In a household where mealtimes are a delightful feast full of bonding, fellowship, good eating; 3 members of a tightly knit family are diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus. 3 Teaspoons of Sugar chronicles their individual experiences living with Diabetes.

The film follows the “3 Teaspoons©” as they interact with their family members during meals, as they undergo treatment for their diabetic complications and as they live to do better with their diabetic journey.

It is a short dramedy animated medical film denoting the complication of Diabetes for purposes of educating the public on the complications for Diabetes and reducing the risk of complications.

Director’s and Producer’s Statements:

Why did we make this film?
Director: We were encouraged by a friend and mentor - Comfort Arthur of the African Animation Network - to take a leap and make a short film to build up our industry presence for our budding studio. We create medical animation at Cabblow Studios so we wanted to create a story around a medical topic that hasn't had as much publicity as topics such as HIV/AIDS & TB (especially in South Africa). Diabetes naturally came up as a topic - thanks to Dr T our Director of Medical Animation. We thought it was a fitting topic because of how close to home the disease is to us personally.

Producer: This film in particularly was made after we saw the catastrophe that diabetes has caused in our family and the need to showcase what happens if Diabetes is not managed properly to the public as the tsunami of Diabetes that we are experiencing in South Africa, has not been given the attention it deserves and more people are living and dying from Diabetes that HIV and TB and malaria combined.

Our inspiration:

Director: We were inspired by our own families. 3 Teaspoons of Sugar© is a symbolic representation of the three main characters in the story who have had Diabetes. They are based off of women in my own family - my great grandmother Lala, my grandmother Mama K and my aunt The Sue.

When I was in my final year of university studying how to create Animation I stumbled upon a new genre - animated documentaries. I actually made a short animated documentary around the Christian faith at that time. When it was time to create this film I saw it fit to turn it into an animated docu-drama while also keeping it true to the medical side of things.

Producer: I have also always endeavoured to educate my patients and my family about medical conditions, about surgical procedures they were going to have and health in general. I get frustrated when a patient presents to me with huge scars of previous operations done and they have no knowledge what has been done to them. I have always wanted patients and my family to be more knowledgeable about their medical conditions so much so that my family members will always call me to explain and re-describe conditions or procedures after consulting with my colleagues elsewhere. I did not know that animation would be the way to do it. I was pushed by God into working in animation. It was never my plan or my intent. I woke up to an idea to work with my daughter when she was first looking at what strategy to follow for animation and whoala, we have our very 1st medical animation film!!

Things I'm proud of about this film:

1. Our all female team of animators and producers
2. The film is Hand Drawn!!!
3. It's our first official short film produced by Cabblow Studios
4. We used the real life voices of Mama K, The Sue and other additional characters in the film - how cool!
5. All of the support from family, the South African government and both the film and medical industries

What do I hope to achieve with this film?

Director: Making this movie made me realize how nonchalant and ignorant I've been regarding Diabetes and I'd like for it to do the same for anyone else who gets to watch the movie. I also want people to see how extreme the effects of Diabetes can be and how family support is paramount in dealing with the illness. It's not an over night change, but I do hope that after watching the film people will have a sense of urgency to become more conscious of what they eat and their overall physical health - especially because Diabetes is preventable!

Producer: That Diabetes will be given more airtime than it is currently getting and that more people will start eating healthily, exercising regularly and going for regular and routine check ups, and more importantly that those who have been diagnosed with Diabetes will ensure that they delay the onset of complications.

How long did it take for the movie to be made?

Director: So long!!
Producer: The idea of a medical animation short film came after we attended the Caper Town International Film Festival in March of 2019 and the pre-production of the film commenced after securing our very 1st production sponsor which was in May of 2019. The movie was completed on the November 2019.

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