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Tom Hardy and Sadie Frost launch film competition with Steel Mill Pictures and Hepatitis C Trust
A national short film competition has been launched by actor Tom Hardy and Sadie Frost in partnership with Steel Mill Pictures and The Hepatitis C Trust, to challenge current misconceptions of hepatitis C.
By: Virgo HEALTH
Hepatitis C, which damages the liver, may affect as many as half a million people in the UK  although 80% of people with the condition are unaware that they have it. It is often thought that hepatitis C is only an issue amongst drug users, who contract the virus through unsterilised needle sharing. In fact, there are many more ways the virus can be passed on including:
· The use of unsterilised tattoo, piercing or barber equipment
· Sharing of razors or toothbrushes with an infected person
· Sharing rolled banknotes or straws to snort drugs such as cocaine
· Blood transfusions prior to 1991 when screening was introduced
· Receiving medical/dental treatment abroad
The competition called Choose Life is supported by funding from Roche Products Ltd and aims to uncover the best in up-and-coming British film talent whilst helping to make hepatitis C a national health priority. The judging panel includes actor Tom Hardy, Sadie Frost, Charles Gore (CEO of The Hepatitis C Trust), Mat Whitecross (Director of the 2010 award-winning film, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll starring Andy Serkis), Paul Andrew Williams (2007 BAFTA nominee for ‘London to Brighton’) and Jo Sweby (E1 Entertainment, distributors of The Twilight Saga). The winning team will receive mentoring and production support to make their film from Steel Mill’s critically acclaimed writer director Paul Andrew Williams.
Paul Andrew Williams comments: “The Choose Life competition provides students with an exciting opportunity to get involved in a worthwhile and challenging project whilst providing a platform to showcase their work to film industry professionals. Film is a great way to make hard-hitting health messages accessible and relevant to the public, and we are looking forward to mentoring and working with new film making talent.”
Charles Gore, Chief Executive of The Hepatitis C Trust said, “Hepatitis C awareness and diagnosis is astoundingly low in the UK, even though it is a cancer-causing virus. There are many people living with this life-threatening disease who do not even know it. Furthermore, many people don't know that hepatitis C can actually be treated and the virus completely eradicated. The aim of this competition is to bring hepatitis C to the forefront of people’s minds, to help improve awareness and make it a national health priority, so people that think they may be at risk get tested and treated.”
Early diagnosis and treatment of Hepatitis C is important to help reduce the risk of disease progression,  including cirrhosis, liver disease, and liver failure which can lead to death.
Show your support for the campaign and share the competition with friends on Facebook www.facebook.com/
For more information or to request an interview contact:
Katy Mortimer or Kam Pearce
Tel: 020 8939 2450
About The Hepatitis C Trust
The Hepatitis C Trust is the national UK charity for hepatitis C and has been operating since 2001. It is predominantly a patient-led and patient-run organisation:
About Steel Mill Pictures
Steel Mill Pictures produced the award-winning ‘London to Brighton’ and ‘The Cottage’, and their third feature film ‘Cherry Tree Lane’ will get a theatrical release in the UK on 3rd September 2010. Steel Mill has several projects in development with Paul Andrew Williams, including genre project ‘Salvage’ with Warp X and bittersweet road movie ‘Wisdom's Last Legs’. They are closing the financing on the tender comedy ‘Song For Marion’, to be written and directed by Paul Andrew Williams in the summer 2011. The team is also working with a number of new writers and directors, developing projects that include an adaptation of Filth by Irvine Welsh and ‘Last Will’, a hard-hitting love story written by BAFTA-winning writer Geoff Thompson with Paddy Considine attached to play the lead role. Steel Mill also produces music promos and short films.
About Roche in the UK
Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare and in the UK employs nearly 2,000 people in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. Find out more at http://www.rocheuk.com
1. NICE. Interferon alfa (pegylated and non-pegylated)
2. Health Protection Agency. Hepatitis C in the UK 2009 Report. Available from: http://www.hpa.org.uk/
3. Hepatitis C Trust Organisation. Risk Factors. Available from: http://www.hepctrust.org.uk/
4. Net Doctor. 2005. Cirrhosis of the Liver. Available from: http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/