*** WINNER "Best Feature Documentary" Peachtree Village International Film Festival, 2012 ***
*** WINNER "Best Feature Documentary" Phenom Film Festival, 2012 ***
*** WINNER "Humanitarian Award" Thirdworld Indie Film Festival, 2012 ***
*** WINNER "Best Health Documentary" Awareness Film Festival, 2012 ***
*** WINNER "Award of Merit" Indie Film Festival , 2012 ***
"STIGMA" follows filmmakers Jeff Johns and Ryan Loughridge as they travel the globe to discover why more hasn't been done to completely eradicate the existence of Leprosy in the world. Through India, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, they talk to WHO doctors and aid workers, while visiting numerous colonies and hospitals to meet those affected by the disease and to understand the life-changing stigma it has created for them and for their families.
While some prejudice stems from religious beliefs, much of the stigma is simply passed down from generation to generation. This has allowed a once biblical illness, often referred to as the world’s oldest and most misunderstood disease, to continue to affect hundreds of thousands each year, right up into the twenty-first century - even though this disease is completely curable.
Follow the filmmakers, armed with only two backpacks, their passports, and $1,200, on a breathtaking journey across the world, as they learn about the lives, cultures, triumphs, and struggles of those whose lives have been stigmatized by this horrible disease, and as they discover the disturbing politics that have allowed this situation to be perpetuated.
The World Health Organization proudly announced the elimination of Leprosy in 2000 and refused to take part in the making of this film. Conservative estimates indicate that over 200,000 new cases of Leprosy were reported in over 125 countries throughout the world in 2011.