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Proud producer Mahmood Al-Yousif’s mission to raise awareness about breast cancer by recording Think Pink Bahrain’s journey has won international film industry recognition.
The Thinking Pink: Resetting The Ngo Model took the prize for ‘best documentary’ in the science and education category of the North Europe International Film Festival, beating several submissions including one by globally-acclaimed Sir David Attenborough.
Mahmood, founder of Arabia Video, said: “I’m thrilled at this honour and more importantly the resonance it had with international audiences and judges.
“I was inspired by Think Pink Bahrain’s Julie Sprakel and Tahera Al Alawi and how these two young women had a spark of an idea to help people.
“They managed to achieve a lot in such a short space of time. This is proof that taking action and having determination can achieve great things. Anyone with these qualities can push through many barriers to achieve their objective.”
The hour-long documentary, which took around two years to complete, captured the trials, tribulations and successes of Think Pink Bahrain in a bid to motivate others.
“The main objective has always been to raise breast cancer awareness, which is the central message of Think Pink Bahrain,” he added.
“It has been a rewarding journey of inspiration.
“Interacting with brave women who have gone through breast cancer and, in most cases, beating it and emerging stronger, is humbling.
“We hope that this award is going to increase the chances of it being more widely shown and increase breast cancer awareness across the region.”
Julie, the founder and president of Think Pink: Bahrain Breast Cancer Society, attended a festival in London to receive the award.
The Australian-born intensive care nurse started the society in 2004 to help educate people about breast cancer after her grandmother, aunt and mum suffered from cancer.
She was in her 20s when she received two cancer scares herself and when she discovered there wasn’t a dedicated charity for the cause, she set out to start her own.
Together, with Tahera, the vice chairperson, and a group of unpaid volunteers, they have been able to achieve several milestones which were highlighted in the documentary.
One of the milestones includes a Breast Cancer Clinical Guideline, sanctioned by the Supreme Council of Health, to provide a robustly-developed, high-quality, reliable, internationally-recognised compliant resource which can be used by both clinicians and patients for shared decision-making in the management of the condition.
An iCheck (Think Pink Bahrain) Arabic and English mobile app is in use. Included in it are Decision Aids, also bilingual to help patients make better informed medical choices.
Think Pink Bahrain also raised funds to buy and instal a BD499,900 1.5 T digital MRI at Salmaniya Medical Complex’s Radiography Department.
Mahmood hopes the documentary will now get picked up by local and regional TV channels. He added: “This story - breast cancer - touches every person on earth and deserves more awareness. I hope that this exposure will entice people to get themselves checked. Early detection can save lives.”