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Facebook India combines Covid messaging with festive positivity and human goodness

By Amit Bapna | Editor-at-large (APAC)

May 21, 2021 | 4 min read

Facebook has delivered a message of hope to India in its hour of need as the pandemic continues to rage through the country. The heartwarming story demonstrates how people can come together, using Facebook as a platform to do so.

Facebook has continued to craft compelling stories around moments and occasions in India. The one that it did last year around Diwali was a seven-minute-long film that had been widely shared and liked.

Facebook - India

Facebook continues to craft compelling stories around moments and occasions in India

The latest one is a six-minute-long film, launched to time around the last day of Ramadan, that has a universal and timeless message of selflessness and goodness – even while keeping the ‘social network’ brand gently but surely in the backdrop. It is one more story of everyday heroes coming together in these difficult times to help friends, neighbors and strangers alike. The film has been created by Facebook’s creative agency Taproot Dentsu and directed by acclaimed director Shimit Amin of Ransom Films.

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The short film is a well-crafted message of hope and reinforces the belief that people are indeed each other’s best resources. The story showcases how people can help each other by coming together while using Facebook as a platform. Privacy and other debates notwithstanding around Facebook, in the current pandemic-ravaged times a film like this with its positive and action-laden messaging is a welcome change.

Elaborating on the film and the premise, Ayesha Ghosh, chief exec of Taproot Dentsu, says: “Even before the pandemic struck, we had started putting out stories based on this belief. Stories of people coming together to make wonderful things happen, whether in good times or bad.” This particular film is inspired by the reality we are seeing around us; the irrepressible human spirit that shines through in the darkest hour, she adds.

The film has an interesting premise of a young and helpful Muslim boy living in a small Indian town. He is always eager to help people – and is busy convincing them to take the vaccine to battle Covid-19, clearing their doubts and even helping them by taking them to the far-away vaccination centre. This is until he finds a not-so-easy-to-convince woman who refuses to be taken in by his persuasive charm. The rest of the film is about his persistence, and how he finally manages to convince her and takes her for the vaccination. She in return realises he is missing his family, and helps him celebrate the festival.

The film does an interesting play on our Covid-struck world, with masks and the vaccine playing their roles prominently in the film, which also makes it relevant as vaccination has emerged as the single best way to battle the ongoing pandemic. India is currently in the midst of a brutal second wave that has left it severely battered, even as the vaccination rollout has got underway in the populous nation.

The good thing about this film is that it acknowledges the zeitgeist, while also leaving people with a message of hope.

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