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Documentaries thrive on COVID-19 pandemic
New Delhi, April 13, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic might have virtually shut down the whole entertainment industry, but it sure has opened up opportunities for documentary filmmakers. With the global outbreak unleashing havoc, documentary makers have found a new subject to create an arresting mix of drama and information.
The pandemic has opened a Pandora's box of questions, doubts and lots of fake news -- which in turn sets the stage to look for information from reliable sources. That is where documentaries find a strong ground.
At the same time, these information packages are crafted out of a viable business model, and the current surge in genre only means it is a win-win situation for all.
With an aim to give an in-depth look at the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the globe, Discovery got together several scientists and experts in "Pandemic: COVID-19", a one-hour special.
Through the documentary, the experts will shed light on its treatment and transmission, which initially baffled doctors and scientists who first encountered early patients who fell ill. The special will also look at how within a matter of weeks, COVID-19 spread throughout China and beyond, alarming healthcare professionals and scientists. They will reveal why COVID-19 is unique, why the world was so unprepared for it and what could have been done differently to contain its spread. It will air on April 15 on Discovery and the recently-launched streaming service Discovery Plus.
Discovery has lined up one more documentary "COVID19 - Battling The Devil" -- through which they will take the viewers back in time to trace the origins of the virus. The aim is to find answers to the questions "What can China's learnings teach the world?". It will premiere in India on April 15.
There's another documentary film which attempts to uncover the story of the novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China.
Titled "Epicenter: 24 hours In Wuhan", the 50-minute feature highlights how people of the area, where the deadly COVID-19 virus first struck last December, fought against the outbreak. It shows how the people of the city banded together to fight the escalating crisis. The film is streaming on DocuBay.
With billions of people across the world facing a period of self-isolation to help contain the spread, docu-film "Coronavirus: How to Isolate Yourself" aims to equip people with important and right information to fight the ongoing health crisis.
Presented by Dr Xand Van Tulleken and psychologist Kimberley Wilson, the one-hour feature is a guide to everything one needs to know about this pandemic, including credible tips and advice. It will premiere on Sony BBC Earth on April 13.
To comprehend the situation, Van Tulleken visits leading experts who explain why self-isolation is most important in the fight against coronavirus, as well as finds out about people's real-world challenges of self-isolating. The docu-film also focuses on Wilson who offers insights into the psychological challenges of self-isolating, and charts out ways to manage anxiety and self-isolation.
"With 'Coronavirus: How to Isolate Yourself', it is our endeavour to bring to the viewers, in real time, a need-of-the-hour documentary to help clarify the many questions around the most critical step in containing the virus - self isolation," said Tushar Shah, Business Head, SPN English Custer.
National Geographic has also come up with a docu-film titled "Combating COVID-19". The film captures the nuances of preemptive measures taken by Singaporean authorities to ensure a coordinated, efficient response to try and keep its citizens safe. It will premiere on April 13.