A faith-inspired video highlighting the effects on knife crime on families in Birmingham has won a major international award by the United Nations.
The 3-minute video, Knife Crime – A Mother’s Story, shows the devastating impact of knife crime on the families of victims and perpetrators.
Produced by the Bahu Trust in partnership with West Midlands Police, it was awarded the Best Film award in the Safe Cities category at the UN Habitat Better Cities Film Festival held in Abu Dhabi this month (February 2020).
The film festival was part of the Tenth World Urban Forum, the world’s largest and most important conference on urban issues which attracts thousands of delegates from around the world.
The Bahu Trust, based in Balsall Heath Birmingham, developed the film as part of a campaign to highlight and tackle knife crime and domestic abuse in the local community. The videos feature local volunteers acting in scenarios showing the effects of violent crime on families.
The initiative was supported by West Midlands Police Community Safety Partnership and local community groups and produced by Matt Cannon from Planet X Concept Creation Ltd who heavily subsidised the production as part of his social responsibility.
The films were initially launched in November 2019 on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Shabana Parveen, from the Bahu Trust, said “this was a great example of a faith led event where women were at the forefront of the campaign and in the videos, as they are often the ones who have to bear the consequences of violent crime.
“The Bahu Trust is working with partners and exploring innovative faith-based approaches to tackle violent crime in Sparkbrook, an issue which is sadly all too prevalent in our city,” she said.
“It’s not just the victims’ families who suffer – perpetrators often don’t realise the effects their actions have on their own loved ones.
“It’s crucial that we all work collectively to combat the rise in violence and also to promote the message of strength, unity and solidarity, which is why the support of the police and the local community is invaluable.
The script was developed by a group of local people that were brought together by the Bahu Trust; all the actors are local people who volunteered to act, and others gave up their homes to use as filming locations. It’s a good example of members of the community coming together.
“We’re delighted at the international recognition that their efforts have received and we hope it can inspire families around the world into tackling violence in the home and among young people.”
Announcing the award Chris Elisara, spokesman for the UN Habitat Better Cities Film Festival said: “We’re excited that this film, by winning this award, will be able to help address this issue around the world, that there will be communities in Auckland, New Zealand; Detroit, Michigan; in France, that can be inspired by this film that comes from the community of Birmingham.”
Insp. Neil Kirkpatrick, of the neighbourhood policing unit and who was very supportive of the video awareness campaign said “I am delighted to hear that Bahu Trust have won an International award for their knife crime video. The trust work in partnership with West Midlands Police on a number of local issues and continue to push the boundaries on innovation and new ideas to tackling local crime, as well as raising community awareness. This award will ensure that an initiative to tackle knife crime in Birmingham can be utilised by other major cities across the globe”
Yasmeen Begum who plays on of the mother’s in the film said “as a mother, and as somebody who has experienced the effects that knife crime can have on families, I am extremely pleased to see the recognition that Bahu Trust has received in the form of this award. I have complete faith that this recognition will prompt a much needed discussion within communities and families to show that the impact of such actions will be immeasurable and continuous.”