UNICEF and MTV present youth drama «Embrace me» on the World AIDS Day
1 December 2009, Kyiv - Max, a cars seller, learns from experience that mindless risk and entertainment come with consequences. Lera, TV presenter, believes in individual responsibility in relationships. Nightclub barman realizes that HIV/AIDS may easily affect him personally…
Characters come to understand these truths through the dramatic events of the film «Embrace me». Someone's mistake has gone without consequence, but someone else’s has forever changed their lives. TV-premiere of the film will be aired on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2009 broadcast by TV channels MTV Ukraine and Inter. The film is created by the campaign MTV Staying Alive: Ignite in partnership with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Ukraine.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic is spreading rapidly in Ukraine. Young people are especially at risk, because they tend to think of life as an adventure, ignoring the danger, or believing that HIV can hardly affect them. Meanwhile, according to the statistics, most of the HIV-infected people are under 30 years old. To bring messages on HIV/AIDS to young people in the most effective way, role models should be involved in communication strategies and moralistic approach should be avoided. That is why Staying Alive: Ignite project and UNICEF have developed a short film that portrays everyday reality of the Ukrainian youth, and gives audiences an opportunity to draw their own conclusions. To draw attention to the significance of the problem, Ukrainian celebrities like stylist Olga Navrotska, singer Kasha Saltsova, TV-presenter Yanina Sokolova and boxer Volodymyr Virchis, were invited to play their parts.
Yukie Mokuo, Representative of UNICEF in Ukraine: « It was important for us to raise awareness among young people on the risks of HIV transmission. It is vital to remember that the two main modes of HIV transmission - through injecting drug use and unprotected sex. The film shows that no one is immune to HIV and those who are already affected by it need our empathy and support».
«Embrace me» was filmed by a well-known Ukrainian director Lyubomir Kobylchuk. The story takes place in Kyiv and is based on real life situations and characters that many young people in Ukraine can associate with. The film characters live and enjoy themselves, have life aspirations and dreams. In the beginning of the film, many of them do not realize how their future depends on their ideas of responsibility and choices they make. As the story unfolds, it gives viewers an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of others, rather than their own, and make their own conclusions.
Created by one of the world's most popular youth brands MTV, the film «Embrace me» is done in engaging format to attract the attention of young audiences. Music of popular groups, recognizable celebrities, dynamic scenes and bright images make «Embrace me» a movie with not only social, but also artistic value.
Georgia Arnold, Senior Vice President, Social Responsibility, MTV Networks International & Executive Director, Staying Alive Foundation: «Today everyone in the world can be affected by HIV/AIDS, all are equal in the face of it. Therefore, young people need to be more aware of the consequences their actions can have on their health and lifestyle. Sex with a condom, use only disposable syringes, and regular HIV-testing - it should become the norm for everyone. If the film we created makes young people more aware about how they can protect themselves and their partners, it will be a huge step towards overcoming the HIV/AIDS».
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