Short films aim for big change

Short films aim for big change
September 27 16:40 2017

Maldivian-made films on mental health, gender equality and plastic pollution will debut on social media Wednesday following a joint project between a United Nations body and telecoms firm Dhiraagu.

The three films, which will also have a one-off screening ahead of movies shown at Shwack Cinema, were made by participants in the United Nations Development Programme’s #Film4Change initiative, which covered storytelling, videography and production.

The films were inspired by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, specifically #SDG5 Gender Equality, #SDG10 Reduced Inequalities, and #SDG12 Responsible Consumption and Production.

The Maldives failed to meet the UN’s Millennium Development Goals on gender equality, climate action, and global partnerships for development.

“We want to be in the process of creating digital content for the youth, especially relevant on the social issues we have – it achieves two objectives: entertainment and social change,” Dhiraagu CEO Ismail Rasheed said Monday night, when the three films were aired to an invited audience.

One of the filmmakers explained the reasons for making a movie about mental health, saying people with these conditions faced many challenges in their daily lives.

“There are about three psychiatrists in the whole country, and therapy is only available from private clinics,” said Ula Ahmed. “There are opportunities to get financial aid (through NSPA, the national social security scheme) but they cover it only for three months or they reimburse you after it’s been paid for, that is not good for citizens.”

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