Truth Be Told

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Malawi Family Planning

DOCUMENTARY STYLE IMPACT FILM: Malawi is on the verge of a cultural tipping point. The next decade will determine how it will develop. After living with families over the course of an amazing two week mini-ethnographic study we started to get a sense of how their culture was experiencing some severe growing pains. The issue is riddled with complexities like gender inequality, population growth and the lack of reproductive health. The film attempts to distill these issues into one message: the future of Malawi is dependent upon universal access to family planning.

SOLUTION: We developed a film for the Aspen Institue in collaboration with the Global Leaders Council to aid the Joyce Banda regime in communicating their vision for Malawi. Our approach was to tell the story of an individual family who is at the epicenter of a cultural shift. The story of Alfred, Marda and their two children is one of hope through education and empowerment. At the core is their decision to only have two children; a decision that is having a profound ripple effect on their family and community. Alfred is leading the way for his country with his understanding of and response to this issue. He summarized it well when he said, “it’s simple, we chose to have a family that emphasized quality over quantity.” As a teacher and a mother Marda is setting an example that stresses the importance of the need for future parents of Malawi to solicit the help of Family Planning. The result is a story that touches upon education, parenting, sustainability, economic prosperity and a variety of other complexities that are facing the people of Malawi.

RESULT: First and foremost, we listened. We listened to organizations, we listened to clinics, we listened to the government and we listened to individuals. What we heard is that Malawi is ready for a change; but creating change within a culture that has centuries of history, rituals and beliefs takes time. Our goal was to tell a story that raises awareness, debunks myth and inspires hope. The film targets key influencers like tribal chiefs who have the power and ability to shape reproductive health in Malawi.

All shooting, directing, editing and story development was a collaborative effort between Truth Be Told Creative and Stoutfilm and is intellectual property of The Aspen Institute.

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