Stanford filmmakers win $100,000 Sundance grant

Two filmmakers from the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics have received a $100,000 grant from the Sundance Institute to create a documentary on social change and public health in India.

Maren Grainger-Monsen, MD, and Nicole Newnham were chosen from an international pool of more than 300 filmmakers who applied for the 'Stories of Change' grant, a partnership between Sundance and the Skoll Foundation.

Grainger-Monsen and Newnham will use the award to document the story of Amlan Ganguly, a social entrepreneur who is working to transform the slums of Calcutta by educating local children to become public health stewards. 'Our idea is to profile people who are doing something very outside the box,' said Grainger-Monsen, who directs the center's Program in Bioethics and Film. By teaching children simple preventive health measures, such as eliminating standing water, using mosquito nets and covering water supplies, Ganguly has reduced the incidence of malaria by 50 percent in some neighborhoods.

Grainger-Monsen said she wants to show that positive change is possible. 'If you can touch people emotionally with a story, as well as intellectually with the data on health policy issues, then you can motivate people to make change.'

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