The taking hepatitis science to communities through film workshops took place in 2016 and early 2017 in Lucknow and Mumbai. In attendance were some of India’s leading communicators and medical practitioners. They worked with students during two-day intensive workshops, and continued to mentor during the three months of filming and production.
Each contributed something essential: filmmaking expertise; knowledge of the latest developments in hepatitis; the best of journalistic practice. The films themselves – deeply personal, beautifully shot, and effective with audiences – are a testament to the benefits of this collaboration.
But it was not only the audience that learned from the films. Both students and communications and medical mentors also learned. Students spoke to us about their interest in working in the field of public-health communications.
‘I believe that the programme was a success in a primary objective: to veer young communications students in a developing country towards public-health journalism.’
– Dr Rakesh Aggarwal, hepatologist
‘We found new ways to tell stories about health. Working collaboratively with other students, doctors, a seasoned journalist and a filmmaker was a good learning experience.’
– Rupam Saxena, workshop participant
‘The interaction between the student participants, the mentors and medical experts was remarkable. This reflected not only the potential of Films for Change, but also the students’ excitement in using film to bring awareness about public health.’
– C. Suchindran, filmmaker and mentor in Films for Change workshops
‘It was a privilege to be part of Films for Change. I have been writing on public health for more than two decades and have mentored students in India and abroad. This was the first time I had the opportunity to work alongside medical doctors as mentors.
‘It was a fantastic opportunity for medical professionals and communications specialists, including students, to understand each other’s language, idiom and concerns. The presence of the doctors right through the event contributed vastly in getting the technical details right from the start to the finish.’
– Patralekha Chatterjee, health journalist and Films for Change mentor