Scientists from EuroStemCell, an EU-funded stem cell research consortium, produced the short documentary “A Stem Cell Story” in collaboration with Edinburgh-based filmmakers. The international jury was impressed by director Cameron Duguid’s hand-drawn animations, and cited the film’s clarity and scientific accuracy as important factors in reaching their decision. Brussels-based diabetes researcher Professor Daniel Pipeleers, who features in the film, says: “pan-European collaboration is needed to develop cell therapy for major diseases, and gave us this exciting possibility to communicate current scientific ideas and clinical perspectives to both the scientists of tomorrow and the patients of today.” Executive Producer and Docspace Director Amy Hardie adds: “When scientists and filmmakers work together, the results can be compelling. From our experience as UK partner to CinemaNet Europe screening documentaries to European audiences we know there is a discerning audience that is hungry to see intelligent, visual films like this.” Tromsø contest judges liked the way pupils and teachers were involved in shaping the film – early cuts were screened to high school biology classes, and their feedback helped determine the final version. The film is accessible to non-specialist audiences, and has already proved popular with teachers and patient organisations looking to kickstart lessons and discussions about stem cell research. It’s 15 minutes long, is available on DVD in six European languages, and can be ordered online from www.eurostemcell.org.
Belgium, Switzerland, United Kingdom