Untitled Global Health Documentary
MOUNTAINS BEYOND MOUNTAINS, Tracey Kidder’s Pulitzer-prize winning bestseller, made a kind of reluctant global health rock star out of the quietly charismatic Dr. Paul Farmer. Treating drug-resistant TB in Haiti, he and his partners openly defied the global public health care system by insisting on curing a disease that conventional wisdom said was incurable under the circumstances. Since that time, they’ve gone on to work in thirteen additional countries, significantly advancing the idea of health care as a human right throughout the world. Kief Davidson and Cori Stern’s documentary will go deeper into the story of PIH and their partners, to portray a range of remarkable and very human characters working in the field of global health care and social justice.
In the world of international development, success equals “sustainability, ” which usually means “economically feasible for a given population.” But Dr. Farmer and PIH focus on outcome: what will truly heal a patient regardless of inconvenience or cost. If a patient has tuberculosis and a leaky roof that contributes to their poor health, the PIH prescription is world-class TB medicine, a community health care worker monitoring daily progress, and a new roof, period. PIH – and their partners - view health care as a human right, and believes that we each have a moral imperative to act on that belief, no matter the cost. This view has become highly controversial: life-saving medicine and expensive technologies are commonplace in the West, but virtually unavailable to the world’s poor. Public health care and social equity are inextricably linked; and this film will tell the story of the doctors, nurses and patients who battle disease under difficult circumstances and overcome enormous obstacles to consistently connect even the poorest patients to the care they need.
When the earthquake hit Haiti – devastating all the major hospitals – Partners In Health immediately stepped in and became the fastest-responding, most coordinated organization on the ground – staffed primarily by 120 Haitian doctors and 500 Haitian nurses, many of whom lost their families, homes, and entire communities. In the massive media attention that followed, PIH became know in the mainstream. Meryl Streep even mentioned them at the Oscars. Suddenly a relatively obscure charity was heralded in the mainstream press. Following the success of Kidder’s book, the PIH team may have shied away from a documentary camera crew focusing on their work. But an in-depth film could reach exponentially more people with this remarkable approach to pulic health that defies expectation. Since producer Cori Stern is also a social entrepreneur, working in Liberia and Rwanda she’s connected with PIH as a person dedicated to poverty alleviation. Partnering with Kief Davidson who brings a stunning visual and a compassionate eye to direction, they are the right team to capture this multi-faceted story of one of the world’s leading health care innovators.
Director: Kief Davidson
Kief Davidson is an award-winning feature film and documentary director, whose latest film Kassim the Dream, about a former child soldier turned boxing champion, premiered at the 2008 Tribeca film festival and won over 10 international film festivals including: AFI Fest - Best Documentary and Audience Award, and the Silver Docs award at AFI/Silver Docs film festival. Additionally, Kassim was nominated by the IDA for Best Feature and was released theatrically by IFC Films. His prior film, The Devil's Miner, won over 15 awards at festivals including Tribeca, Hot Docs, and Chicago. He received the FIPRESCI Award, the DGA Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Directing and won the PBS Independent Lens Audience Award. The Devil's Miner sold to over 45 countries and screened theatrically in over 200 cinemas internationally.
Producer: Cori Sheperd Stern
Cori Shepherd Stern divides her time between international NGO work and producing film. Her credits include The Arizona Project for Miramax, script by Sheldon Turner, Ben Affleck directing. The film is based on true events in 1970’s Arizona, which lead to 19 indictments of major crime figures and shut down mob activity in Goldwater’s Arizona. Cori is also executive producing Warm Bodies for Summit, written and directed by Jonathan Levine. Additionally, Cori is known for her work as a social entrepreneur and innovative strategist for poverty alleviation. Her projects have been featured on BBC, NPR, and Oprah. She was named by ABC World News as “Person of the Week” and O Magazine as “Good Guy of the Month.”
Social Entrepreneur: Partners in Health
We are driven by three goals: to care for our patients, to alleviate the root causes of disease, and to share lessons learned with other countries and NGOs. We bring the benefits of modern medicine to those most in need and work to alleviate the crushing economic and social burdens of poverty that exacerbate disease.
PIH believes in 5 fundamental principles:
- Providing universal access to primary health care
- Making healthcare and education free to the poor
- Hiring and training community health workers
- Fighting diseases mean fighting poverty
- Partnering with local and national governments