this weeks 3 best charity videos

This week’s selection of the best charity videos is a mixture of the big budget – Cancer Research UK – and the DIY aesthetic – Anthony Nolan. Plus a gripping and unsettling film from the gun control lobby in the USA.  All of them use creative ideas to push their messages through.

1. Guns with History: Ceasefire USA

A documentary style PSA that is as shocking to the viewers as it is to the people in the film.

Released a couple of weeks ago, this film has created a storm of protest from the pro-gun lobby and a blizzard of publicity for the campaign group, States United to Prevent Gun Violence. The premise is strikingly simple: they open a gun store in New York with a hundreds of guns for sale but instead of a price tag, each gun is labelled with the story of the death the weapon caused. The reactions from shoppers as they hear the stories are truly gripping.


After 2 weeks, it’s racked up 3.8 million views on YouTube.

2. They wanted 5 million.. : Anthony Nolan

Wonderful user generated content that uses personality, warmth and humour.

This short film tells the story of Paul Francis, a stem cell donor, who uses a video diary to explain what it’s like to be stem cell donor. It’s an intimate view of the process of donating, how it feels and what happens. Brilliant casting – Paul’s full of fun and humour but still manages to explain the science, what’s happening to his body and what happens to his donation. Like all the best charity videos this film really shows what’s possible with simple and clear film making on a budget.

3. Join the Pink Army: Cancer Research UK

A beautifully scripted and filmed big budget DRTV that throws down a challenging message.

Looking like a cross between a colour run event and Braveheart, this ad strikes a poetically defiant tone, with dreamlike battlefield scenes of runners preparing for the off and a powerful voice-over from Maxine Peak. It combines an ‘in memorium’ moments that show images of family, friends and lovers who’ve been lost to cancer, with the challenge of a race to beat cancer.


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Jeremy Jeffs is a documentary film maker with 15 years experience of directing films for BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic and PBS. He’s recently finished work on a history of China, with broadcaster Michael Wood and his recent feature documentary, Bette Bourne, was shown at the London Film Festival, Sheffield International Documentary Festival and the V&A.

Magneto Films is an award winning production company that specialises in working with the charity sector, not-for-profits and the public sector. We specialise in telling real stories, working with casestudies and real people to make films that move people to action.

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