Making change with impact films

Categories: Care and Opinion.

In November 2020, something extraordinary happened. The WHO adopted a global strategy to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer. One hundred and ninety-four countries came together to pledge their commitment to end cervical cancer for the next generation.

While it might sound like an impossible moonshot, by increasing access to HPV vaccination for adolescents, providing regular cervical screenings to all age-eligible women and ensuring palliative care is available to anyone diagnosed with advanced stage cervical cancer, it is achievable.

Still, turning the cervical cancer elimination dream into a reality is a monumental endeavour. This is why longtime public health advocates and impact film production house, Moonshine Agency, is capturing the journey through Conquering Cancera global advocacy campaign that has been created in partnership with some of the world’s leading cancer control organisations including the American Cancer Society, the UICC and Cancer Council Australia.

By now you might be wondering why a team of filmmakers would be so invested in cervical cancer elimination. Or how a film project could progress the cause – or any cause for that matter.

Plus if the resolution is already mandated by the WHO, what benefit would there be to documenting it on screen?

Here’s how it’s coming together.

Since launching in March 2021, Conquering Cancer has been advocating for countries, NGOs and communities to urgently introduce or upscale cervical cancer prevention programs to women in their region.

The campaign comprises a series of short films, written and visual communications and a feature documentary, which was released internationally on World Cancer Day 2022. Each piece weaves a triumphant message: through political and financial commitment from the global community, we can overcome the impossible and eliminate cervical cancer.

The feature film in particular knits a compelling narrative designed to engage, educate and inspire decision-makers worldwide to prioritise elimination and empower them to take action against this treatable disease.

As the campaign progresses, we will be measuring the number of decision makers activated, the prevention programs launched, the audiences reached and the level of grassroots engagement.

The film has already been screened in close to 80 countries and at dozens of industry conferences. The YouTube channel has amassed more than 225,000 views and several women have reached out to the campaign via social media to share their own experiences with cervical cancer.

That is the force of video storytelling.

While pushing for social change through film is a lofty goal, Moonshine Agency has partnered with trailblazers across the globe to produce purposeful content that mobilises audiences and gets noticed by policymakers, journalists and influencers.

Having created a number of impact film projects over the past decade, we’ve learned that moving pictures are a tremendous way to show health professionals, policy-makers and patients what truly matters.

Our first impact film project Life Before Death (2010), explored the life-changing effects palliative care can deliver to patients and their families. The feature documentary and short films were screened more than 350 times in at least 60 countries, with close to 1 million online streams and 15+ million mass media impressions.

The compilation of films in the Life Before Death series continue to yield views more than 10 years after publication, with Cancer Pain and Carmen’s Story accumulating close to 1.6 million views collectively. They are also still attracting comments to this day, because films have an uncanny ability to drive conversations, generate awareness and move viewers to action.

And that is something all palliative care advocates should be mindful of.

Not only can you tell a story with video but it makes it easy to broadcast to the world. You can quickly publish it online, share it across social media, add it to your website and host event screenings to reach the right audience.

If you are a palliative care advocate with a purposeful mission, video really is one of the best ways to propel your agenda, campaign for lasting change and make a tangible difference to lives of your patients and their families.

If you’re curious to learn how, you can learn more about Moonshine Agency and our work at www.Moonshine.Agency or by following @MoonshineAgency on social.

To support Conquering Cancer or to host your own event screening of the film, please visit and join the movement!

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