SEE THE KIDS is an ambitious advocacy project aiming to raise awareness about children exposed to domestic violence. The project has evolved from the award-winning documentaries - MY LIFE MY LESSON and SAY SOMETHING - two films adding perspective and depth to one and other, while forming the core of an extensive public discussion on the need of support and treatment, and legislative changes.
SEE THE KIDS is an advocacy project evolving from two well-received films and an extensive outreach project produced by FILM AND TELL. SEE THE KIDS focuses on children witnessing domestic violence. One in ten children sees, hears or knows that their mother is being beaten by their father. During the 70´s researchers found that witnessing domestic violence as a child can cause the same - and sometimes worse - trauma as being physically abused. Exposed children have an enhanced risk of emotional behavioural problems, and often display depression, angst, aggression and other symptoms of trauma. A common consequence is PTSD - a diagnosis mostly discussed in post-war treatment of soldiers. During the 80’s the issue became part of the child rights movements agenda and from the 90’s it has entered the politic discussion. Today five states in the US have criminalized the act of exposing a child to the witnessing of domestic violence. SEE THE KIDS' foundation is a documentary diptych on children witnessing violence – MY LIFE MY LESSON and SAY SOMETHING – by director Åsa Ekman, editor Anders Teigen and producer Oscar Hedin. MY LIFE MY LESSON deals with the child’s relation to the perpetrator (the father), while SAY SOMETHING investigates the child’s relation to the victim (the mother). The films can be watched independently, or complement each other in a deeper understanding of the topic. The double-film is combined with extensive work of outreach and change; FILM AND TELL has partnered with ten NGOs representing more than 150 000 members and supporters. MY LIFE MY LESSON had world premiere at IDFA 2014 (selected for competition). It has participated in several festivals since, and won NORDIC/DOCS (Best Nordic Feature). It had theatrical release in March 2015 and received very good reviews. The Swedish major paper Svenska Dagbladet wrote: "If this was a Ken Loach or an Andrea Arnold-picture we would praise the script for its dramatic but also delicate tone, and commend the naturalistic acting, especially the girl playing Felicia, a finding matching Katie Jarvis in "Fish tank". Only this is reality." The film was nominated to a GULDBAGGE Award for Best Editing. Around MY LIFE MY LESSON the team has produced debate articles, screenings and seminars. So far the documentary has been seen by 6 230 persons at 123 screenings, from pupils to key decision-makers. The impact on the audience has been measured after the screenings. Nine out of ten felt they knew more about children exposed to domestic violence. Nine out of ten believed it was the same trauma for a child to be exposed as being physically abused. Nine out of ten believed we should invest in support and treatment in the exposed children. Nine out of ten believed we should criminalize children’s exposure of domestic violence. We built a network of screening organizers and gathered the email addresses of people we met during our work. SAY SOMETHING was released at IDFA 2015 (official selection), is selected for competition at the Swedish Premiere at TEMPO Documentary Film Festival, and will be released at Swedish theatres in March 2016. In working with this film we will reuse the methods, knowledge and networks of the work with MY LIF MY LESSON. In March FILM AND TELL launches SEE THE KIDS. The team shall keep the level of distribution of the two titles, and start to work with real change in Sweden. SEE THE KIDS aims at three goals: to continue to reach awareness, to point out the need of treatment and support for the exposed children, and to advocate for the use of existing laws and legislative changes. We've set specific and measurable goals. The Swedish project has full-time employed personel, knowledge, a grass root movement and a strong organisation which will enable the campaign to continue until at least 2024. FILM AND TELL will continue to build a strong and effective project in Sweden as well as in other countries, and further down the road on a global level. SEE THE KIDS is produced by FILM AND TELL - a film company working in the field of Film for Social Change. The topics range from rare diagnoses to child marriages. We work with shorts, features and we produce film festivals on various topics. FILM AND TELL is one of the few producers globally that keep a permanent department of outreach and change.