As much as needed, as long as needed
Staying the course is what it has taken to see River Blindness, a remote neglected tropical disease carried by the bites of black flies, slowly becoming a disease of the past.
In 1987, Merck committed to donate Mectizan – as much as needed, for as long as needed – with the goal to help eliminate river blindness. To celebrate the Mectizan Donation Program‘s 35th anniversary we went through our archives of footage, some filmed by us, some by scientists many years ago, and worked with a South African graphics artist to tell the story of 35 years of progress towards eliminating one of the most robust diseases known to mankind.
With a bespoke composed soundtrack and in-house voice-over, we managed condense 35 years into a powerful 3 and a half minutes!
The film was shown at the annual Mectizan Expert Committee meeting in Malawi in 2022, and since was sent out by MSD CEO Rob Davis to all their staff.
Diagnosis At Your Fingertips
A locally shot film, told by locals, for the wider world and putting the focus on how developments in technology now put diagnosis at your fingertips.
With travel restrictions in place we went to our trusted and incredibly hardworking contact, cameraman George Muiruri, who followed a day in the life with the team running this prototype test for schistosomiasis in Kwale, Kenya.
This is a good illustration of how we apply our approach of working with local film crew to make the most of their expertise and knowledge, whilst reducing the environmental footprint that film production has historically been associated with.
Leadership Against Neglected Tropical Diseases
Sightsavers had originally wanted to invite three community medicine distributors form around Africa to speak at the launch of the Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases Declaration, at the Natural History Museum in London, with the WHO and Gates Foundation amongst the delegates they wanted to communicate the success stories on the ground. However getting visas in such a short space of time ruled this out.
Wrangling with customs officers, visas and hugely long car journeys we filmed in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia over 10 days, where we travelled to the remotest regions to hear these people’s stories.
Hosted by Sightsavers and attended by over 200 people from across the pharma, donor and NGO sectors including the Gates Foundation and World Health Organisation, the film was used to launch a discussion on the importance of attaining the WHO 2020 goals for Neglected Tropical Diseases.
The Most Remote Corner of the Earth
In 2015, we were commissioned by Sightsavers to make a last-minute film in three countries in Africa: Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. Our brief: to look into the leadership built around the fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases. With footage captured on a chest-mount GoPro, we shot a ten-day trip that took us across Africa, and into the most remote corner of the Earth.
This film gives an insight into the packing, passports, shots, challenges and effort that goes into every Cloud9Media international trip.
Remote African Eye Surgery
With this film played at the United To Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases (UTCNTD) UN conference in 2015, we were proud to assist in providing this compelling story with a wider audience.
Charles and his remote eye surgery team (supported by Sightsavers and UTCNTDs) is on hand to find people with trachoma and transport them to the mobile eye surgery where they can be treated. A simple operation can be hugely effective, often restoring full sight. Equally importantly, health education work is being carried out in these regions to help prevention of trachoma, which is transmitted by flies, for future generations.
To film the story, we took a five-hour road trip from Nairobi to Kajiado County to work in dry and sometimes difficult shooting conditions. But it was truly inspiring to see the impact that this programme is having on individuals and families – people come in blind, and they leave with their vision restored. Thanks to the work of UTCNTDs, Sightsavers and The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, who support local healthcare teams, we think this is a truly awesome programme.
A Home for HIV Infected Children
Based in Kenya, Nyumbani is a charity that has developed a visionary solution to the legacy of HIV AIDS in Kenya. Through the love of a Catholic Sister, the charity has helped thousands of orphaned children face the huge challenges of making it to adulthood in a country where HIV is still a taboo with confidence, allowing these orphans to refill the gap left by previous generations wiped out by this disease.
The film was paid for by Hotcourses, one of their benefactors, to update board members like Jeremy Hunt on the life-changing work that goes on in this special place. We created several lengths of film for different purposes, and worked closely with the charity to ensure the creation of a sensitive and informative final product.
Community Investment – The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
They say never to work with children or animals. With baby elephants being over-friendly (and boy do they push!) filming at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust was no exception. Thankfully British Airways use their network of people, planes and goodwill to bring help to orphaned elephants in Kenya. It’s reassuring that large corporations can use their core skills to help more than just passengers.
An experience never to be forgotten.
Community Investment: The One Brand
Travelling for 2 days over miles of bumpy road to the most remote part of Northern Kenya, Turkana was well worth it just to witness the power of corporate charity partnership. Our focus on this film trip was to share how, with the help of British Airways flying out water pump parts, community investment by the One Brand has helped provide clean drinking water to isolated communities affected by drought and war, giving them the chance to live fulfilling and happy lives.
Our relationship with the One Brand has continued to this day.