TV video spots with puppets

Very popular and funny
Ten short stories on youth, health, unemployment, corruption in Mozambique; created and played with puppets of young Mozambican people.

Past history

puppetsWhen I took on a project on HIV, funded by GIZ / Health-Focus public development cooperation, the idea came up, among other things, to produce educational video clips about HIV. That was a challenge, how can you pack such a serious topic so that it is informative and educative without raising your uplifted foreboding?

As luck would have it, my old friend Wolfgang Schilke, an experienced puppeteer and camera man, visited me in Germany with a bottle of fine wine in his luggage. The wine was called “Old God” and after a few glasses came the realization – Thor equal – as with a hammer blow: “We do something with dolls!” That was the solution to the problem: a doll is allowed to say and do everything without too much to be taken seriously – and who can be mad at a doll when something unpleasant is said? “It will be like the Mupppet show, only for adults”, I thought to myself.

Back in Maputo

With this idea in mind, I soon flew back to more than 8100 km away Mozambique, more precisely to Maputo, the capital of the country. There I was excited about introducing the idea – and it was enthusiastically received.
There were already a few young Mozambican actors casted which were immediately hooked on the idea and got to work soon. The puppets had to be made first, and how will it work? Soon, with great applause, the first puppet was ready and given a name; the others were finished unexpectedly quickly.

The production

Immediately Wolfgang and I started producing the video clips – the film always has time pressure. The jingle was created with the help of Mozambique’s well-known guitarist and composer Sergio Anilox Batas in my approximately seven-square-meter secretariat and filmed off the various episodes. It was fun, we were a great team!

The broadcast

Fortunately, a good contract could be negotiated with TVM (Televisão de Mozambique) – the spots were aired in the commercial breaks of the evening news – in the prime time from 20:00! “Peixe-Peixe“, who always knew the answer to all questions, quickly became a star and the TV commercials the absolute hit. “Did you see Peixe-Peixe last night?” You could quickly hear people asking all over the country! I really did not count on this success and it still fills me with joy and pride to have created something and to have entertainingly spread knowledge and education about one of the most terrible diseases of our time.

Further information

Here is the jingle with the title song “We want to live!”:

And here are two spots:

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