Sightsavers film shortlisted for Cannes World Film Festival award

February 2023

A Sightsavers film about childhood visual impairment has been shortlisted in the ‘Best health film’ category at the Cannes World Film Festival.

The short film ‘Noor’ aims to raise awareness about the impact of good eye care on a child’s development. Set in Pakistan, it tells the story of a girl called Noor who is struggling to learn due to poor vision. Encouraged by a friend and teacher, Noor gets her eyes tested at school and receives a free pair of glasses.

Produced by Sightsavers Pakistan and partners, the film is based on our school health programme, which screens children across Asia and Africa for eye conditions and other health problems. Teachers are trained to examine pupils and can refer them to optometrists for treatment such as spectacles. The film also challenges the stigma around wearing glasses.

Sightsavers Pakistan country director Munazza Gillani said: “Social drama films do more than raise awareness, they draw you into the story and the lives of the characters. They can soften and dissolve barriers and prejudices, creating space for change to take place in the real world.

“Good eye health equals opportunity and has a ripple effect on children, improving education, wellbeing, economics and health outcomes. We hope that this film will encourage the government, parents and teachers to recognise the importance of eye health and play their role in managing and addressing unaddressed refractive errors.”

The Cannes World Film Festival, which showcases the best international films, documentaries, music videos and commercials, is expected to announce the monthly winner in the ‘Best health film’ category later in February. All monthly winners get to compete for the festival’s annual prize in June. You can watch Noor for free on YouTube.

Update: On 28 February 2023, Noor was announced as the monthly winner for January in the Best Health Film category. 

A school student has her eyes tested while wearing optical glasses: an eye health worker's hand is changing the lenses in the glasses.

Improving health and nutrition in schools

The Sightsavers-supported School Health Integrated Programming project, known as SHIP, screens schoolchildren for health problems and provides spectacles and treatment where needed.

Read about the project
Film poster for Noor.

Read all our latest news stories

News from Sightsavers
A community drug distributor hands an elderly man medication to treat trachoma.

WHO report reveals millions no longer at risk from trachoma

The number of people at risk from trachoma has fallen by more than 12 million in a single year, according to a new report by the World Health Organization.

July 2024
Health worker Adesugba checks some medication in the clinic. She's surrounded by charts on the walls and paperwork on the tables.

Sightsavers and RSTMH extend research partnership

The organisations will publish two further collections of research papers in the journal International Health, focusing on river blindness and general research work.

May 2024
Arthur in the classroom, smiling while wearing his new glasses.

Sightsavers joins WHO initiative to improve access to spectacles

SPECS 2030 aims to tackle the world’s biggest cause of visual impairment by improving global access to eye care.

May 2024