World first for medical film festival

A FILM festival devoted to the subject of organ transplants is being staged in Scotland, with a film made by pupils from Barrhead High School near Glasgow appearing on the bill.

The festival is being staged at Edinburgh Filmhouse and is the second of three looking at medical issues.

Last year, the subject was bio-ethics; it’s not known what next year’s subject will be. Not surprisingly, perhaps, the festival is believed to be the first of its type in the world.

Between Friday and Sunday, the 10th to the 12th of next month, ten films are to be screened as part of the festival. Also, there will be discussions. The Barrhead film is titled ‘The Law of Averages’.

During the week leading up to the festival, science students are to be invited to exclusive specific screenings and debates.

As well as organ transplants, organ trafficking and putting animal organs into humans (known as xenotransplantation) will be also on the agenda.

Speaking at the event will be Roseanna Cunningham MSP, chair of the Health Committee of the Scottish Parliament, Sue Roff, from Dundee University Medical School.

Says Dr Calum McKellar, festival co-ordinator and director of Research for the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics: “This film festival is, to my knowledge, a first on the international stage. Also, it is very timely considering that Scotland has a new law on organ transplantation since last month. Because of the ever-growing waiting lists for organs, the possibility of being able to buy and sell human organs or using animal organs is now being increasingly considered.”

The festival is being funded by the Wellcome Trust – which describes itself as “an independent charity funding research to improve human and animal health”.

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