2:34 min
Director: Andrew Hinton
Producer: Andrew Hinton

Winner of the JURY AWARD


The slightly longer answer begins in Maharashtra, where I met a young couple working in health and sanitation during a recent visit to India. They’re supporting local villagers in implementing solutions to improve water access and quality, and raising awareness of sanitation issues.

The figures are pretty startling. 3.5 million children die annually due to diarrhea and acute respiratory infection worldwide - more than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. But the good news is that a ridiculously simple act can save large numbers of these kids: hand washing with soap.

I went out with Jared and Sowmya on one of their school visits. Through games and theatre they and their team, teach schoolchildren about germs, show when and how hands need to be washed, and then they get them to build Tippy Taps.

If you’ve never come across one before, the Tippy Tap is a beautifully simple design solution to some big health problems, and the first time I saw one in use I knew it had the makings of a short film.

I broke out the trusty 5D and spent a couple of afternoons filming Sowmya and the local security guard assembling a tippy tap. Then I cut the footage and we watched it together. Tweaked and watched again. We added a friend’s music at the end. All the while wondering how you make something viral. How could you possibly get people to share a film about hand washing? Then I remembered some footage I’d shot in an HIV testing lab in Latin America, dropped that on the front, added some text and suddenly we had a little story.

Our push began with the YouTube non-profit video competition, to which Jared submitted the film just before the deadline. There were over 1,300 submissions for the four categories, but ours was shortlisted in the Thrifty category (films costing under $500) so we jumped in to social media overdrive and hit up just about everyone we’ve ever met or worked with and asked them to vote.

Amazingly, they did. We won our category.

It means Jared and Sowmya get $2,500 towards their work, but more importantly, the film also spent 24 hours on the YouTube homepage, which took our views from around 2,000 to 115,000 in a day, and got the film seen by an amazing range of people who have connected with the idea. For a brief moment passengers aboard the YouTube supertanker were diverted to a 2-minute film about hand washing. And that was really fun.


health / health advocacy, international, Media That Matters 11,
Creative Commons License: Attribution, Non-Commercial, No Derivative Works


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