Congratulations to Dr Agnieszka Piotrowska, Reader in Film at SODA, whose film ‘WASH’ has been selected as a finalist in the Wellbeing category of the World Health Organisation’s fourth Health for All Film Festival.

Produced in collaboration with scientists from the University of Edinburgh and funded by Strategic England 2021, WASH uses animation, drama and documentary to convey the challenges of dealing with viral diseases in different regions, in particular in Zimbabwe, and acts as an awareness-raising and advocacy tool, amplifying the stories of the women and children affected and calling for tailored interventions.

The film is intentionally multidisciplinary, combining various film approaches to appeal to different age groups, demonstrating the importance of WASH (standing for Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) for the control of waterborne diseases such as bilharzia (schistosomiasis); to highlight the importance of taking behavioural aspects into account for disease control; and to demonstrate the importance of context-relevant interventions, co-produced with affected populations.

Dr Agnieszka Piotrowska said, ‘It was a great experience to work on the film as it combined different disciplines both creatively and from an academic perspective. The film has been shown globally already and I am proud to have directed it.’

The University of Edinburgh’s Professor Francisca Mutapi, Professor in Global Health Infection and Immunity, Deputy Co-Director TIBA, added: ‘Health affects everyone so it is natural that health messaging is reflective of the diversity of the audience. To date, this interdisciplinary film, a combination of animation, documentary and drama has reached a wide audience that would not normally be reached by academic publications.’

Join the awards ceremony live on the World Health Organisation’s Twitter, Facebook from 4pm UK time on 6 June, 2023.