From Lucile Smith, Assistant Producer of Grain Media
My name is Lucile and I work for the highly respected two-time Oscar-winning production company Grain Media. Our founder Orlando von Einsiedel, together with Oscar-winning filmmaker Dan Cogan, is making a major feature documentary for international release early next year, that tells the global story of the Coronavirus pandemic. Supported by a leading US streaming platform, this unique and ambitious film will document the devastating effects of the Coronavirus pandemic and humanity’s extraordinary response.
We appreciate that you must be receiving numerous approaches from the media at present. As part of our film, we are keen to follow the stories of some of the amazing field epidemiologists that are on the front line working against Covid-19. It's impossible to overstate just how groundbreaking and how critical their work could be to the lives of millions around the world at this pivotal juncture in our world history.
Recognising that this documentary could make a significant contribution to the way the world looks back on the pandemic, we hope that you might be willing to speak with us regarding the possibility of identifying epidemiologists that we could safely follow as part of our film.
To give you a little background: Orlando von Einsiedel’s recent work includes the Academy Award-winning documentary THE WHITE HELMETS, which follows the lives of a group of heroic Syrian civilian rescue workers and the Academy Award-nominated feature documentary VIRUNGA, which charts the story of a group of courageous park rangers risking their lives to build a better future in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and won over 50 international awards. Dan Cogan is the Academy Award-winning producer of ICARUS and former Co-Founder of Impact Partners, which has financed numerous award-winning films, including The Cove.
Together, we are making a unique and ambitious documentary project for release early next year, that will document the global effects of the pandemic and our collective response to it. Our intention is to provide an intelligent, insightful and very human account of the pandemic that invites reflection on the important questions that are being raised; from the way that the pandemic is recalibrating our way(s) of life and perhaps also our sense of our shared humanity, to the lessons we must learn for the future.
The film will chart and celebrate how remarkable individuals across the world are rising to the challenge of fighting the Coronavirus pandemic, and clearly your TEPHINET alumni and trainees are an essential part of this effort. We are very keen to explore the possibility of documenting their experiences, and drawing on their insights, as part of the film, and wondered whether you might be willing to speak with me in order to identify the relevant candidates.
We are sure that our request will raise questions, which we would be glad to discuss with you or a representative of your choice, free from any commitment on your part.
However, we want to reassure you from the offset that we are very mindful of the need to ensure that any filming that we undertake does not risk inadvertently spreading the virus. We are also mindful of the importance of not compromising your team’s work. We have identified approaches to manage all of these considerations, and would welcome the opportunity to discuss these with you and/or your colleagues in more detail.
We do hope that it will be possible to speak with you regarding this film, but for now, thank you for considering our request and we wish you all the very best during these challenging times.