Director Dylan Mohan Gray sent the following statement which was read at the awards ceremony in Vancouver:
“On behalf of everyone involved with Fire in the Blood, I would like to express our immense gratitude to the jury, the festival organizers and the audiences at DOXA for this wonderful and totally unexpected award. To win top honours at one of the world’s great showcases for nonfiction film, especially as a fledgling Indian production, is incredibly humbling, and it is hard to put into words what this recognition means to all of us. I am so sorry not to be able to be with you in person today to accept this award, but unfortunately my optimistic plans fell victim to some unavoidable scheduling conflicts. At the same time, I have been deeply moved by the messages and feedback I have received from numerous friends and strangers in Vancouver, even before winning this prize, and it is an absolutely thrill to know that our film has touched such a nerve there.
Today being Mother’s Day, my thoughts are naturally of my own mother, who passed away several years back. She was a child refugee who spent much of her life in poverty, and also worked for many years as a nurse. One of the things she loved most about Canada and Canadians was their strong, universal belief in the idea of a fundamental human right to health, a conviction that healthcare must never be viewed as a privilege, and the vital principle that the poor and middle-class should receive the very same level of care as the rich.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where healthcare is primarily viewed through a prism of economic opportunity and the promise of enrichment for a small cadre of corporate bosses, and artificial scarcity is regarded as the key to maximizing their profits. The system we detail in Fire in the Blood is one in which millions of mothers are forced to watch their children suffer and die of treatable and preventable ailments, denied access to medicine which can be easily, cheaply and safely produced in order to ensure that a handful of giant monopoly-holding corporations can maintain almost unfathomable profit margins selling drugs which were more often than not discovered through taxpayer-funded research. We believe that Fire in the Blood can start a global conversation with the potential to positively impact the lives of literally billions of our fellow human beings. To everyone at DOXA, thank you a million times over for supporting this project, for helping to get it seen by as many people as possible and, in a small but significant way, being part of ending monopolies on essential medicine. The characters of Fire in the Blood are living proof that it is possible to do the unthinkable, to take on the most powerful governments and corporations on the planet, and – if the cause is just – to change the world. Many, many thanks once again to all of you on their behalf, and on behalf of those of us who have tried to do justice to their story.”