April 28, 2023, Pune, India: FLAME University, a pioneer in liberal education in India, is proud to announce that its short film, On The Spectrum, has been officially selected in the Universal Health Coverage category at the prestigious World Health Organization’s (WHO) fourth edition, Health For All Film Festival (HAFF). The only Indian entry in this category, the film is shortlisted among fifteen entries that span the UK, Afghanistan, the USA, and Madagascar, amongst other countries, and will be competing for the Grand Prize along with the Student Film Prize.

On The Spectrum is an international collaboration where FLAME’s faculty and students worked with project advisor, Dr. Monika Sawhney, Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The film highlights how individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are also subject to social apathy and institutional antipathy, besides facing the health and lifestyle challenges that come with the disorder. It is a powerful attempt to build awareness about autism, dispel some of the prevalent misconceptions around it, and draw attention to the institutional and economic discriminations faced by people on the spectrum and their caregivers.

On The Spectrum has been directed, shot, and edited by FLAME University's undergraduate student, Sharif Khan, who also co-wrote and co-produced the film’s music. The cinematic production was undertaken through the collaborative efforts of the students, who oversaw the cinematography, editing, music, composition, voice-over, graphics, and casting. Meanwhile, Seema Ganjoo and Ashita Narang provided expert guidance. The film was co-produced by FLAME University and Prof. Gangaraju Saladi, Faculty of Film and Television Management, FLAME University.

WHO’s Health For All Film Festival (HAFF) acknowledges the power of films in raising awareness, improving understanding, and encouraging positive behavior changes. Since 2020, the festival has recruited a new generation of film and video innovators every year to champion and promote health issues. This year, out of almost 800 entries from across 106 countries, only 93 films were shortlisted and put into different categories. A panel of international artists and development leaders will evaluate these films. And this recognition is a testament to the exceptional quality of the film and the dedication of the team of FLAME’s students and faculty behind it.

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