25 Minute Drama. Released on DVD

Director/Producer/Editing: Jane Thorburn

THE FAMILY LEGACY explores the impact that the birth of a child with Sickle Cell disease has on four generations of the same family. As they struggle with decisions around screening and overcome their misconceptions and superstitions the individual family members come to understand what the baby will mean for each of them.

The story is drawn from the real life experiences of people living with Sickle Cell and their carers.

Funded by the NHS Sickle Cell and Thalasaemia Screening programme THE FAMILY LEGACY takes the form of a 25 minute home video drama. The aim is to increase awareness and challenge taboos, superstitions and religious beliefs surrounding Sickle Cell disease without seeming confrontational to men or alienating different faith groups and generations.

Inspired by the popularity of Nigerian home video dramas I explored ways of creating a story that would appeal to the original target audience of West Africans living in London. The aims were to produce a programme that would motivate people to watch in their own homes and in normal social gatherings.


Public screenings

  • CLAPHAM PICTURE HOUSE - November 2008
  • Published by the NHS Sickle Cell Screening programme on DVD - November 2008
  • Screened at the ICA as part of BFM Film Festival - November 2009
  • URBAN FILM FESTIVAL - November 2009
  • CAMRI conference "Africa &Arab Media Audiences" - March 2009
  • SGUARDI ALTROVE film festival. Milan, Italy - March 2011
  • THE AFRICA CENTRE. Convent Garden. Screening & Q&A - July 4th 2011

Broadcast Television Transmissions. From October 2009

  • COMMUNITY CHANNEL multiple transmissions
  • HiTV multiple screenings
  • OHTV
  • BEN TV as part of interview on Princess of Arize show.
  • SLBC. Sierra Leone national TV as part of a human rights film festival.They aired the film and then had a moderated panel discussion afterwards on the human rights issues raised by the film and also had viewers texting in questions.
  • VOX AFRICA on-line show presented by Henry Bonsu 2010
  • BBC2. Clip shown as part 'Should I test my genes The Price of life' in context of screening in a Barber's shop. July 5th 2011
  • AFRICA CENTRE Screening and Q&A - 7th February 2012
  • BLACK HISTORY MONTH Screening & Q&A - 12 October 2012
  • Atlanta USA 12 - 16th March 2012

Documents prepared by the Sickle Cell Society for the NHS Sickle Cell Screening programme about the success and reach of the 'The Family Legacy' drama'

The great Nigerian director Tunde Kelani explains how ‘The Family Legacy’ inspired him to make his own film about sickle cell disease.


URL QR Code for