May 21, 2012

Berman Bioethics Institute films win awards at Houston festival

Educational documentaries from the Vision of Hope series produced by the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics have been honored by multiple awards, most recently the Houston International Film & Video Festival, one of the oldest competitive film festivals in the world.

Gail Geller, who co-directed the Vision of Hope project with Cynda Rushton, both core faculty members of the Berman Institute, said that the films “generate the content of curricula and spark discussions that are integral to pediatric palliative care training sessions for clinicians working with patients and families affected by chronic, life-limiting conditions.” Geller is a professor in the School of Medicine; Rushton, a professor in the School of Nursing.

Living With Sickle Cell Disease: They Don’t Believe Me won the Houston festival’s Platinum Remi Award in the Medical/Health/Fitness/Wellness category. Like all the short films in the series, it is aimed at improving quality of care and giving new hope to adolescents, young adults and families affected by chronic life-threatening diseases by training their clinicians in the principles and practices of pediatric palliative care. The film was produced in collaboration with core faculty members Carlton Haywood Jr. and Mary Catherine Beach, both research experts on the ethical issues surrounding sickle cell disease treatment. The film also received a 2011 CINE Golden Eagle Award.

“Living with the pain and other serious medical complications of sickle cell disease becomes even more frustrating and emotionally painful when health care providers don’t believe the patient’s reports of their pain experience,” Haywood says. “This film sheds light on the impact of these added burdens on patients, and I think the awards it’s won highlight just how powerful and moving it is to hear about these experiences from the patients themselves.”

Living With Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: Many Faces of Hope, was also honored by a CINE Golden Eagle, as well as a Gold Remi Award in Houston. A third film in the series, Living With Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: An Uncertain Future, was honored by a Bronze Remi Award at the Houston festival and a Bronze Telly Award in 2011.

The documentaries were directed by Nigel Noble of Magic Lantern Media.