28 July 2016: On World Hepatitis Day global media charity tve announces the winners of four bursaries in India to help tackle, through film, one of the world’s most deadly diseases.
As the World Health Organization urges countries to take rapid action to improve knowledge about hepatitis, ‘Films for Change: taking hepatitis science to communities through film’ harnesses the power of film and the creativity of new young filmmakers in a bold new public-health venture supported by the Wellcome Trust and the World Hepatitis Alliance.
Forty-two student filmmakers in Lucknow and Mumbai pitched ideas to prestigious panels of communications and hepatitis experts to compete for the bursaries. The pitching took place during two two-day workshops attended by nearly 70 students, the first stage of an ambitious year-long project helping communities in these two Indian cities to combat one of the world’s most deadly, but little publicised diseases – viral hepatitis.
The winners are: Neelu Sharma and Shalini Srivastava, of the Mass Communications Department at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University in Lucknow, and Aditi Saraswat and Sameer Gardner, both from the School of Media and Cultural Studies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai.
‘Congratulations to the recipients of these bursaries,’ said Charles Gore, President of the World Hepatitis Alliance, and scientific advisor to the tve project. ‘This is exactly what is needed to raise awareness of viral hepatitis. Coincidentally, the World Hepatitis Day global event is taking place in India, where a global elimination movement called “NOhep” will be launched. Like these films, NOhep aims to raise awareness and deliver life-saving information to millions. Science has provided most of the answers to tackle viral hepatitis but initiatives like these can help eliminate it.’
The four films selected for production bursaries will engage audiences with the latest developments in bio-medicine through personal stories ranging from the impact of life-changing drugs to the daily experience of hepatitis, how society reacts to people with viral hepatitis and the difference diagnostics can make.
‘We are pleased to be supporting a project exploring such an important health issue with audiences in India,’ said Helen Latchem, international engagement advisor at the Wellcome Trust. ‘It is fantastic that it will result in creative short films which can be used to further discussion about hepatitis, while also helping junior researchers and young filmmakers develop their skills.’
‘The enthusiasm of participating filmmakers and the support of the doctors during the workshops confirms that the role tve is playing in bridging medical science and filmmaking is vital in public-health discourse,’ said Anshul Ojha from the tve team in South Asia.
The four winning films will be screened in Mumbai and Lucknow as part of panel discussions involving local communities, filmmakers and scientists. They will be shown during the World Hepatitis Summit in March 2017 in Sao Paulo, Brazil and available online.
Notes to editors
about tve: tve creates and enables others to create powerful, effective communications about the environment and development. Through film, animation, documentaries, debates and social media, we inspire change. From experienced filmmakers and aspiring vloggers telling environmental stories to business innovators showcasing cutting-edge sustainability, we help to give a voice to a new generation committed to a greener and fairer world. We inform, we spark debate, we inspire change. www.tve.org
about the Wellcome Trust: Wellcome exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. We’re a global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. We support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations and spark debate. www.wellcome.ac.uk/
about the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA): The World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) is a patient-led and patient driven non-governmental organisation (NGO). With over 230 member patient groups from 82 countries, WHA provides global leadership to drive action to help eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. Their aim is to work with governments, members and other key partners to support and elevate patient voices, to raise the profile of viral hepatitis and to help establish comprehensive hepatitis strategies which have robust prevention measures and access to affordable diagnostics and treatment. http://www.
About World Hepatitis Day: World Hepatitis Day is one of only four official disease-specific world health days recognised by WHO. World Hepatitis Day was launched by the World Hepatitis Alliance in 2008 in response to concern about the lack of priority for hepatitis as a global killer and became an official WHO day in 2010 at the 63rd World Health Assembly.
For World Hepatitis Day 2016 the World Hepatitis Alliance launched NOhep, a global movement aimed at uniting people from across the world to take action, to speak out and be engaged to ensure viral hepatitis is eliminated by 2030. In addition, NOhep provides a platform for the hepatitis community to share resources and materials so that actions can be taken to eliminate viral hepatitis. The fundamental objective of NOhep is to build awareness of viral hepatitis and the crucial role people can play, in their own lives, at more structural levels and in their communities, to help eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030. www.NOhep.org