CLIENT World Health Organisation
Directing & Filming
Women’s health is a big issue in the developing world, not only as a general problem, but also because of the extremely crucial role of women in every part of life. The situation in Africa was summarized in a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the beginning of 2012 under the name “Womens’s health in Africa”. To accompany the report the WHO decided to produce a documentary to highlight some of the issues and make the information of the report available with showing the effects of the problem with a lack of medical support for the health of women. The thirty minute documentary then should be used at conferences and made available online for the interested public.
The biggest issue with doing a documentary about women’s health in Africa is two-folded. First, the topic is extremely brought and one could start on almost every end and in every country in Africa. Second, telling a first of all negative story is something that has been done very often and might lead to a reflex of “Ah, just another story from Africa.” Telling a positive and very narrowed down story of one specific topic that would at the same time allow to shine a light on the other aspects of women’s health on a personal level became the driving idea for the development of the storyboard.
For this production our main role was to do the filming part of it as well as working with a first drafted script and developing it while in Ghana. Due to the contacts and expertise in the field of our producer Eric Jauniaux the story that was chosen for the film was about near-misses, so women that almost died while giving birth, to show the positive effects their survival had both on the family as well as the community. Bringing in our expertise in personal storytelling, we chose two women that would become the main characters for the film and following them over some time to show the effects first hand.
Luckily we had an amazing team at the WHO offices in Ghana that helped us with contacts and access to hospitals, schools and wherever else we needed to go for the filming.
The documentary will be shown at different conferences worldwide as well as to political leaders. A second version focussing only on the women’s stories as case studies might be produced as well.