India’s young filmmakers give a global voice to viral hepatitis survivors

14 Dec 2016 Tara Farrell

Today, media charity tve today launches four powerful films that give voice to five individuals in India who have survived viral hepatitis, one of the world’s most deadly diseases. Student filmmakers in India won four bursaries for the productions, part of an innovative new public health venture by tve, supported by Wellcome and the World Hepatitis Alliance.

Through vivid and moving testimonies, the four films tell personal stories of viral hepatitis, a disease which affects 400 million globally and kills 1.4 million each year, and how new medical advancements are offering the real possibility of eliminating this global killer in our lifetime.

The four films are: 

The young filmmakers capture how the hepatitis B vaccine is protecting families; how new hepatitis C drugs are conquering the virus; the impact of falling drug prices; and the ongoing battle to persuade those infected to turn to medicine rather than traditional healers.

The films receive their first public screenings today in Lucknow, north India, at the Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, to an audience of students, media, academics and grassroots health organisations. A second screening in Lucknow is planned for 21 December. Bursary winners will take part in question and answer sessions at both screenings about their experiences in creating the films. The event is available via live stream on Facebook at 

tve brought together leading hepatologists and student filmmakers in two two-day workshops, before giving the students the chance to pitch their ideas in a competition to win the bursaries.

tve teamed up with the Mass Communications Department at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University in Lucknow, and the School of Media and Cultural Studies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai. In Lucknow, tve is working with Dr Rakesh Aggarwal and Dr Amit Goel at the Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences. In Mumbai tve works with Dr Samir Shah at the Institute of Liver Diseases, Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgery and Transplant at the Global Hospital, and Dr Akash Shukla at Seth G.S. Medical College and King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital.