages at prime time and are suitable for family viewing. Each stand alone film is 24 minutes long.
This fascinating series kicks off in South Africa, with the broadcast of the /Untold/ series from Tuesday, 28 October at 10pm on SABC 1.
According to Harriet Perlman, head of Soul City’s regional programme, “Southern Africa has the highest HIV infection rates in the world and now more than ever we need to act together, to stem its tide. /Untold,/ is a remarkable series of short films for TV, written and produced by local writers and film makers from this region. It is part of a ground breaking cross border health communication project, led by the Soul City Institute, which is working with partners in eight southern African countries to tackle HIV and Aids.”
The project is the largest locally developed prevention communication programme in Africa. It has also developed and unearthed new talent both in front and behind the camera. Film makers and writers across the region attended an intensive eighteen month accredited training course in script writing and drama film production to make films that break new ground and both entertain and educate. Quality scripts with dramatic story lines have been researched and tested with the target audience.
Perlman continues, “We are aiming to stop an epidemic that involves changing complex patterns of human behaviour, in particular, sexual behaviour. This is not quickly done with simple messages. Through drama it’s possible to deal with the journey of complex characters, facing complex choices whilst entertaining and educating.”
“We need to reach people with authentic, local stories: stories that jog our deepest beliefs and fears, touch our hearts, get us talking and challenge us to reflect on our own lives and the lives of the people around us. Television is an important vehicle for reaching large audiences and has the potential to contribute significantly to Africa’s development. We need to create opportunities for local filmmakers to develop their skills to tell new stories and grow the local content of quality dramas on television across the region.”
“HIV and Aids does not respect borders,” says John Molefe, Head of Public Affairs at Soul City. “Our success in curtailing the epidemic depends on a coordinated regional response, not only to share best practice but also to ensure synergy of health messages.”
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