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Taking the malaria fight to the screen

The UK-based charity Comic Relief has launched a new project to enhance awareness of the importance to fight malaria. Mixing science and entertainment, the initiative selected three African filmmakers to reframe the malaria narrative using their creativity to appeal to local audiences while educating the public.

The films reveal the importance of collaboration, innovation, and creativity in the fight against an ever-evolving parasite and vector:

  • The Underestimated Villain by the British-born Ghanaian filmmaker Comfort Athur uses poetry written and narrated by Ghanaian poet Poetra Asantewaa to portray the female Anopheles mosquito as a popular serial killer. The animation uses a touch of humour to tell the story of how human behaviour allows mosquitoes to operate through the mosquito’s perspective.
  • Mbuland is a musical by Tanzanian filmmaker Gwamaka Mwabuka which tells the tale of how malaria is ravaging a small farming community because mosquitoes thrive in their unkempt surroundings. Inspired by his own childhood experience with malaria, Mwabuka employs music to encourage viewers to keep surroundings clean and employ other approaches against the malaria vector, such as insecticide-treated bednets and fumigation.
  • Tanzanian filmmaker Amil Shivji sets a comedy against the backdrop of a documentary in his animation featuring a homeless half-human half-female Anopheles mosquito called Mozizi. The young mosquito moves around town with a film crew trying to resist the strategies adopted to fight malaria.

You can watch all three animations on the RBM Partnership to End Malaria’s website.

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