Penn Medicine Doctor’s Stroke Film Makes WHO Film Festival Shortlist
PHILADELPHIA CREAM- A film directed by a physician from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine illustrating the importance of acting quickly to respond to the signs of a stroke has been shortlisted for the World Health Organization Health for All Film Festival. Appearing in the Universal Health Coverage category, “Wake Up Kick 120» was co-directed by Renyu Liu, MD, PhD, professor of anesthesiology and intensive care and neurology.
“We are extremely happy that the World Health Organization has selected our film,” Liu said. “Such an exposure will help us reach a wide audience on the world stage. Our hope is that this film will have a great impact in improving stroke awareness in the community.
The narrative short – based on a true story – follows an elderly man who lives alone and begins to experience the symptoms of a stroke but tries to get through it instead of calling emergency help. The plot details what led to this and the ensuing tragedy.
Liu’s co-director for the film is Jing Zhao, MD, PhD, a neurologist based at Minhang Hospital, affiliated with Fudan University in China, and an international researcher at Global Health Center at Penn. The film is a continuation of their efforts to educate the public on the importance of identifying and acting urgently in the event of a stroke. Their past efforts have included a campaign based on identifying stroke symptoms linked to 1-2-0 numbers, the emergency phone number used in China that is equivalent to 911.
“Although it was shot in Chinese, it has English subtitles, and we plan to add subtitles in other languages,” Liu said.
The Health for All Film Festival is in its third edition. This year, it received over a thousand submissions. The aim of the festival is to inspire filmmakers to “defend and promote global health issues”. Films from 110 countries have been submitted to the festival over the years. The juries that decide the winners of several different awards include actresses Emilia Clarke and Sharon Stone, and medical experts, such as Ren Minghui, MD, PhD, deputy director general of the WHO. The winners will be announced in mid-May.
those who watch”Wake Up Kick 120are encouraged to discuss the film on social media using #Film4health.
This isn’t the first time “Wake Up Stroke 120” has been recognized. Last year he won Best Narrative Short and Humanitarian Award at the 2021 New York International Film Festival. It is one of many films and videos that Liu and Zhao have put together.
“We aimed to bring vital stroke-related knowledge to more people in the public and raise awareness,” Liu said. “One of the approaches involves artistic work such as films. We have produced over 10 short videos, and one of the short videos has been translated into over 30 local dialects.
Liu and his team are also producing a new short video titled “Stroke 911for use in the United States and Canada. Like “Stroke 120,” the film links stroke signs and symptoms to 9-1-1 numbers, urging people to call an ambulance immediately when a stroke is suspected. The video is currently being produced in Chinese with English subtitles to help raise awareness of stroke among Chinese people living in the United States. The film is produced in collaboration with Xiaobin Li, MD, who completed her residency at Penn Medicine and is now an internal medicine physician in the Philadelphia area. It will be translated into other languages for others in the United States whose primary language is not English.
Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the first medical school in the country) and the University of Pennsylvania Health Systemwhich together make up a $9.9 billion business.
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