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First International Cancer Film Festival Announces Finalists

Global Line-up Drawn From Over 250 Entries

GENEVA, Switzerland, July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The finalists for Reel Lives: The Cancer Chronicles, the first ever international documentary film competition on cancer, are announced today in a line-up that includes 2007 Oscar winner Freeheld and many other remarkable films from 16 countries worldwide. The finalists were chosen from an impressive group of over 250 entries from 40 countries.

The festival will take place 28-30 August during the World Cancer Congress in Geneva. It is organised by the International Union Against Cancer (UICC), the leading international non-governmental organisation dedicated exclusively to global cancer control. The festival aims to raise awareness of the complex realities of cancer globally, to shatter taboos and myths surrounding the disease, and to challenge stigma. Reel Lives pays tribute to those whose lives have been impacted by cancer, and provides them with the opportunity to tell their story to a global audience through the creative medium of film.

"We are delighted with the calibre and variety of entries that we have received for this inaugural festival, and narrowing the finalists down to 33 from over 250 submissions has been more difficult than any of us ever imagined," says Isabel Mortara, UICC executive director. "Each film relates to the experience of cancer but content and creative execution varies wildly. Many films challenge preconceptions about what it means to live with cancer. They tap into the full range of human emotions, even humour. I have great admiration for anyone who has not only the courage to fight the disease but also to share his or her experience with us on film. These films are nothing less than a celebration of life."

The programme for the festival will include 15 public service announcements, 10 personal stories, four reportage films, and four educational films. The finalist films are attached.

"The launch of this film festival is significant, especially to anyone who has been touched by cancer," says Academy Award winner Cynthia Wade, director of the film Freeheld, which tells the story of a dying police officer who fights to transfer her pension to her domestic partner. "The Reel Lives festival brings the world's attention to what it means to live with cancer and frames its significant social impact around the world."

The finalists were selected by an international programming committee and will be judged for the competition by a jury panel made up of a cancer survivor, a patient advocate, a cancer organisation representative, a noted oncologist, a communication expert and a health journalist. Monetary prizes will be awarded, with a Grand Prize of US $10,000.

The festival's lead sponsor is GlaxoSmithKline Oncology. Additional sponsors of the festival include PPD Inc., PharmaNet and The Loterie Romande.

The festival will include opening and closing celebrations and three days of screenings. For more information please visit the festival website:

Public Service Announcements

Fashion to Die For (Australia)

To Heal a Child (Brazil)

Tragedias (Mexico)

Shadow (Israel)

Access to Care (USA)

I Beat Cancer (USA)

Any Questions? (Canada)

Basketball (Israel)

Bumblebee (Sweden)

Chips (Israel)

How Long is a String? (Australia)

Hookah (Israel)

Don't Concede to Eye Cancer (India)

Smoke (Brazil)

Zita (Australia)

Personal Stories

Chrigu (Switzerland)

Transparent Time (Israel)

Breast Cancer Diaries (USA)

Crazy Sexy Cancer (USA)

Run For Life (Switzerland)

Dear Talula (USA)

Freeheld (USA)

The Art of Living (India)

A Gift: 12.5 cm (Taiwan)

Thuy's Dream (Vietnam)


Children Fighting Cancer (UK)

La Guerre Contre le Cancer (FR)

The Truth About Cancer (USA)

Kill or Cure (UK)


Lo Faccio 1000 Volte (Italy)

Les Enfants de L'Avenir (Morocco)

Tropic of Cancer (Croatia)

Emily's Story (USA)

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