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Bengali Maternity Film

Following the success of the East Midlands Ambulance Service film addressing the issues of faith and belief when a 999 call is made, we were commissioned to make another film in partnership with the NHS. As part of the Pacesetters ethos of grass roots consultation with both service users, service providers and community groups, it was identified that there was a real need to address the issues of the abnormally high rates of neonatal deaths in Bengali women. The main reason for this was that many of the ladies were new arrivals to this country, their first language was not English and there was a distinct lack of education and support for them when they became pregnant, as well as translation issues and misinformation. In particular they were not accessing medical services for their forth coming baby until far too late into the pregnancy. It is vitally important that pregnant woman access maternity services as early in their pregnancy as they can, to have tests, attend classes and monitor the growth and health of the unborn baby. It was decided that the best way to appeal to this specific group of ladies was through a DVD.
So Kala Kahani was commissioned to produce a bilingual (Sylheti Bengali) DVD, to distribute to Health Centres, Sixth Form Colleges and the Maternity Services. We worked with the support of a focus group who had carried out market research to really get to the crux of the issues, as well as the Pacesetters Programme to decide the format that the DVD would take.
We were able to use participants of our Writers Development programme to write 5 scripts for the different scenes we were filming as well as members of our local community to act the parts. Although the film took in excess of 6 months to complete, it has been very well received and will be used in a variety of settings. The film was also embedded with British Sign Language and has been commended by the Deaf Association for the way it addresses the issues of pregnancy in diverse communities, and for its usefulness for clients who are hearing impaired.
If you would like a copy of the DVD please contact me by email on rebecca.abrahams@charnwoodarts.com or call me on 01509 821035