Preserve the Power – taking the fight against antimicrobial resistance to the big screen

Attention, movie fans and aspiring filmmakers of Australia – a generous cash prize is on offer for the winners of a national short film competition, called ‘Preserve the Power’.

The contest, created in partnership between NPS MedicineWise and American Express Openair Cinemas, is intended to spread awareness about the danger of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Each 30 second film needs to focus on some aspect of this global threat, such as explaining what AMR actually is, the consequences if it continues unchecked or how we can all play a part in preventing it.

Entrants can shoot their film using whatever they’d like, be it with a professional HD camcorder or a smartphone camera. The short films can also be any genre, from horror to comedy, as long as the key message concerning AMR is there – so get your creative gears turning!

The contest has two categories, depending on whether the entrants are over or under 18 years of age, with $5000 up for grabs for each winning film.

“Emerging filmmakers, creatives, videographers and vloggers are invited to use their cinematic prowess to raise awareness about this global health threat,” said Will Sparks, the Director of Cinemas for American Express Openair Cinemas. “We are excited by the challenge this presents to local talent and how their storytelling techniques can inspire the community to take action.”

The CEO of NPS MedicineWise, Dr Lynn Weekes, is hopeful that this competition will help the Australian public to recognise the very real threat that resistant microbes pose. “We want to remind them that bacteria are rapidly becoming resistant to all the antibiotics we have, but there are simple actions they can take to stop the spread of antibiotic resistance. Without action, we risk losing the power of this precious medical resource forever.”

One of the key driving forces behind this resistance is the over prescription of antibiotics and the use of these drugs in cases where they aren’t needed. Australia has one of the highest prescription rates in the world, with a recent study finding that GPs were prescribing antibiotics at a staggering nine times the recommended amount.

A shortlist of the top films will be screened at a number of cinemas across Australia, in locations such as Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane. After being judged by a panel of experts, the winners will be announced at Bondi Beach on February 28 2018.

The deadline for entries is November 13 2017, so there’s still plenty of time to get your name out there and make a difference. For more details, check out the NPS MedicineWise website.

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