Galway Film Centre and CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research into Medical Devices have announced Bittersweet – The Rise of Diabetes as the recipient of the 2017 Science on Screen Commission.

Bittersweet – The Rise of Diabetes will be a half hour documentary directed by Hugh Rodgers and produced by Anna Rodgers and Zlata Filipovic of Invisible Thread Films. The film captures the health system’s fight to treat the rising number of diabetic patients, and warn against this troubling epidemic facing our population, as well as following the personal stories of young people who are living with diabetes and their daily struggle to manage it.

Over the course of the documentary, as a backdrop to these personal stories, audiences also discover the groundbreaking research and development in pharmacology and biomedical science, capturing the important work of CÚRAM’s Professor David Brayden and his team at UCD’s Veterinary Hospital, where they are developing new ways of delivering insulin to the body.

Audiences also gain an insight into the treatment and management of diabetes through expert clinicians such as Dr. Derek O’Keeffe, Professor Seán Dineen and Mary Clara O’Hara, who run special weekly clinics for young people, helping them to manage their condition.

The award of €35,000 for the Science on Screen commission is funded by CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Medical Device Research in NUI Galway. CÚRAM is helping to establish Ireland as a global hub of research expertise in medical device technology. CÚRAM aims to develop affordable, innovative and transformative device-based solutions to treat global chronic diseases to radically improve the quality of life for patients living with chronic illness.

The Science on Screen commission scheme was first piloted in 2016 by Galway Film Centre and CURAM, with the support of Science Foundation Ireland and resulted in the production of two documentaries Feats Of Modest Valour and Mending Legends. Both documentaries were premiered in November 2016 in Galway and have gone on to screen at the Galway Film Fleadh. They are due to be broadcast nationally in 2017.

Hugh Rodgers is an award-winning director based in Dublin. In 2016 he directed The Story of Yes, a documentary on the marriage referendum, and it went on to be nominated for Best Single Documentary at IFTA 2016 and was commended at the prestigious Radharc Awards 2016. His work is notable for its emotive quality, finding the personal and engaging stories even within the most unexpected of topics.

Anna Rodgers is an IFTA award winning director and producer, and has worked in documentary film and television for over 16 years. She won Best TV Director at the 2014 IFTA’s for her sensitive portrayal of sexuality and disability in the RTÉ documentary Somebody to Love.

Bittersweet – The Rise of Diabetes will premiere in Galway in November 2017 during the Galway Science & Technology Festival as part of National Science Week.

Full details of screenings will be available through www.galwayfilmcentre.ie and www.curamdevices.ie.

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