On World TB Day, the Stop TB Partnership, in collaboration with the Graduate Institute's Global Health Centre, organized the premiere of the feature film 'The Lucky Specials'. The screening was followed by an animated Q&A with producer Aric Noboa and was attended by nearly 100 guests.
The film tells the story of an aspiring cover band from a small South African mining town. As the band members are affected by tuberculosis, the story takes a dramatic turn. Doused in sweeping rhythms and set against the backdrop of a blossoming love story, the movie seeks to offer the audience scientific information about TB, its treatment, and tools to fight the stigma related to the disease. Although young people are the primary target audience of the film, participants highlighted that it constitutes a useful tool for all those working in the field of TB, and showed great interest in organising further screenings.
The Lucky Specials premiered in Johannesburg in February of this year, and was shown for the very first time to a Swiss audience on World TB Day. The movie was very well-received and followed by a chat with producer Aric Noboa, of Discovery Learning Alliance, who expanded on the awareness raising potential of the film and the hoped impact the movie can have in combating TB. Among others, it was stressed that clever marketing is a key element to reach a wider public: for instance, the acquisition of distribution rights by TV channels and the subsequent integration of the film into their broadcasting programmes can contribute to the credibility of the film and attract viewers with no prior interest in the topic. The nature of the disease also facilitates a wide distribution, as it does not talk about any taboo subjects. This was not the case for the feature length film ‘Inside Story’ on HIV/AIDS previously produced by Discovery Learning Alliance. The film was nevertheless broadcast to over 330 million people in Africa.
Also on World TB Day this year, the Stop TB Partnership launched the global challenge "Light up the World for TB". The Stop TB Partnership and partner organizations worked together with local authorities all over the world to light up their landmarks in red on 24 March 2017 to show their commitment towards ending TB. The action was very successful with 31 cities in 13 countries lighting up their landmarks in red during the night of World TB Day. The challenge followed on from the success seen last year when the cities of Barcelona and Rio de Janeiro illuminated key monuments in red.
Written by the Stop TB Partnership for the GHC newsletter
Photo: video frame, The world lit up for TB!