This project shows how West African women and doctors are determined to shatter taboos around infertility, offering women opportunities for treatment and support.
- €19,000 Budget in Euros
- 2018 Final release date
- 11 Round winner
- 1 Location
- 4 Durations in months
This project shows how West African campaigners and doctors are determined to shatter taboos around infertility, offering women opportunities for treatment and support.
Thousands of women in sub-Saharan Africa are affected by the pain and sadness of infertility, yet it is still perceived to be a uniquely ‘Western’ problem. Angels is an independent multi-media documentary project set in Dakar, Senegal, documenting how West African women and doctors are determined to shatter taboos around the subject of infertility, offering women opportunities for treatment and support.
Unlike news stories viewing African issues through a clichéd lens of conflict and poverty, this story shows that it doesn’t matter where you live, or how much money you have, infertility can affect anyone, anywhere. Angels is a story of modern Africa, where modern women, often with successful careers, are putting off having children until later in life, and where traditional beliefs are increasingly colliding with contemporary life issues and medical advances led by pioneering women.
Via Angels, we hope to enable Senegalese women to start a conversation about infertility, break the silence, and find solace in hearing other women’s stories. Infertility brings great loneliness. In offering Senegalese women an opportunity to talk and share their stories with women around the world, we hope in turn to help them address their trauma, combat taboos, find opportunities for knowledge and treatment, and above all, know that they are not alone.
The documentary is called Angels because UK women who suffer a miscarriage, or lose their babies during pregnancy, call their lost babies, ‘angel babies’. In Senegal, women suffering from infertility are said to be affected by les anges.
The Angels documentary project will include a short factual documentary, a drama documentary and essays, features, photography and audio work for print, web and broadcast media.
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BBC Radio 4
- Jane Labous' essay about infertility in Senegal, featuring the moving stories of Angels' interviewees Ndim, Badera and Dr Rokhaya Thiam Ba, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4's flagship programme, From Our Own Correspondent. The broadcast went out at 11am on 18th October 2018. You'll hear the piece at 11.36 minutes. It is also downloadable as a BBC Radio 4 podcast.
BBC World Service
- From Senegal, Jane Labous tells the story of Ndim and Badera who have been seeking to start a family after twelve years of marriage. So far they have been unsuccessful in a country where childlessness is still stigmatised. So what options remain for them - and who or what might be able to help their yearning for a baby? The broadcast went out at 9.06am on 28th October 2018. You'll hear the piece at 16.55 minutes. It is also downloadable as a BBC World Service podcast.
St Petersburg International Film Festival (SPIFF)
- You Are Not Alone documentary selected, and winner of Audience Award, at St Petersburg International Film Festival (SPIFF)
Mallorca Evolution International Film Festival
- You Are Not Alone documentary Selected for Mallorca Evolution International Film Festival
Mediterranean Film Festival Cannes
- Selected: Mediterranean Film Festival Cannes
Worldwide Women's Film Festival, Arizona, 2019
- Selected: Worldwide Women's Film Festival, Arizona, 2020
Dumbo Film Festival, New York, 2019
- Semi-finalist: Dumbo Film Festival, New York, 2019
West African Film Festival, 2020
- Selected: West African Film Festival, 2020