Winner from India comes home


By K. Ashwin Mob: 00919920183006 E-mail:

After winning acclaim the world over, an extraordinary Indian film is now coming home. Fire in the Blood, which earlier this year became the first Indian film ever to be selected for the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival, the world’s most prestigious and competitive festival for independent films, is releasing in cities around the country on October 11. The film has already released theatrically in the UK, Ireland and the US to rave reviews.

Directed by Punjabi-Irish filmmaker Dylan Mohan Gray, Fire in the Blood is an intricate tale of ‘medicine, monopoly and malice’ and tells the story of how Western pharmaceutical companies and governments aggressively blocked access to low-cost AIDS drugs for the countries of Africa and the global south in the years after 1996 – causing ten million or more unnecessary deaths – and the improbable group of people who decided to fight back.

One of the most important aspects of the story is that of India as a vital beacon of hope and humanity by virtue of being the leading supplier of affordable, high-quality medicine to the world, and especially to the global south. Against all odds, India has held strong in the face of intense pressure from the US and other Western governments, defending a deeply righteous, moral and humane position based on the idea that the lives of millions and even billions of people are ultimately more important than incremental increases in the profit margins of giant pharmaceutical companies.

“India is the undisputed hero of this monumental untold story and every single Indian should know what incredible, courageous and principled leadership our nation has shown in this vital area of human life,” says Dylan.

Shot on four continents with contributions from global figures such as Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu and Joseph Stiglitz, Fire in the Blood ultimately celebrates the remarkable coalition which came together to stop ‘the Crime of the Century’ and save million of lives in the process. With a crackling narration by Academy Award winner William Hurt, the film has been acclaimed everywhere – “indispensable viewing… powerful… extremely moving” (The Hollywood Reporter), “quietly devastating… a testament to human decency” (The Guardian), “rivetingly researched with wholly universal appeal” (Variety), “Brilliant… amazing… a real-life David and Goliath story” (BBC).

In India, the film will be released by PVR Director’s Rare on 11th October, 2013. Looking forward to the release, Mr. Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, JMD, PVR Ltd. said, “Building the appetite of the Indian consumers with an interesting mix of cinema, PVR yet again brings an indispensable yet powerful viewing for its audience in India. Fire in the Blood has been acclaimed and applauded in US and UK for showcasing a serious issue of access to medications in such an enthralling manner. The film truly explains the exuberance of PVR to exhibit commendable cinema to its movie aficionados. A revelation to the audience, the movie has been crafted really well while intelligently presenting the facts that seem to go unnoticed by many of us. An international award-winner, it will definitely be an eye opener and will be a must watch for every Indian who will feel proud of their nation for showcasing incredible, courageous and principled leadership in a vital area of human life. Accessible for all, Fire in the Blood is sure to create a massive impact on the Indian audience”.

The theatrical trailer of the film will be seen with The Lunchbox.

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• Contact : Monika Bhattacharyya: +91-9820792020

Fire in The Blood -About the Director & significant contributors

DYLAN MOHAN GRAY, Director/Producer/Writer/Editor – Fire in The Blood

Born of Punjabi-Irish parentage and trained as a historian, Dylan Mohan Gray has worked in various capacities on feature films in over two dozen countries worldwide, in close collaboration with numerous acclaimed directors including Fatih Akin, Peter Greenaway, Paul Greengrass, Deepa Mehta and Mira Nair.

Dylan completed university studies in History and Film at Dartmouth College (US), as well as at the University of Vienna and the Budapest University of Economics. He holds graduate degrees in History from the Central European University and the University of the State of New York, with a research focus on historiography and geographic dimensions of identity.

Dylan Mohan Gray founded the production company Sparkwater India in 2005. He lives and works in Mumbai and Fire in the Blood is his first feature-length film as writer/director.

Significant Contributors – Fire in the Blood

• YUSUF K. HAMIED, Chairman, Cipla: Indian scientist Yusuf Hamied shot to global prominence in early 2001 when he announced that his company, Cipla, a socially-conscious generic drugmaker founded on Gandhian principles of Indian self-reliance in 1935, would supply a combination of AIDS drugs to developing countries for less than $1 a day, at a time when first-line antiretroviral (ARV) medication sold for up to more than $15,000 per patient per year…Continue reading…

• WILLIAM J. CLINTON, 42nd President of the United States of America (1993-2001); founder, William J. Clinton Foundation: In 2001, after serving two terms as the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton set up the William J. Clinton Foundation to address pressing global problems. In 2002, the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative, was established to procure the lowest-cost antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) for treatment programs in developing countries. By 2007, the foundation’s high-volume procurement of generic drugs had helped push prices for ARV treatment in Africa down to below $100 per patient per year. The Clinton Foundation’s wholehearted embrace of generic drugs from India and other key developing …Continue reading…

• DESMOND MPILO TUTU, Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (1984) and among the world’s best-known peace, human rights and anti-racism activists, Desmond Tutu is the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (1984), the Albert Schweizer Prize for Humanitarianism (1986), the Gandhi Peace Prize (2007) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009). He has famously referred to HIV/AIDS as “the new apartheid.” …Continue reading…

• ZACKIE ACHMAT grew up fighting apartheid in South Africa, and has been a member of the African National Congress (ANC) since 1980. A former sex worker, he was diagnosed with HIV shortly before the country’s first free elections in 1994 and co-founded the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) in 1998 which became the most important grass-roots organization in Africa (and arguably the entire world) agitating for access to essential medicine. Despite rapidly failing health from full-blown AIDS, he refused to start antiretroviral treatment until the South African government agreed to implement a publicly-funded national treatment program for people with HIV. His boycott of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), as depicted in Fire in the Blood, drew enormous international attention to the issue of access to AIDS medicine in Africa…Continue reading…

• PETER ROST, Former Vice-President of Pfizer Inc., Pharmacia and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals: Physician and author, Peter Rost, worked in upper management for three of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer, Wyeth and Pharmacia, over the course of a nearly three-decade career in the industry. Increasingly dismayed by the unethical commercial practices he witnessed, he eventually decided to speak out against them. In a sensational 2004 Op-Ed in the New York Times, Dr. Rost, then Vice-President of Marketing at Pfizer, wrote: “Americans are dying without the appropriate drugs because my industry and Congress are more concerned about protecting astronomical profits for conglomerates than they are about protecting the health of Americans.” …Continue reading…

• WILLIAM HURT (Narrator) is one of America’s most respected actors of stage and screen. He has been nominated for four Academy Awards, winning the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in Kiss of the Spider Woman. Other celebrated film roles include those in Children of a Lesser God, A History of Violence, The Big Chill, Broadcast News, Altered States, Body Heat, Gorky Park, Syriana, Into the Wild and Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood. He has a long history of social engagement and generously contributed his iconic voice to Fire in the Blood.

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