Curious Films has won a commission from BBC Two and iPlayer for a one-off film, "Making Sense Of Cancer With Hannah Fry." “Hannah’s courage has led to a remarkable, intimate and deeply personal film, revealing what it’s like to be diagnosed with cancer, and the impact it has on your body, your identity and your loved ones," Charlie Russell, Co-Founder, Curious Films said. "But she also goes further – asking a vital question and tackling what is almost a medical taboo: are there times when a life-changing treatment might not be the right thing to do?”
"Making Sense Of Cancer With Hannah Fry" is directed by Harriet Bird and executive produced by Dov Freedman and Charlie Russell for Curious Films. It was commissioned for BBC Two and iPlayer by Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning, Science and Natural History. The company is currently in production on a range of projects for broadcasters and international streamers and recently announced that TV executive Kim Shillinglaw has joined as a Non-Executive Director, as the company looks to capitalise on recent commissions and accelerate its growth over the next 12 months.
The 60-minute film follows mathematician, author, and radio and television presenter Professor Hannah Fry as she documents her treatment for cancer and investigates whether current medical thinking about how to tackle the disease needs reassessing. It showcases the process, as she’s eventually told the procedure has been a success. But the radically invasive operation she undergoes changes her life forever. Since then, Hannah has struggled with the realisation that the cancer had never actually spread as far as oncologists feared. No one knew it at the time, but the odds of her dying were much smaller than feared. Now, Hannah wants to use her insight as a mathematician to interrogate the assumptions and the calculations we make about how to treat cancer.“This is so much more than a sad film about cancer. Hannah – with her trademark humour and intelligence – dares to ask a provocative question: are we always having honest conversations with our doctors about the benefits of cancer care? The answer she feels her way towards is complex and nuanced. It may surprise you," BBC Commissioning Editor Jack Bootle said.
Having missed a smear test during the Covid-19 pandemic, Hannah was diagnosed with stage three cervical cancer and told that she needed radical surgery to save her life. As a way of coping, she decided to document her experience from the run-up to surgery and throughout her recovery. “From the moment I was diagnosed, I’ve become obsessed with the data and statistics behind cancer, and it’s made me question all my assumptions about this disease," Professor Hannah Fry said. "Through this documentary, I want to explore whether we – patients and specialists - are making the right choices in how we deal with cancer. Have we become so afraid of it, that we’ll do anything to fight it, no matter what the cost? And when we’re deciding whether to go ahead with terrible, life-changing treatments, how do we trade-off between the quantity of life, and its quality?”
Curious Films’ other recent commissions include "Reclaiming Amy," "Caroline Flack: Her Life & Death," "Squad Goals 3: Dorking Till I Die," and "The People Vs Climate Change."
Hannah’s courage has led to a remarkable, intimate and deeply personal film, revealing what it’s like to be diagnosed with cancer, and the impact it has on your body, your identity and your loved ones. But she also goes further – asking a vital question and tackling what is almost a medical taboo: are there times when a life-changing treatment might not be the right thing to do?” Charlie Russell Co-Founder, Curious Films