Date: December 2005
Location: Malawi
Distributor: BBC News and Internet
Credits: directed, filmed and partly edited by Claudio von Planta
UNICEF and the BBC hired me to film an HIV/Aids fact finding tour in Malawi with actor and UNICEF ambassador Ewan McGregor.

This report focuses on orphanages, hospitals and educational centers. The BBC medical correspondent Fergus Walsh used my footage for a news report. In addition, I edited several short TV and Web advertising clips for UNICEF’s fund raising campaigns.
Production Notes:

The HIV/AIDS ravages in Africa were not new to me. In April 2005 I spent one month in Zambia where I filmed LIVING WITH AIDS, a 52 minute Sorious Samura documentary for Channel 4 (UK). We filmed in a hospital where HIV/AIDS patients died every day. But in Malawi I was particularly touched by the fate of Aids orphans.
I captured a short sequence where Ewan visits a household of 3 children who lost both parents. It was the most extreme example of social breakdown and survival struggle. A 10 year old boy had to look after a 2 year old baby and a 12 year old epileptic brother. They lived in extreme filth under a leaking roof where they were trying to cook a stew. It was sickening to realise that these three children were completely left on their own and couldn’t count on much help from the community around them. Unicef might be their only hope. But I wondered how many other children must be living in similar desperation without us ever hearing about it. The cruelty of nature seems to have no limits.


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