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Reel to Real: Balancing Acts

Life 4 - Reel to Real: Balancing Acts
In 1994, 179 government leaders attending the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development signed a groundbreaking agreement aimed at improving the lives of women worldwide. Balancing Acts -- the first in a duo of Life programs made in collaboration with women broadcasters and producers around the world to mark the 10th anniversary of that conference -- explores how women from very different cultures, often faced with extremes of inequality, are taking on the status quo. Individual stories look at how Afghani women refugees are returning to pick up the pieces of their lives in Kabul; the feisty female entrepreneurs of Nigeria known as 'Mama Benz' who, despite owning an estimated 50 per cent of the country's small businesses, are denied recognition of their contribution to the economy; a teenager battling purdah to get an education in Pakistan; and the 'inherited widows' who are challenging convention in Kenya. Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and UN Commissioner for Human Rights, provides an overview of the state of women's rights worldwide - and why they are so crucial to social and economic development.

'The importance of these films is that they are intended to raise awareness about global issues in young people, and can be used by anyone for this purpose. The quality of the films is excellent. They are documentaries about the U.N. Millennium Development Goals and include brief interviews with people who are actually involved in MDG programs, from various institutions and from the grassroots to executive level...The objective evidence about the current global crisis of insecurity, poverty, gender inequalities, environmental degradation, and lack of international cooperation is presented in a way that is both realistic and non-inflammatory.

Children are the future. Educational materials such as the Bullfrog Films are very important for the future of both humanity and the human habitat...The Bullfrog Films certainly can and should be shown to children, especially to high school students. But these films are most appropriate for those who prepare the children for responsible citizenship, including global citizenship. They are certainly appropriate for parents who want their children to know about the need for human solidarity and environmental sustainability. And, they are most appropriate for training teachers to plant the seed of global concerns in their students' minds and hearts.' Luis Gutierrez, Editor, Solidarity, Sustainability, and Non-Violence Research Newsletter


Main credits

Richards, Jenny (consultant)
Kelly, Brenda (film producer)
Tatham, Di (film producer)
Sarwar, Beena (film director)
Hashimi, Rabia (film director)
Ingolo wa Keya (film director)
Mbanefo Obiago, Sandra (film director)
Collonge, Cecile (editor of moving image work)
Bower, Dick (film producer)
Andoh, Adjoh (narrator)

Other credits

Editor, Cecile Collonge; series producer, Dick Bower.

Docuseek subjects

Distributor subjects

African Studies
Asian Studies
Business Practices
Climate Change/Global Warming
Developing World
Global Issues
Human Rights
Millennium Development Goals
Reproductive Rights
Social Justice
United Nations
Women's Studies


women, Afghani, Afghanistan refugees, Nigeria, small business, economy, purdah, Pakistan, inherited widows, Kenya, Mary Robinson, women's rights, economic development, UN; "Reel to Real: Balancing Acts"; Bullfrog Films