City Films' Award Winning Filmmaker/Director Sandy Smolan Shoots Documentary About Safe Syringes in Hopes to Save Lives Globally

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Hollywood, CA, June 27, 2011 – City Films’ award winning filmmaker/director Sandy Smolan has begun principal photography on a new documentary film, with initial shooting in Tanzania, about a 20-year effort to develop a safe syringe that has the potential to save millions of lives annually. Produced in conjunction with “LIFESAVER,” a non-profit organization based in the UK, the documentary is entitled “1.3 Million Reasons To Re-Invent the Syringe.” Smolan also directs features and television series, and is exclusively repped commercially with newly launched City Films, Hollywood. After learning that the leading cause of AIDS and Hepatitis would be through syringe transmission, Lifesaver founder Marc Kosca redesigned existing syringes so that they would automatically disable and couldn’t be reused. Though the device has proven to be remarkably effective in stopping the spread of infectious diseases, he has had to wage a twenty-year battle again the major medical supply manufacturers and government bureaucracies in order to get the syringes accepted world-wide. With the decision this month by the government of Tanzania to adopt the AD syringe, he’s now on the verge of achieving that goal. Said Kosca, “More people die from infected syringes, often administered from trained health care workers, than from Malaria. Although the UN and other international health care organizations have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to eradicate Malaria, very little has been done to stop the spread of infectious diseases through syringe re-use. We finally have solution to the problem.” Adds Smolan, “This is a remarkable story about the impact one person can make in the world. Kosca saw a major global health problem, found a remarkably simple solution, and won’t let anything deter him from his vision.” The documentary has received initial funding and support from Google and TEDMED, where it will be shown at the annual conference next spring. ABOUT SANDY SMOLAN: An award-winning director whose work spans features, commercials, television, documentaries and web series, Sandy Smolan’s critically acclaimed debut feature film “Rachel River” was nominated for the “Grand Jury Prize” at the Sundance Film Festival, and also took awards for “Best Cinematography” and a “Special Jury Prize” for actress Viveca Lindfors. Smolan’s documentary “12 Stones”, about the remarkable transformation of a group of illiterate women in southern Nepal, recently won the “Jury Prize” for “Best Short Documentary” at the Tallahassee and Newport Beach Film Festivals. He recently directed the ten-part web series “In Gayle We Trust” for American Family Insurance on, and the web series “First Day” for K-Mart. He also just completed producing and directing three short films for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and four short films about sustainability development in India, Georgia, Rwanda and Peru for Heifer International. In the area of Corporate Social Responsibility, Smolan produced and directed seven films for the Tech Museum sponsored by Intel, Microsoft, Applied Materials, BD Biosciences and Nokia. He was a featured speaker at the 2010 EG Conference in Monterey, CA, and the 2010 INK Conference in Association with TED, in Lavasa, India. For more information about Sandy Smolan, please see

ABOUT CITY FILMS: Launched in Hollywood, CA, in 2011, by Sheila Tighe and Josie Leonard, City Films creates, produces, manages and distributes multi-media content. The company, which represents a diverse and talented group of filmmakers, seeks to form innovative partnerships, backing them up with a non-stop work ethic. City Films operates in an open and collaborative environment, dedicated to taking each project to its fullest potential. For more information, please call 310/567-8518 or visit



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