Tread Carefully: Mine Awareness in Southeast Asia

Tread Carefully filming in action

FilmAid’s work on the Thai-Myanmar Border, reaches thousands of refugees with its on-going screenings.  Audience figures stand at well over 438,000 viewings.

In 2013, FilmAid was more than willing to partner with Handicap International to provide a vital public service and information dissemination. Our mission, to inform those who live in the Mae La Camps of Thailand how to avoid life threatening contact with land mines and ERWs (explosive remnants of war) and what to do if you encounter them.  More than 3,000 people have been killed or injured along the Thai-Myanmar border as a result of these in recent years. In fact, across the entirety of this 2,000 kilometre-long border, it is estimated 70 per cent of the ground has been sown with mines.

In order to pass on this information, FilmAid produced Tread Carefully. This 50-minute film tells the story of two young brothers and the care they must take to arrive safely at their grandfather’s village on the other side of the mountain.

After two months of script development, casting, location scouting and rehearsals, refugee filmmakers jumped into filming. Conditions were difficult - 100-degree heat, a time consuming relocation after the set burnt down, and a production that hobbled along when the main actor sprained his ankle. But refugee filmmakers learned that it’s all part of the process.FilmAid’s mine risk education film Tread Carefully has now been screening in all 9 camps along the border as part of a campaign to prevent land mine accidents. Reports say it will take over 50 years to clear the land mines along the border, but the impact of our film and outreach efforts alongside Handicap International will undoubtedly have a lasting positive impact.  Tread Carefully has received over 90,000 viewings in all nine camps.

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