Stand Up To Cancer rallies public to action in poignant star-studded film

Likening Stand Up To Cancer to social movements such as Black Lives Matter, the film is a call to arms that ends with a note of hope about the advancement of science – in light of the Covid vaccine.

David Oyelowo: the Selma actor, who lost his father to cancer last year, narrates the ad
David Oyelowo: the Selma actor, who lost his father to cancer last year, narrates the ad

Stand Up To Cancer has marked the return of its biennial TV fundraiser with a powerful film that centres on people who have been individually affected by the disease. 

Produced by Nonsense, "The moment you stand" reflects on how standing up “builds community, changes history and shapes the future” – likening Stand Up To Cancer to the Black Lives Matter and transgender rights movements. 

It follows cancer patients, their loved ones and medical staff, as well as a host of famous faces, including Selma actor David Oyelowo, who lost his father to cancer a year ago, alongside Dame Harriet Walter, Jason Watkins, Daniel Mays and Kadiff Kirwan.

It also features Team GB Paralympian Amy Conroy, who lost a leg to bone cancer as a child.

Oyelowo, who narrates the film, says poignantly: “Standing up, all the good stuff that humanity has ever done comes down to this one simple act. It builds community, changes history, and shapes the future."

“But now it's time to Stand Up To Cancer,” he urges.

As the ad unfolds, people who have been affected take a stand before it ends with the hope that scientists will find a cure (and a nod to the success of the Covid vaccine). 

The film was created in partnership with production company Spindle and directed by Greg Hackett. At Nonsense, the creative team was Pip King and Lib Papworth.

The TV commercial, which marks the return of the joint national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4, breaks tonight (15 October) during Channel 4’s Stand Up To Cancer live show. It will also run across social media. 

Simon Harrison, head of fundraising campaigns at Cancer Research UK, said: "We’ve made amazing progress in the past few decades but one in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. This is why we are determined to accelerate research to develop better treatments for those facing cancer today and for generations to come."


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