Nzara ’76

1976. An unknown outbreak rips through the boarder between Zaire and Sudan, decimating towns in its wake. An international team of doctors responds, discovering a swift, deadly disease from which few survive. The doctors split up, tracking the disease, trying to prevent its spread. Doctor’s James Howell and Peter Franklin track the disease north, over the Sudan boarder. They stumble upon a town ravaged by the disease. With the town in panic and no doctor to help, the small clinic has fallen under the care of the head nurse Nyawela. The doctors quickly find themselves ill-prepared for the severity of the outbreak and resort to extreme measures to stop the disease, including burning bodies. This sets them in direct violation of the towns religious beliefs, wherein the body must be washed and buried as it feels, even after death. But the practice is also directly responsible for spreading the disease. As Nyawela tries to find ways to care for her patients, the doctors distance themselves, not wanting to be mire themselves beyond their mission. While taking samples one night, one of the patients slips into a seizure, causing James’s hand to slip and stab himself with a contaminated needle. Fearing he’s infected, James chooses to stay in the town and continue working rather than attempt evacuation. He soon forced to experience life as a patient, watching as Nzara’s disease slowly becomes his own.

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Writer/Director: Jon Noble
Director of Photography: Sean McDaniel
Editor: Saira Haider
Produced by: Bernardo Duran Jr, Micaela Colman, and Meenakshi Ramamurthy

DIRECTOR’S BIO
Jon Noble was born and raised just outside Washington D.C.. Spending his formative years either in a virology lab or a movie theater, his life has always been split between science and film. Unable to choose between his two passions, Noble went to the University of Rochester, where he dual majored in Biology and Film Studies. Eventually film won out, Noble was accepted to USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, graduating with an M.F.A. in 2014. Focusing on production and writing for television. In 2012, Noble was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Student Production Grant, to direct his short script, Nzara ’76, a fictional account of the the first outbreak of Ebola in 1976. He hopes to continue to find the common ground between his two life-long passions, creating compelling stories and characters that challenge and inspire through issues in science and technology.

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