Indian Filmmakers To Make Short Films To Raise HIV/AIDS Awareness
Four directors from the Indian film industry, known as Bollywood, will direct four low-budget, 12-minute films in an effort to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS in the country, Reuters Health reports. The films will be shown before full-length films staring well-known actors, filmmaker Mira Nair said on Monday. "The idea is to piggyback on blockbusters to spread AIDS awareness," Nair said, adding, "We want to use cinema (against AIDS) so that it holds a mirror to the world and gets under your skin" (Zaheer, Reuters Health, 1/22). The other directors involved in the initiative -- which is called AIDS Jaggo and is part of Mirabai Films -- are Santosh Sivan, Farhan Akthar and Vishal Bhardwaj. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will fund the films as part of its Indian HIV/AIDS initiative, called Avahan (Asia-Pacific News Agencies, 1/22). Two of the films will be made in Hindi, and the other two will be made in south India languages, such as Tamil, according to a release (Reuters Health, 1/22). The films will be permanently linked to full-length films shown at Indian cinemas and international film festivals (Asia-Pacific News Agencies, 1/22). The films are expected to be released as early as September, according to PTI/Hindustan Times (PTI/Hindustan Times, 1/23). According to Nair, many actors are hesitant to become involved with films that address HIV/AIDS. "Lots of stars don't want to be associated with the virus," she said, adding, "Some live and don't learn." Bollywood in the last few years has made two full-length films on HIV/AIDS but neither was successful, Reuters Health reports (Reuters Health, 1/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.