• News

Participant Media’s Social Action Campaign For Contagion Will Immerse Audiences Into The World Of Pandemics And Real Life Virus Hunters

With the goal of raising awareness through popular entertainment, Participant Media’s Social Action Campaign for Contagion will provide audiences with a window into the world of pandemics—their history, the people who have dedicated their lives to studying them, and what precautions the average person can take to protect themselves and their loved ones.   Kicking off August 31 and tied to the upcoming thriller Contagion, from Warner Bros. Pictures and Participant Media, the campaign will immerse visitors into this world through an informational “hub” at TakePart.com/Contagion.   An animated video and an interactive experience built around the film will be integrated with a Facebook feature Warner Bros. will be launching that mirrors the viral nature of a pandemic via its spread within a social network.   “We want to provide answers to the kinds of questions audiences will have after seeing the film about what can be done to prepare for an actual global pandemic, and we want to celebrate the work of epidemiologists, the real life virus hunters who risk their lives to save our lives,” said Liana Schwarz, Participant Media’s SVP Social Action & Advocacy.   An original, easily sharable video that takes a creative, offbeat look at the science behind viruses and pandemics will drive visitors to the “hub,” Participant’s interactive knowledge center.  There, through content created by TakePart, they will meet five present day virus hunters who study the infectious agents that could lead to future pandemics, and, via visually-engaging timelines and infographics, be exposed to the five viral pandemics that changed the world.  Other educational features will include “fast facts” and quizzes to inform users and dispel prevalent myths about viruses.  In addition, Participant has collaborated with Warner Bros. to incorporate into the Facebook game information about pandemic prevention, preparedness, response, resources, curing and containing, eradication and spread.   Opening nationwide on September 9 in both standard and IMAX theaters,Contagion, from Warner Bros. Pictures, Participant Media and Imagenation Abu Dhabi, follows the rapid progress of a lethal airborne virus that kills within days.  As the fast-moving epidemic grows, the worldwide medical community races to find a cure and control the panic that spreads faster than the virus itself.  At the same time, ordinary people struggle to survive in a society coming apart.   The film was directed by Steven Soderbergh, written by Scott Z. Burns and produced by Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher and Gregory Jacobs.  The cast includes Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Bryan Cranston, Jennifer Ehle and Sanaa Lathan.  It is rated PG-13 for disturbing content and some language. For additional information, please visit http://www.takepart.com/Contagion. Participant Media is an entertainment company that focuses on documentary and narrative feature films, television, publishing and digital content about the real issues that shape our lives. For each of its projects, Participant creates social action and advocacy programs to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action. Participant’s online Social Action Network is TakePart (takepart.com). Founded by Chairman Jeff Skoll in 2004, Jim Berk serves as CEO and Ricky Strauss as President. Participant’s films include The Kite Runner, Charlie Wilson’s War, An Inconvenient Truth, Good Night, and Good Luck, , The Visitor, Food, Inc., The Cove, The Crazies, Countdown to Zero, Waiting for “Superman,” Fair Game, PAGE ONE: Inside The New York Times, The Help, Circumstance and Contagion.