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WHF film about RHD in Mozambique wins special prize at the Health for All Film Festival

14 May 2021

Our film The Beat of Change: Rheumatic Heart Disease in Mozambique, which tells the story of a young mother struggling with the consequences of RHD, has been selected as the winner of the special prize for Health Equity at the World Health Organization (WHO) Health for All Film Festival.

“This is a wonderful film, it’s beautifully made and beautifully shot, and it really does show the challenge of health equity. Here we have a disease that is clearly inequitable: nobody in the world should have rheumatic heart disease, it’s easily preventable with a cheap intervention. But due to the inequities we have in terms of access to health services many people in the world still have this problem, which greatly affects their lives and even causes death. The film very clearly shows this challenge, but it’s also a hopeful film. It shows a young woman taking control and, through getting treatment, being able to take agency, live the life she wants to lead, being able to raise her daughter, so there is a lot of hope. It shows that health inequity is not an intractable challenge, but there are choices we can make to support people to lead healthier lives and to create a fairer world,” said Kumanan Rasanathan, WHO’s Health Equity Unit Lead.

Dr Ana Mocumbi, a cardiologist from Mozambique and one of the film’s protagonists, accepted the award on behalf of the World Heart Federation: “It’s truly a pleasure to be honoured with this prize, for me and for my colleagues at the World Heart Federation. Being a cardiologist from Mozambique, one of the poorest countries in the world, it gives us great pleasure to have been a part of a film that has now won this prize. The World Heart Federation is striving for equity, so it means a lot for us to be selected in this category”, said Dr Ana Mocumbi, one of the film’s protagonists, who accepted the award on behalf of the World Heart Federation.

This year’s Health for All Film Festival received nearly 1,200 submissions from 110 countries. The Festival jury was composed of critically-acclaimed artists from the film and music industries, along with WHO senior experts. The jury recommended winners to WHO’s Director-General, who made the final decision.

Watch the film below:

Watch all the shortlisted films here.

Watch the award ceremony here.