Female Condoms Are _______
A film competition, titled Female Condoms Are _______ and organized by PATH, the Universal Access to Female Condoms (UAFC) Joint Programme, the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), and the National Female Condom Coalition (NFCC), put out an international call for submissions that would spotlight how female condoms can improve women’s health. Almost thirty short films from twelve countries, conveying diverse perspectives about what female condoms mean to the filmmakers and their communities, were submitted. Female condom awareness and availability remain low, and yet they could easily become a popular tool in family planning and contraception, and HIV/STI prevention for both women and men, say the organizers, all of whom help to promote this female-initiated option.
Global distribution of female condoms has more than quadrupled since 2005, but more work needs to be done. The organizers hope that the film contest will highlight the benefits of the female condom and encourage policymakers, health professionals, and individuals to support access to female condoms in their communities.
The entries were reviewed by a panel of five judges, who drew on their expertise in film, HIV/AIDS, and reproductive health to select winning
entries. The panel included Beth Barrett, director of programming for the Seattle International Film Festival; Aaron Bramley, co-founder and executive director of Lights. Camera. Help.; Tam Ho, executive director of North America and Asia Pacific Programs at the M∙A∙C AIDS Fund; Vastha Kibirige, coordinator of the AIDS Control Program for the Uganda Ministry of Health; and Nina Strøm, a senior advisor for sexual and reproductive health and rights at the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).
The top prize went to “Female Condoms Are My Power, My Protection, My Pleasure!” from Pathfinder International, a non-profit family planning and reproductive health organization working with developing countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. The film follows two young activists in Mozambique named Deolinda and Benjamin who are passionate about reaching out to their peers about female condoms. The film was submitted by Linda Suttenfield, Estrella Alcalde, Nelson Fakir, Jaime Jacobsen, Felix Mambucho, Elizabeth Ortiz, Samboko, Nina Yengo, and Matchume Zango, on behalf of Pathfinder International.
Second place went to “Female Condoms Are Preferable,” a drama from Cameroon, and two films tied for third, “Female Condoms Are Pretty Nice” from Malaysia and “Female Condoms Are A Woman’s Bargaining Power” from Kenya. Cash prizes were also awarded. The four winning entries debuted at the Women Deliver 2013 conference this past May in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
For more information about the Female Condoms Are_______ Film Contest, including information about the prize winners and links to their films, is at www.femalecondomfilm.org.
Watch the winning film below.