We are very pleased to present the Doctors Without Borders Film Festival, a regional film that invites the Singapore public to come closer to the medical action of Doctors Without Borders, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, through critically acclaimed documentary films. The festival will take place from August 3rd – 5th, at The Projector (6001 Beach Road, Golden Mile Tower, #05-00, Singapore).
The festival aims to bring human suffering and humanitarian crises from half a world away to our consciousness here by showcasing five documentaries. They give statistics a human face and encourage a serious reflection on war, life and human nature. Doctors Without Borders Film Festival serves as an important reminder that restrictions on independent humanitarian assistance, and unnecessary death and suffering are no relics of the past, but major challenges nowadays. Post-screening sharing by frontline field workers will follow, shedding light on the situations in front of and behind the camera.
The five films will be followed by post-screening discussions to shed light on the reality of working in the field, the risks humanitarian workers face in the front line, and the efforts to preserve human dignity in times of crisis.
You can read more information about this event at: http://doctorswithoutbordersfilmfest.com – Admission is FREE but you do have to Reserve your seat.
August 3rd, 2018 – 8:00 pm | Post-screening Speaker – Wong LI Wai
Affliction by Peter Casaer – Belgium, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone | 2015 – 52 minutes
Shot in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the film provides a compelling view of the impact of the Ebola outbreak on the lives of individuals. From the remote village where the first victim was identified the film takes us through the three affected countries.
Through a series of interconnected scenes, we explore the different aspects of the outbreak as village chiefs, patients, survivors, national and international aid workers talk about the fear and rejection, the stigma, the impact of quarantine, the mortality of health personnel, the failure of the international response, and the lack of adequate medical treatment.
The film crew had unlimited access to the teams of Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and was therefore able to film some difficult moments normally hidden from the cameras.
In the final scene we are taken on an emotional rollercoaster and feel the complex reality facing those who have survived Ebola.
August 4th, 2018 – 2:00 pm | Post-screening Speaker: Kosta Antonopoulos
Frontline Doctors: Winter Migrant Crisis by Ashok Prasad, James Routh
UK | 2016 – 58 minutes
Chris and Alex van Tulleken – doctors, part-time aid workers and twin brothers – want to see for themselves what conditions are like for migrants fleeing through Europe at the height of winter. They travel to Lesbos in Greece, through the Balkans and on to Berlin and Calais to understand what’s being done on a medical and humanitarian level in response to the refugee crisis.
Spending time with medics, charities and volunteers in camps and clinics, at border crossings and transit points, they find out what the situation is like on the ground and share the incredible stories of patients treated by Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and other NGOs.
August 4th, 2018 – 5:00 pm | Post-Screening Speaker: Alvin Teo
TB: Return of the Plague by Jezza Neumann – UK, Swaziland | 2014 – 58 minutes
Tuberculosis (TB) is the most deadly infectious disease in history – it has killed over a billion people in the last 200 years. Multi-BAFTA winning film-maker, Jezza Neumann, travelled to Swaziland to make this very intimate account of the crippling effects of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). We witness victims from two families battle with the disease over the course of a year.
Deep in rural Swaziland near the border of South Africa lives Bheki, a builder who is fanatical about football. He recently learnt that both he and his sister have MDR-TB. As time passes, his sister’s condition deteriorates and Bheki starts to become increasingly anxious about his future.
In the capital Mbabane lives 12-year-old Nokubegha, a TB orphan, who is cared for by her 17-year-old brother, Melusi. When Nokubegha is diagnosed with the MDR strain of the disease she has to be admitted into the national TB hospital so she can receive her daily pills and injections.
A tragic yet heart-warming story about the value of human life, love and family.
August 4th, 2018 – 8:00 pm | Post-Screening Speaker: Dr. Natasha Reyes
Living In Emergency by Mark N. Hopkins – USA | 2008 – 93 minutes
“Living in Emergency” is the 93-minute award-winning film that was shortlisted for the Best Documentary Oscar in the 82nd Academy Awards.
This movie follows four field doctors as they struggle to provide emergency medical care under extreme conditions in the warzones of Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is not a pretty film about Médecins Sans Frontières heroes or heroines. It is about the reality of aid work — blood and sweat, tough decisions and hard consequences, laughter and tears, cigarettes and beer, arguments and all.
August 5th, 2018 – 2:00 pm | Post-Screening Speaker: Dr. Lim Chin Siah
Afghanistan: Medics Under Fire by Karishma Vyas – 2016 – 25 minutes
The documentary investigates the dangers facing medics on the front line in the wake of a fatal attack on a hospital in Afghanistan.
It was 2:08am, 3 October 2015, when the first shells hit the Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) trauma centre in Kunduz, Afghanistan. The hospital was brimming with patients and staff when a US gunship unleashed an hour-long attack, killing more than 40 people. The incident shocked the international aid community. Medics have always been off-limits in war, protected by international laws. The United States called the Kunduz attack a “tragic accident” but many believe that medics are increasingly becoming targets in conflicts.
Can frontline doctors continue to save lives without fearing for their own? Or is this the end of their humanitarian work?
August 5th, 2018 – 5:00 pm | Post-Screening Speaker: Dr. Maria S. Guevara
TB: Return of the Plague by Jezza Neumann – UK, Swaziland | 2014 – 58 minutes
Post Screening Speakers
Wong LI Wai
Li Wai is a Singaporean nurse graduated from Nanyang Polytechnic. In 2011, she obtained a Professional Diploma in Tropical Nursing in Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.
Before joining for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), she was a staff nurse at Institute of Mental Health for three years.
She became a full-time field worker with MSF in 2012. Her first assignment with the organisation was to work in an HIV/AIDS project in remote communities of Zambia, southern Africa. It was followed by a nine-month assignment in medical emergency aid at the youngest country South Sudan.
During the peak of Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, Li Wai is one of the international staff of MSF from the region who heed the call to help fight Ebola in Sierra Leone. She is part of MSF Ebola emergency response team twice. On her first stint, as a nurse, she was in-charge to care for Ebola patients in the Ebola management centre along with national staff.
Kosta has worked for several years as a Programme Coordinator in the DRC, Burundi, Zambia, Sudan, Pakistan, Yemen, Myanmar and Papua New Guinea. In his early professional years, he worked as a consultant with non-governmental organizations and governmental institutions in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bahrain and Indonesia. His expertise lies in international affairs and project management, with a special focus on humanitarian issues, politics, diplomacy and humanitarian operations.
He holds a Master’s degree in Political Science and most recently spent two years working with MSF-UK as a Policy and Advocacy Advisor. Kosta recently joined the Humanitarian Representation Team (HRT) of MSF-International as the Representative to ASEAN.
Alvin Teo graduated with a Bachelors of Pharmacy in 2010 and is a registered pharmacist in Malaysia. He joined MSF in 2013 as project pharmacist in a refugee camp in South Sudan and has since been a part of MSF’s humanitarian projects in Syria, Pakistan and Ukraine.
Alvin is now pursuing his PHD at the National University of Singapore.
Dr. Natasha Reyes
Dr. Natasha Reyes is currently the director of the Operations Support Unit of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) / Doctors Without Borders (Hong Kong). She has been working with MSF since 2007, and has worked as a field doctor, ER doctor, field coordinator, emergency coordinator and medical coordinator in emergency and unstable contexts. Her work has brought her to India, Kenya, South Sudan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, Philippines, Colombia, Sierra Leone, Liberia Nauru, Nepal and Bangladesh. She has worked in various contexts such as outbreaks (measles, cholera, Hepatitis E and Ebola), natural disasters (including Typhoon Haiyan), displaced populations and trauma care in conflict. In her most recent field missions, she was the medical coordinator for MSF’s Ebola intervention in Liberia in 2014, Head of Mission for the Nepal Earthquake Intervention in 2015, and Project Coordinator for the Marawi Crisis intervention. In August last year she visited Bangladesh for an emergency assessment of the Rohingya crisis.
Dr. Natasha is from the Philippines, where she obtained her Medical Doctorate from the University of Santo Tomas, and specialized in Emergency Medicine at the Makati Medical Center. She was inducted as a Fellow of the Philippine College of Emergency Medicine in 2007 and completed the European Master in Disaster Medicine in 2016.
Dr. Lim Chin Siah
Dr Lim Chin Siah is a field worker with MSF since 2013 and has been to several missions such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and most recently, Iraq. Awarded a Healthcare Humanity Award 2016 by the Courage Fund of Singapore, he currently
works as a Consultant in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Singapore General Hospital. Dr Lim was working at the Abs Hospital in Yemen’s Hajjah governorate from January to May 2016. Two months later in August 2016, the Abs Hospital was hit by an airstrike killing 19 people, including one MSF staff member, and injuring 24 others. Dr Lim has most recently returned from Raqqa City in Syria after working as the Medical Activity Manager at Raqqa Clinic’s Trauma Stabilising Point between January to March 2018.
Dr. Maria S. Guevara
Dr. Maria Guevara is currently the Senior Coordinator, Attacks on Healthcare, for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)/Doctors Without Borders based in Geneva, Switzerland. Prior to which, she held the position of Regional Humanitarian Representative in Asia for MSF from 2012 to 2017, covering mainly the Southeast Asia region.
Originally hailing from the Philippines, Dr. Guevara grew up in the US where she received her medical degree from the University of Alabama, School of Medicine in 1993, followed by Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Nevada and Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship at the University of Florida, College of Medicine. She was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians in 2003 and was a recipient of the CHEST Foundation International Humanitarian Recognition Award in 2006. She also has a Diploma in Tropical Medicine from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and a Masters of Global Health Policy from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Dr. Guevara joined MSF in 2004 after practicing in various emergency and intensive care units in the US and serving as faculty at the University of Florida. She has done field work for MSF in Liberia, Guatemala, Haiti, DRC, Nigeria, Myanmar, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and South Sudan in both emergency and stable settings. Her field roles have been as diverse as field doctor, hospital director, project coordinator, liaison officer, medical focal point, medical coordinator and interim Head of Mission. As MSF regional representative in Asia, she served as a member of the Advisory Group on Reform of WHO’s Work in Outbreaks and Emergencies with Health and Humanitarian Consequences from July 2015 to January 2016. Aside from MSF, Dr. Guevara is also serving as SAFE STEPS First Aid Ambassador. She speaks English, French, Spanish and Tagalog.