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M-Net to broadcast Covid-19 documentary, Zero to Zero.

Staff Writer

M-Net has produced a new hourlong documentary, Zero to Zero, filmed over 15 months in South Africa, to chronicle the harrowing work of South Africa’s healthcare workers battling the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. Zero to Zero, produced by Legacy Hill Productions, will be broadcast on M-Net (DStv 101) on 4 October at 20:30, documenting the fight of frontline healthcare workers in South Africa in their fight against the ongoing global coronavirus crisis. “Somewhere there is a light at the end of this tunnel. We have to believe it. Let’s hope for the dawn to break,” says Dr Yanila Nyasulu, a specialist physician and a central figure in the Zero to Zero, documentary. Filmed over 15 months, the gripping one-hour doc offers an unfiltered look at what it’s like to be a healthcare worker in the grips of the Covid-19 pandemic. Zero to Zero follows the staff of Zuid-Afrikaans Hospital (ZAH), a 100-year-old, private, non-profit hospital in Muckleneuk, Pretoria, from the moment they admit their first Covid-19 patient in June 2020. The gripping and emotional Zero to Zero has been filmed by a Prof Leonie Scholtz, a frontline worker at the hospital, radiologist and part time filmmaker; co-directing with Christa Lategan and Shem Compion. “What’s special about Zero to Zero is that it is told from the perspectives of those who have been battling this pandemic daily since it began. It humanises the frontline workers, showing us a fraction of what they have had to face,” says Jan du Plessis, director for M-Net channels. “It also puts faces to some of the Covid-19 stats – there are interviews with former patients about their experiences at the hospital, as well as with their families about the impact that this has had on them.” Prof Leonie Scholtz, talking about why she began filming the hospital’s fight against Covid-19, says that “When the pandemic started, I immediately realised that this is one catastrophic event where no photographers were allowed”. “Being a photographer myself, and also having access to the inner sanctum of the frontline, I felt obliged to document it.” Producer Christa Lategan says that filming the events as they unfolded presented a challenge for the team, as they had no idea how the story would unfold. “We dealt with people going through real life and death situations, so our focus remained on the human spirit. The constant changing narrative was immensely difficult, but the personal journeys delivered a wonderful and authentic story.” Zero to Zero gives viewers a glimpse of the toll that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on healthcare and frontline workers, emotionally, mentally and physically in South Africa. Actress Jana Cilliers is the narrator and Zero to Zero also features interviews with various experts, including the celebrated epidemiologist Prof Salim Abdool Karim. Zero to Zero brings viewers unprecedented access to the hospital frontline, with the story that narrates what unfolded during the darkest moments of the Covid-19 peaks. The unequalled footage from ICU and beyond tells a story of despair and hope. M-Net says that Zero to Zero will inspire viewers to remember the strength of the human spirit, but filmmakers and the healthcare workers also hope to drive home another key message: Protect yourself and the ones you love by wearing your mask, washing your hands, keeping a safe distance, and getting vaccinated.

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