Healthcare Takes to Film in Year-Round Festivals

The Seventh Annual Media That Matters Film Festival is the "premiere showcase for short films on the most important topics of the day." The organization's events are filled with inspiring topics related to health and health advocacy.

The Seventh Annual Media That Matters Film Festival is the “premiere showcase for short films on the most important topics of the day. Local and global, online and in communities around the world, Media That Matters engages diverse audiences and inspires them to take action."

Every June, Media That Matters presents a new collection of twelve film shorts. The festival launches in New York City with a World Premiere at the IFC Center and an Awards Ceremony at HBO where every filmmaker is honored and many receive cash awards sponsored by major foundations and corporations.

The organization’s events are not limited to the month of June, however. Rather, the calendar year is filled with inspiring topics related to health and health advocacy.

Some examples of health issues covered by the organization, MediaRights, include teenage pregnancy, sexual transmitted diseases, nutrition, and drug abuse, to name a few.

How are these films chosen? By a select group of “jury members” including educators, writers, and actors deemed worthy of choosing 16 official films to showcase at the Festival. This year’s event will be held Wednesday, May 28.

In other festival news, and on a perhaps lesser scale, film festivals around the country are and have been spotlighting healthcare news in an aim to better educate viewers. The 2008 Alpinist Film Festival of Wyoming is one such example, held this past January to raise money for the non-profit organization SurfAid International—a Medical aid organization working to improve the health of the Mentawai people. The mission of SurfAid is to improve the health of people living in isolated regions connected to us through surfing.

Other film festivals, like Sundance’s January event, have an almost unsearchable amount of movies worth checking out, many of which could focus on health issues, but it would take you just as long to sort through them as it would to actually watch them. Either way, if you’re a film lover, there’s something for you here. And if you’re lucky, you can obtain a little information in the entertainment.