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Coronavirus Project - Call for documentary subjects

Wednesday 22 April 2020 12:17pm

ANews0420 Paul Trotman 650px

Medical practitioner and documentary maker Paul Trotman plans to make a feature documentary telling the story of the COVID-19 outbreak from start to finish, using the words and experiences of doctors, nurses and allied staff who have worked under such stressful and difficult conditions. Below is a letter from Paul inviting people to contact him.


Dear Medical, Nursing and Allied Health Colleagues,

My name is Paul Trotman.

I’m both a medical practitioner and a documentary maker – I made ‘Donated to Science’, a film about medical students’ experiences doing dissection. It was an emotional and life affirming film, and has been seen all around the world (it even won a few awards). You can see the trailer for it here:

I’ve been taken off patient contact for the duration of the Coronavirus pandemic because I’m immune suppressed thanks to a kidney transplant I received at the end of my fourth year at medical school.

I’ve been looking around for something to do to contribute, and eventually realised that I should do what I’ve done before – humanise the professions in this difficult time – help medical people describe their experiences, their thoughts and their emotions at what is an extraordinary, once in a lifetime period. I think it is important to record this now, as memories are short and I think that too soon people will forget what the world faced and what the medical professions sacrificed to control the pandemic.

So, if you’ve been affected by or seen cases of Covid-19, I would like to Skype or Zoom interview you about your experiences during the pandemic. I want to interview you if you are front line, if you are back line, or even if you are no line at all like me.

If you are interested please email me at, if you are just too busy, but have something you want to say, we can postpone to a better time or you can simply record it as a selfie on your phone (landscape please) and send it to me at the same address.

The aim is to make a feature documentary telling the story of the outbreak from start to finish, using the words and experiences of the doctors, nurses and allied staff involved who have worked under such stress and such difficult conditions. I am also working with the Otago Medical School to also analyse people’s responses and build an archive of experiences.

Please pass this on to colleagues, it doesn’t matter where in the world they are.

Much thanks for your time and efforts.

Stay safe.