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Rachel and Ziya Take Back from Cancer in Irish Cancer Society Film


Produced by Ponder, the film launches 2022's Daffodil Day appeal

Rachel and Ziya Take Back from Cancer in Irish Cancer Society Film

The Irish Cancer Society have launched a poignant and powerful campaign to inspire people in Ireland who have been impacted by cancer to ‘take back from cancer,’ as part of this years’ Daffodil Day.

Taking inspiration from the Akkoç family, the campaign follows the life of aspiring young man Ziya, sharing some intimate and personal moments from his life that his mother Rachel couldn’t experience during her cancer diagnosis. The campaign takes an emotive look at all of the days cancer takes from families when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer. 

Ponder were given the task of finding the right family through which to tell this story. With researcher Aideen O’Sullivan, director Tomas Jonsgärden and producers Magnus Äkerstedt and Paul Holmes they engaged in extensive research which led to the Akkoç family who were wonderful participants with a poignant story to tell.

According to Ponder director Tomas Jonsgärden: “Sometimes you read a brief, and instantly know that you have to make the film. Whatever it takes. Three years ago my best friend was diagnosed with lymphoma. I took it very hard. I tried to be there for him however I could - chemo sessions, long talks into the night about life and death, supporting his family. I lost a lot of days to cancer, and I find the idea of taking a day back from that disease really powerful, and beautiful. I wanted to make a film in that spirit.   

After extensive research to find a family for our story we found the perfect one. Rachel and Ziya along with their family from Donegal, Ireland, have had a challenging few years. We wanted to tell their story to show how cancer takes so much time from the lives of people it touches. 

Usually I work with scripted stories but here we wanted to take as much as we could from reality and shape it into a story that connects with people in general. It was a hybrid project of mixed medias coming from their private home videos and a combination of recreated shots we did with Rachel and Ziya. A big part of the process was the research and the recording of their voices. I wanted to keep the film very simple, authentic and moving. And I think we managed to live up to that.”

According to Folk Wunderman: “Cancer is relentless in what it takes from people – it takes their health, emotional security, financial security, opportunity, futures, memories, hair, body parts, relationships, childhood, independence and time. For this campaign, we wanted to highlight the extent to which cancer takes from families every day. Using Ziya’s home video footage, we captured an insight into what life is really like for those impacted by cancer, highlighting why the Irish Cancer Society need our support now and all year round.”

“The Akkoç family’s story is not uncommon, and highlights everything cancer takes from families. Our goal is to inspire the nation to take back from cancer on Daffodil Day and every day. Together, we can fund lifesaving research that ensures more families have the opportunity to build new memories together. And we can provide vital supports so no-one has to face cancer alone,” adds Averil Power, CEO, Irish Cancer Society.

Daffodil Day which takes place on March 25th marks a day of hope for families as they take the day back from cancer, and it gives the nation the chance to support those impacted by cancer, with every donation making a difference.

Rachel and Ziya


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Genres: Documentary

Categories: Charity, Corporate, Social and PSAs

Ponder, Mon, 14 Mar 2022 09:13:37 GMT