Short NCD documentary series by BBC StoryWorks © Helmsley Charitable Trust
Short NCD documentary series by BBC StoryWorks © Helmsley Charitable Trust

“Living without Limits” wins award in WHO Health for All Film Festival

15th May 2020


15 May 2020, Geneva – The Turning the Tide series mini-film “Living without Limits” was awarded with the NCDs Film Prize /Special Selection about Noncommunicable Diseases of the first edition of the WHO Health for All Film Festival 2020, in a ceremony held on 12 May at WHO headquarters in Geneva. 

Living without Limits tells the story of America, Alexis, and their families, starting with a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes and going on to their experience of learning to live with the condition each day. Produced by BBC StoryWorks, Helmsley Charitable Trust and NCD Alliance, the mini-film debunks myths and misconceptions about diabetes, and shines a spotlight on the change agents who are making a difference to turn the tide on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).

 “We are delighted with this recognition for Turning the Tide. There is a pressing need to tell of the challenge and impact of NCDs through the lens of human stories. This mini-film goes beyond the numbers and puts a human face to the condition, relaying the everyday reality of children and adolescents living with Type 1 diabetes in Mexico,” said Katie Dain, CEO of NCD Alliance.

The Health for All Film Festival of the World Health Organization (WHO) is a tribute to all champions of health. Launched in October 2019, this inaugural festival received nearly 1,300 short films from more than 110 countries. Submissions focused on a wide range of health topics showcased by or about champions of health in communities, health centres, hospitals or at the scientific level. 

Bente Mikkelsen, Director of WHO, NCD Department and jury member of the festival said, “to have such moving voices as we can see in this film from Alexis and America, I think we can write ten thousand pages and it will not make the same difference. What I particularly like is the way you show governments really can and must support people living with Type 1 diabetes.” 

The Turning the Tide series, launched in February 2020, aims to give voice to those shouldering the global burden of NCDs, examining the much-needed work of institutions and communities across the globe, which seek to make prevention and control a priority. The series comprises 26 short documentaries depicting the impact of the NCD epidemic across the globe, including diabetes in Mexico, mental health in South Africa, stroke in Romania, hypertension in Myanmar and psoriasis in the Philippines. The films can be viewed at

NCDs – mainly cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes – are the most common cause of death and disability worldwide, accounting for 70 per cent of all deaths and more than three out of four years lived with a disability. Yet much of the suffering caused by these diseases is preventable.

A collaboration across public, private and non-profit health and development sectors and the ambitious project represents a great diversity of voices from around the world. The NCD Alliance and BBC StoryWorks encourage you to share the series and join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #TurningTheTide and #NCDs.