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Award-winning Diabetes Documentary to Make World TV Premiere on Sundance Channel on World Diabetes Day

November 9, 2009

NEW YORK, Nov. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — The award-winning documentary Life for a Child will make its world television debut on the Sundance Channel on World Diabetes Day – Nov. 14, 2009, at 8 p.m. EST/PST.

Directed by Academy Award® nominee Edward Lachman, the film follows the journeys of children with type 1 diabetes amid the verdant mountains and swarming streets of Nepal, one the world’s poorest countries. The children are supported with life-saving medication and care by the International Diabetes Federation’s (IDF) Life for a Child Program.

The Life for a Child film was produced by IDF, the world’s leading diabetes advocacy organization, and Eli Lilly and Company, a global leader in diabetes treatment, to raise awareness of the devastating impact of diabetes and increase support for the Life for a Child Program. It will be presented in association with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the world’s largest charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research.

Life for a Child premiered in competition at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in New York in April 2008 and made its European Premiere at the Vienna International Film Festival in the fall of 2008. In March 2009, it was honored as Best Documentary Short at the Cinequest Film Festival in California, and has been screened in more than a dozen countries and six festivals.

One of the world’s most celebrated cinematographers, Lachman was nominated for an Oscar for cinematography in 2003 for Far From Heaven with Julianne Moore, and has photographed dozens of studio and independent features and documentaries, including Erin Brockovich, A Prairie Home Companion and a historic documentary on Mother Theresa.

“I wanted to tell the stories of families who are dealing with the daily struggles of life but then also have to deal with the challenges of diabetes,” said Lachman, who directed Life for a Child following work on the critically-acclaimed 2007 feature film I’m Not There, starring Cate Blanchett and Heath Ledger.

Life for a Child is a story of sacrifice and hope. I knew each one of these families had to make certain kinds of sacrifices along their journey living with diabetes. So metaphorically it was a journey, physically it was a journey, and I think all films are journeys. I’m honored that Sundance Channel has seen the artistic and emotional merits of this film and will help extend the impact it has had on people all over the world who are affected by this condition.”

Life for a Child was filmed in October 2007 in bustling Kathmandu and the rugged mountainous Sindhuli region of Nepal, following the stories of three children and the sacrifices of their families:

  • 11-year-old Anupa, who, once each month, walks four hours through treacherous mountain passes simply to reach the bus that will take her to the diabetes clinic in the capital city of Kathmandu for treatment and blood sugar testing
  • 16-year-old Ashok, who dreams of becoming a teacher but struggles to balance his studies and work in the fields with insulin treatment
  • 3-year-old Angi, diagnosed with diabetes at just 18 months old, whose family moved to the city to stay close to the hospital, the only place they can receive care. “Our son is most important thing in the world to us,” says his mother

The film supports the landmark 2006 UN Resolution on Diabetes, which for the first time recognizes a non-infectious disease as serious a global health threat as infectious epidemics such as HIV/AIDS.

“This Life for a Child film is a testament to our belief that all children have the right to participate fully in all the experiences of childhood and adolescence, whether they have a chronic disease such as diabetes or not, and wherever they live in the world. All children with diabetes have the right to at least a minimum standard that can ensure survival,” said Dr. Martin Silink, Past President of the International Diabetes Federation. “Until the healthcare systems of many developing countries are able to put in place effective systems to ensure an affordable supply of diabetes medication and care, children with diabetes will continue to die without the support of initiatives like IDF’s Life for a Child Program.”

“As the world’s largest charitable funder and advocate of research to find a cure for type 1 diabetes, we at JDRF believe that anything that calls attention to the need for a cure for this disease and its complications is always welcomed. When that message can be conveyed with the amazing emotion, drama, and power of Life for a Child, it is hard, if not impossible, to ignore,” said William Ahearn, vice president of strategic communications for JDRF. “Projects like Life for a Child not only tell the story of the devastating effects of type 1 diabetes, they show how personal the impact of a cure will be – and how the hope for a cure is indeed global. We are thrilled to be associated with this project.”

Under the creative direction of Robert Redford, Sundance Channel is the television destination for independent-minded viewers seeking something different. Bold, uncompromising and irreverent, Sundance Channel offers audiences a diverse and engaging selection of films, documentaries and original programs, all unedited and commercial-free.

“We’re honored and humbled that Sundance Channel has provided a platform for millions of people to see this important and emotional film,” said J. Scott MacGregor, executive producer of the documentary and a communications consultant for Lilly. “We hope this film will not only raise awareness of these issues, but increase support for the Life for a Child Program.”

About the Life for a Child Program

Inspiring the documentary is the Life for a Child Program, which provides access to care, education and life-saving medicines and supplies to support children with diabetes in 18 of the poorest countries around the world, including Nepal. The program was established by the International Diabetes Federation in partnership with Diabetes Australia-NSW and HOPE worldwide. Eli Lilly and Company, Rotary International and other sponsors, including individual donors, provide financial support.

The program provides support to children with diabetes in Azerbaijan, Bolivia, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Fiji, India, Nepal, Nigeria, Mali, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Sudan, the United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe.

For more information: www.lifeforachild.org

About the International Diabetes Federation (IDF)

Founded in 1950, the International Diabetes Federation is the global advocate for the 250 million people with diabetes worldwide. It represents over 200 diabetes associations in more than 160 countries. Its mission is to promote diabetes care, prevention and a cure worldwide. The main aims of IDF are to: raise awareness of diabetes and its complications worldwide; promote diabetes education; influence and bring about change; act as global advocate for people with diabetes; promote and improve diabetes care; improve clinical care and access to medication. The International Diabetes Federation is an NGO in official relations with the World Health Organization and an associated NGO with the United Nations Department of Public Information. The International Diabetes Federation leads the World Diabetes Day campaign. Additional information is available at www.idf.org.

About the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)

JDRF was founded in 1970 by the parents of children with type 1 diabetes – a disease that strikes children, adolescents, and adults suddenly, makes them insulin dependent for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications. Since inception, JDRF has provided more than $1.16 billion to diabetes research worldwide. More than 85 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and research-related education. JDRF’s mission is constant: to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. For more information please visit www.jdrf.org.

About Lilly Diabetes

For more than 85 years, Lilly has been a worldwide leader in pioneering industry-leading solutions to support people living with and treating diabetes. Lilly introduced the world’s first commercial insulin in 1923, and remains at the forefront of medical and delivery device innovation to manage diabetes. Lilly is also committed to providing solutions beyond therapy – practical tools, education and support programs to help overcome barriers to success along the diabetes journey. At Lilly, the journey of each person living with or treating diabetes inspires ours. For more information, visit www.lillydiabetes.com

About Eli Lilly and Company

Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers – through medicines and information – for some of the world’s most urgent medical needs. Additional information about Lilly is available at www.lilly.com.

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SOURCE Eli Lilly and Company


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