Healthy Babies, Smiling Families

Shoklo Malaria Research Unit
4 films - 20-30 mins each - maternal health education - languages: English, Karen, Burmese


Funded by the inspiring 'Malaria Doktors', Marcus and Machteld, the most significant / important films I have made. Viewed by tens of thousands of parents on both sides of the Thai-Myanmar border, screened daily at SMRU clinics along the border, in the refugee camps, inside Karen State, and at Dr Cynthia's Clinic,
Mae Sot, these films have not only been wonderfully well used, they have been used as
examples of maternal health education at conferences as far 
flung as Uganda and the Philippines.

Film 01:  Pregnancy, ante natal care, safe delivery 

Film 02: Care for newborns, danger signs in infants, vaccinations 

Film 04: Nutrition during pregnant and
with newborns, household hygiene

Film 03: Breast feeding, weaning, family planning 

Films: Karen & Burmese Language versions


Karen language - Film 01: Pregnancy, ante natal care and safe delivery Karen language - Film 02: Care for newborns, danger signs in infants and vaccinations Karen language - Film 03: Breast feeding, weaning and family planning Karen language - Film 04: Nutrition during pregnant and with newborns and household hygene Burmese language - Film 01: Pregnancy, ante natal care and safe delivery Burmese language - Film 02: Care for newborns, danger signs in infants and vaccinations Burmese language - Film 03: Breast feeding, weaning and family planning Burmese language - Film 04: Nutrition during pregnant and with newborns and household hygene




Film Brief, Budget & Credits


Budget Range US$15,000 + Client - Malaria Doktors & Shoklo Malaria Research Unit / Oxford University / Mahidol University Duration - 4 x films, 20 - 30 mins Genre - Maternal Health Education Directed, Scripted, Filmed and Editied - Timothy Syrota Audio Recording - Jack Chance, Simon D




Director's Guff


Arguably the most significant films I have made, thanks to a well thought out project contrived and funded by the 'Malaria Doktors', Marcus and Machteld Rikten, who were then working for the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU). These two doctors had raised funds for a series of four films which were to cover a range of topics on maternal health, ranging from danger signs to breast-feeding and nutrition and contraception. As part of their funding, Marcus and Machteld also bought and installed a number of televisions for SMRU's maternal health clinics along the border. With up to 80 parents having up to three hours wait between having malaria tests done and test results being available, the films had a captive audience for the duration of screening. The films were screened every day and were soon also being utilised in a similar fashion at Dr Cynthia's Clinic. From a personal perspective, the guiding principle for the films was accessibility with an overall objective that any given parent / relative would walk away from viewing them remembering at least one key piece information. The films were produced with significant consideration to the background of viewers, many of whom were from rural or mountain villages, may have had little or no education and / or been illiterate, and would be familiar with traditional maternal health procedures. As such, repetition and simple messaging were key to the approach taken in the films. Similarly, production values and editing were kept simple so as not to present the films as anything too unfamiliar to the intended audience. Almost a year in production, the films have been viewed by tens of thousands of parents and were used as an example of maternal health education in conferences as far flung as the Philippines and Uganda. To the best of my knowledge, the films are still being screened on a daily basis to hundreds of mothers.