In an extraordinary demonstration of creative energy and enthusiasm for telling public health stories, the second edition of the Health for All Film Festival has attracted nearly 1200 short film submissions – both amateur and professional – from 110 countries. These have now been shortlisted to 15 to 16 titles in each of the three competition categories: Universal Health Coverage, Health emergencies, and Better health and well-being.

“Telling stories is as old as human civilisation », said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “It helps to inspire, motivate, build empathy and share problems so we can find and share solutions together. Everything WHO does is about stories, because everything we do is about people. We’re excited about the quantity and quality of entries in this year’s Health for All Film Festival. Ultimately, we hope the festival is not just a way to tell stories, but to change the arc of people’s stories around the world, towards better health.”

The shortlisted films can be viewed by the public as of today through Youtube playlists available on the Festival’s website as well as WHO’s Youtube channel. The public is invited to post comments and questions on the short films and a selection of these questions will be featured during online award ceremonies in May.

The following distinguished professionals, artists and activists have agreed to join four WHO senior experts to form the Festival jury: Eugenio Derbez (Actor from Mexico); Dr Leyla Hussein (Psychotherapist from Somalia and activist on gender rights); Martin Fernando Jakobsen (Director of NGO Turning Tables from Denmark, and activist for youth empowerment); Sonia Lowman (Documentary Film Director from USA), Milica Momcilovic (President of World Federation of Science Journalists, from Serbia); and Vithika Yadav (Human rights activist from India). 

In the coming weeks, jurors will review the shortlisted films and recommend winners to WHO’s Director-General, who will make the final decision.

Three “GRAND PRIX” will be announced on 13 May during a press conference followed by a series of online ceremonies with winners and jurors.

WHO also plans to award three special prizes: a student-produced film, a health educational film aimed at youth, and a Health Equity Film to pay tribute to the theme of the World Health Day campaign in 2021.

For more details on the official selection, the jury composition and further information, visit https://www.who.int/film-festival



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